Where there's smoke, there's flavor? Difficulty level: vegetarian.
December 15, 2014 2:21 PM   Subscribe

So, my guy has discovered he loves lapsang souchong tea. There's something about the distinct smoky-ness that he just can't get enough of. What other vegetarian super-smoky flavored things should we try out? Candy? Spirits? Snacks? Lay it on me!

Please note--I can google, so I'm less interested in "here's this smoke-flavored thing" and more interested in your personal recommendation due to "I had this thing and it made me think OMG there is smoky deliciousness IN MY MOUTH!"

Vegetarian only, please!

Bonus points for recommended vegetarian recipes that use "liquid smoke" (which I just discovered is a thing) to achieve a similar result.
posted by msbubbaclees to Food & Drink (57 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Islay scotch. Lagavulin or Ardbeg will satisfy an urge for smokiness.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:23 PM on December 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


I just picked up some smoked garlic (different from black garlic) at Fancy-Pants Integral Foods Store the other day, and it is deliciously smoky. Cut a head in half, wrap in foil, roast it at 375 until nice and soft, then spread on bread along with a soft cheese and maybe some jam. smoky and delicious.
posted by dis_integration at 2:24 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yerba mate tea is excellent.
posted by alex1965 at 2:26 PM on December 15, 2014


Various smoked cheeses? I've seen smoked cheddar and smoked mozarella.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:26 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


seconding smoked cheeses - smoked gouda is so, SO GOOD
posted by brilliantine at 2:27 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Beer! Revolution Brewing in Chicago does a beer called Chicago Smoke seasonally. Not sure of others, but check in your area.
posted by anotheraccount at 2:27 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


General Smoky Oak portion snus.

Well, you did ask!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:27 PM on December 15, 2014


Smoked beer if you're into craft beers.
posted by Requiax at 2:28 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sprinkle smoked paprika on any food.
posted by John Cohen at 2:29 PM on December 15, 2014 [18 favorites]


Smoked almonds. So good.
posted by chasles at 2:30 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Smoked almonds, or other nuts.
posted by ambrosen at 2:30 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh and hacker pschorr beer. Tastes like you're drinking it at a campfire.
posted by chasles at 2:31 PM on December 15, 2014


I remember reading... and here it is, something of an inverse of the question you have asked.

But, the correct answer is an aged scotch.
posted by zyxwvut at 2:31 PM on December 15, 2014


Smoked sea salt and smoked paprika, for flavoring soups or eggs or whatever.
posted by clavicle at 2:32 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seconding Islay single malts. You'll find nothing smokier.

(Tip: Try Bowmore. It's a very nice whisky and less expensive than its more famous brethren.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:32 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


They've been recommended generically but Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds are so delicious.
posted by jabes at 2:32 PM on December 15, 2014


Have you roasted mushrooms? They have this really rich, smoky flavor that I love. (And two people who are AVOWED mushroom haters could not stop eating this dish.)

Basically: take tons of button mushrooms. Trim them. Quarter a couple of small onions (maybe a sweet/fancy onion like Vidalia, but whatever you have on-hand is fine). Put them in a baking dish with high sides (not a cookie sheet) and douse them with olive oil or butter (or best of all, a mixture of olive oil and butter). Bake them at 400 degrees for an hour. They will get dark, the onions will caramelize, and everything will baste in this delicious concentrated mushroom/onion butter. Cover them with foil if you feel like it's overcooking, and you can definitely toss more olive oil or butter in the dish if it looks like it's getting dry.

Final step: dip crusty bread in the butter and eat the mushrooms and onions, exclaim repeatedly that you are a genius, a hero, a scholar and a chef.
posted by kate blank at 2:33 PM on December 15, 2014 [27 favorites]


Laphroaig scotch. Smokey nectar.
posted by Pericles at 2:37 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh also! Chipotle peppers are smoked jalape├▒os, as you may know, and a particularly delicious recipe involving them is the black bean chilaquiles from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop.
posted by clavicle at 2:42 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is my favorite smokey tempeh. Awesome on a sandwich with avocado, tomato and cream cheese :) (Around here, it is available at New Seasons.)
posted by ainsley at 2:50 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mezcal. Kind bars now make a honey-smoked barbeque flavor that isn't my favorite, but might suit those who like smoke.

But, mostly, Lapsang Souchong, scotch, and mezcal are my favorites.
posted by ldthomps at 2:58 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I came by to suggest Islay single malts, and saw that they've been recommended a zillion times. Trader Joe's has a house label, Islay Storm, which is horrifically unsubtle (I wouldn't call it a good scotch in the sense of being well-balanced) but has crazy peatsmokiness.

