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Cooking Tips

DIY Caper, Miso, and Scallion Powders are My New Cooking Must-Haves 

Dehydrate these staples for sprinkle-able seasonings that can enhance almost anything.

The pantry and fridge are full of savory powerhouses, some of them hiding in plain sight. Dried shiitakes, of course, are one such heavy hitter, and I love to buzz them in a spice grinder to create a sprinkle-able seasoning that's easy to incorporate into my cooking. But I’ve recently found that capers, miso, and even scallions are simple to dehydrate in the microwave or oven and then turn into similarly potent powders, each with its own spectrum of flavors. 

I sprinkle the powders over everything–steaks, chops, fish, soups and stews, rice dishes, vegetables, popcorn, and more. I use them as a final seasoning for an instant hit of depth and flavor, but I also add them before and during cooking, where they boost overall complexity without announcing themselves or overpowering other flavors.

Once you try them, I’m sure you’ll find them as indispensable as I do. Make enough to fill a spice jar, so you can keep them at the ready.

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How to Make Caper Powder

  1. Rinse capers and dry well between paper towels. 
  2. Spread into even layer on plate and microwave at 50 percent power in 2-minute increments, stirring in between, until fully dried, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Let cool and process thoroughly in spice grinder.


Flavor profile: Bright and briny

To Use: Sprinkle sparingly, as you would salt

How to Make Miso Powder

  1. Spread white or yellow miso in thinnest layer possible on rimmed baking sheet lined with silicone baking mat
  2. Place on middle rack of oven set to lowest setting (use “dehydrate” function if available) and dehydrate until dry enough to flip (miso sheet will feel like fruit leather), 2 to 3 hours. 
  3. Flip miso sheet and continue to dehydrate until completely dry, 2 to 3 hours longer. Miso will darken, but don’t let it burn. 
  4. Let cool completely, then break into shards, and thoroughly process in spice grinder.


Flavor profile: Nutty and olive-y

To use: Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons to applications such as soups, stews, and chilis; about 2 teaspoons to rice dishes and pan sauces; and to taste to spice rubs, meat, and fish.

How to Make Scallion Powder 

  1. Cut green parts into 2-inch lengths (reserve white parts for another use). 
  2. Lay scallions in single layer on plate or rimmed baking sheet lined with double layer of paper towels and cover with another layer of paper towels. 
  3. Microwave for 2 minutes; fluff pieces to separate; then continue to microwave 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until completely dry and just starting to brown in spots. 
  4. Let cool completely and thoroughly process in spice grinder


Flavor profile: Roasty and oniony

To use: Follow guidelines for miso powder.

Try the Powders with These Recipes

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.