Archives for Sauces

this is via Epicurious  | November 2005. A recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon from Passionate Vegetarian


  • 1 teaspoon of butter or Better (see tips, below)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushroom caps (about 1/3 pound)
  • 3 1/4 cups vegetable stock (see tips, below)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon golden miso (sweet white miso)
  • 1 tablespoon dark miso (traditional red miso)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (see tips, below)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet, well sprayed with cooking spray, over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Raise the heat slightly and add the mushroom caps. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes more.

2. Pour the vegetable stock into a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, preferably nonstick, and warm over medium-low heat.

3. Pour the wine into a food processor and add the garlic, flour, golden miso, dark miso, nutritional yeast, and mustard. Buzz together to form a paste.

4. Whisk the paste into the warmed, but not hot, vegetable stock. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Take a ladleful of this liquid and swirl it into the sautéed mushroom mixture, stirring well to scrape up any little flavorful bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the mushrooms, onions, and liquid to the pot with the stock, scraping the sauté pan clean.

5. Reduce the heat to very low and let the sauce simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Correct the seasonings with salt (you’ll need little, if any, since miso is salty) and a lot of pepper. Serve hot, ladled over whatever good thing you are serving.

crescent dragonwagon shares her tips with epicurious:• To make “Better,” Dragonwagon combines in a food processor: 1 pound salted butter at room temperature, 2 1/2 cups macadamia nut, almond, or avocado oil, and 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, or more to taste. She puts the mixture into 3 or 4 ramekins, refrigerating one and freezing the rest. It’s just as delicious as butter, but more healthful, easier to spread, and better for sautéing because its smoking point is higher than that of plain butter.
• If you don’t have time to make your own vegetable stock, Dragonwagon recommends the dark vegetable stock by Kitchen Basics. Packaged or homemade, these stocks are certainly healthier than meat stocks, but as Dragonwagon notes in Passionate Vegetarian, a high-quality vegetable stock does not sacrifice flavor: “It is good stock that underpins the glossy, piquant, sweet, or hot sauces that transform tofu, tempeh, and seitan from plain basics to genuinely satisfying dishes that speak cogently of abundance, not deprivation or blandness for the sake of health.”
• Miso is a soft, highly concentrated, soy-based seasoning paste, and a standard item in Japanese kitchens. Generally, darker misos have a stronger, heartier, and saltier flavor than the more delicate and sweeter white misos. Miso is available in Asian markets and natural food stores.
• Nutritional yeast is a savory molasses-fed yeast that’s rich in B-complex vitamins and protein. It is widely available in bulk at natural food stores.

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This is from Cook’s Illustrated. I usually make it with broccoli, red peppers and tofu but I think it would work with anything. Mix all this stuff together and add it at the end. Cook for about 5 minutes to thicken.

  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (or not if you don’t have any)
  • 2 tablespoons stock of some sort
  • 5 tablespoons oyster sauce (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

This is great on fish and also just in a bowl with a spoon. Thank you Top Chef and Food and Wine!


  1. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  2. 1 pound shiitake mushrooms—stems discarded, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1 pound mixed mushrooms such as cremini, sliced 1/8 inch thick, and oyster mushrooms, caps quartered
  5. 1 medium onion, finely diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  8. 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained
  9. 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  10. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  11. 1 tablespoon harissa
  12. 2 teaspoons white or blond miso
  13. 1 tablespoon golden raisins (optional)
  14. 1 tablespoon capers
  15. 1/2 cup chicken stock


  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shiitake and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender and starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the mixed mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat until any liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown, 5 minutes. Add the onion and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cover and cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the coconut milk, mustard, harissa and miso. Add to the skillet with the shiitake, raisins, capers and stock. Simmer over low heat, stirring, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.



This recipe is from Millenium, the best vegan restaurant in the world. It’s meant for pasta, but it’s great as a pizza sauce or sandwich spread. Works well with roasted pumpkin or squash.


  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/4 c. miso paste (optional)
  • water as needed


1. Roast and peel the peppers, removing the seeds.
2. Toast and chop the pumpkin seeds.
3. Blend everything in a food processor until smooth. Add water until it becomes a smooth paste.


  • firm or extra firm tofu cut into cubes
  • peanut oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 T brown sugar


1. Stir-fry the tofu in the peanut oil until it turns golden (about 15 minutes).
2. Dissolve the brown sugar in the soy sauce.
3. Reduce heat to low and add the sauce mixture to the tofu.
4. Cook on low until the sauce reduces and makes the tofu crunchy (about 5 minutes)

This is a great marinade for grilled tofu. Let it sit at least 30 minutes before grilling.


  • 1 T olive oil or chili oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T sesame oil


1. chop the garlic and cook in the olive or chili oil for 3 minutes
2. add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil
3. continue to boil until the sauce reduces by about a third