Master List: Your "Secret Ingredients"

We asked. You answered (and then some).

Thanks for visiting The Bittman Project, a place where food is everything (or pretty close).


Remember the discussion thread where we asked all of you to share your favorite secret ingredients? The kinds of ingredients that can take your cooking to the next level and that you consider essential for your style of cooking. The ones you reach for again and again. The ones that bring your food to life. The ones you just can’t live without.

Well, an incredible number of you joined that conversation. Not only was it a blast, but the list you came up with is pretty epic. The team did our best to comb through the thread and pull out all of the ingredients you mentioned. Here they are, organized not-so-elegantly into four rough categories: condiments, spices, fridge/freezer, and pantry. We’ll just keep this list up on the website as a resource for any of you to peruse anytime. (And here’s a printable version in case you want it.)


Condiments

Sriracha

Doubanjiang

Fish sauce

Nuoc mam

Yuzu koshu

Gochujang

Sesame oil

Spicy chili crisp

Black vinegar

Fried chili in oil (Laoganma brand)

Cold Mountain koji paste

Yumm sauce

Green Sriracha

Ume plum vinegar

Sambal paste

Curry paste

Rice vinegar

Oyster sauce

Ponzu

Kewpie mayonnaise

Miso

Umeboshi paste

Spicy mango chutney

Masala paste

Tandoori paste

Course Dijon

Real Italian balsamic

Hellman's mayo

Sherry vinegar

White balsamic vinegar

Colatura from Gustiamo

Calabrian chile oil

Gremolata

Fig jam

Lea and Perrins

Caramelized onions

Saba

Tahini

Tzatziki

Harissa

Zhoug

Pomegranate molasses

Orange blossom water

Ginger juice

Maple syrup

Maggi

Mole negro

Aji panca paste

Homemade hot pepper jelly

Marmite

Liquid smoke

Crystal Hot Sauce

Frank's red hot

Chili pepper water

Sherry pepper sauce (from Outerbridge)


Spices

Cumin

Celery salt

Ground celery seed

Za'atar

Curry leaves

Smoked cinnamon

Aji amarillo paste

Adobo spice

Sichuan peppercorns

Smoked paprika

Hungarian paprika

Mushroom powder

Espresso crystals (some of you swear by this in tomato sauce)

Bragg's Organic Sprinkle

Tony Cachere's creole seasoning

Herbes de Provence

Piment d'espelette

Aleppo pepper

Trapani Sale di Gucciardo 

Dried peanut powder

Better than bouillon

Everything bagel spice

Togarashi

Epazote

Vanilla

Tajin

Furikake

Kashmiri chili powder

Berbere

Nutritional yeast

Fennel seeds

Nutmeg

Ginger powder

Sumac

MSG

Old bay

Cardamom

Chaat masala

Svanuri marili (Georgian spice mix)

Asafetida

Nigella seeds

Black lime powder

Balinese long pepper

Powdered instant dashi

Hawaj

Zatarain's crab boil

Yerba santa

Panch phoron


Fridge / Freezer

Lime juice

Meyer lemon juice

Roasted garlic

Anchovies

Ginger

Pickled ginger

Pureed garlic and ginger

Capers

Preserved lemons

Pesto

Crispy fried onions

Pomegranate seeds

Warehouse size bag of chopped spinach

Fresh bay leaves

Avocado leaves

Kaffir lime leaves

Summer savory

Pickled onions

Dill pickle juice (to cook rice)

Tony Packo's sweet hot pickles

Sauerkraut

Poblano peppers

Frozen roasted hatch chilies

Bruno's wax peppers

Ancho, guajillo and chipotle pastes

Buttermilk

Milk Kefir

Goat cheese

Parmesan rinds

Cashew milk and cream

Sourdough starter

Vegan tomato nduja

Rendered pork fat

Bacon fat

Frozen tofu

Frozen vodka (for baking)

Vegan magic bacon grease

Dried chorizo

Vegeta

Vincotto

Bottarga


Pantry

Almond flour

Chickpea flour

Confectioner's sugar

Sweet turbinado cane sugar

Palm sugar

Molasses

Red Clay's hot honey

Dried apricots

Candied ginger

Candied citrus

Dehydrated preserved lemon rind

Currants

Sauteed slivered almonds

Chia seeds

Coconut milk

Condensed milk

Nori

Wakame

Bonito flakes

Water chestnuts

Chipotles in adobo sauce

Achiote paste

Tamarind paste

San marzano canned tomatoes

Dried anchovies

Canned tuna

Canned mackerel

Truffle oil

Bragg's liquid aminos

Vermouth

Bitters