As regards smoked beers, the ones I adore most are Aecht Schenkerla, a Bamberg brewery which does pretty much exclusively rauchbiers of one sort or another.
posted by jackbishop at 3:04 PM on December 15, 2014


Smoked gouda is delicious; smoked cheddar is also delicious. (There is also whiskey cheddar available, but I would describe the flavor as excellent but subtle compared to either whiskey or a smoked cheese.) Smoked salt (lots of varieties) is also useful to add to all the things (even some pastries!), though its friend, smoked paprika, mentioned above is great on virtually every type of bean dish possible: white bean soup, bean dip, hummus, in bean burgers... I think chipotles in adobo are technically lightly smoked, and they do a great service when added to chili, bean burgers, or with a dab of the sauce added to mayo/another dip. Ardbeg was also mentioned above, and it is a bit like licking a campfire: very smoky, very intense. I don't know if I have had the same smoky tempeh as above, but my favorite sandwich place made a smokey tempeh BLT and it was so good.
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:17 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Evil Twin Ashtray Heart smoked stout is a recent favorite of mine. Also seconding forever the smoked garlic mentioned above. (But perhaps not at the same time as the stout.)
posted by dorque at 3:17 PM on December 15, 2014


If he hasn't tried a burny grilled/toasted sandwich with smoked mozarella on it yet, then yea, that's the next stop. It's like, jesus wept good with the right spicy and crunchy things to go along with it on a nice bakery roll.
posted by emptythought at 3:24 PM on December 15, 2014


If you can get it, smoked tofu is pretty great.
I like to dice it, then put it in a frying pan with some salty broth and oil; first it cooks in the broth and absorbs the savoury goodness, then it fries in the oil and gets brown and crispy. I use these cubes in anything that meat-eating folks eat with fried bacon or lardons.
Since I'm Dutch, that includes pea soup and stamppot.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:25 PM on December 15, 2014


PS: Not all Hacker-Pschorr beer is created equal. It's a (pretty good) brand, not a type of beer.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:26 PM on December 15, 2014


Oh, I am so glad you asked! Here's a favorite holiday recipe of mine. Since I'm not vegan, I go ahead and use real butter. The only trick is to mix the batter really well to get all the flavors to meld.

I know people say things like "this dish had avowed carnivores asking for more!" but when I made this, it really DID happen!
posted by Fenriss at 3:27 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I had some smoked butter at this place and it was AMAZING. It just came with the bread basket so I don't have a recipe, but Google seems to suggest it is widely available mail-order.

Smoked cheese is fantastic, particularly smoked mozzarella (scamorza). Smoked tofu is available in lots of places, and is worth trying. Baba ghanoush is a smoked aubergine dip which is wonderful.

Also most smoky bacon crisps are actually vegetarian, so they're fine too!
posted by tinkletown at 3:27 PM on December 15, 2014


I don't have a recipe exactly, but I've used liquid smoke in marinades for baked tofu and it's worked really well.
posted by kbuxton at 3:32 PM on December 15, 2014


Where I am (Vancouver BC) smoked tofu is quite commonly available. If you can find it, it's great really any way you would prepare tofu, but especially in more strongly spiced dishes that might otherwise have a strong non-vegetarian protein like beef or lamb such as a red curry. It is really OMG good I promise, make the leap!
posted by kaspen at 3:38 PM on December 15, 2014


Another vote for smoked salt.
Get the really good black stuff, it gives a lovely rich smokiness to all kinds of things.
posted by tardigrade at 3:55 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Two smoky recipes I love making: Eggplant Bacon and Coconut Bacon. Both use liquid smoke and are delicious.

Prepackaged vegan smokiness: Phoney Baloney's coconut bacon (bought some but I haven't tried it yet) and Louisville Vegan Jerky (yummm).

To drink: I'm an Islay drinker too, and I was SO HAPPY when I discovered mezcal.
posted by soleiluna at 3:56 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Definitely homemade baba ganoush! I make Ottolenghi's version from Jerusalem (i think, or maybe it's Plenty) but I also found the recipe online.
posted by leopard-skin pill-box hat at 3:59 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Make your own tempeh bacon with liquid smoke!
posted by summit at 3:59 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


seconding smoked tofu - I will put slices of it out on a cheese platter when I have vegetarians visiting. can also be dipped in hummus, or cubed into noddle soup
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:00 PM on December 15, 2014


If he hasn't tried a burny grilled/toasted sandwich with smoked mozarella on it yet, then yea, that's the next stop. It's like, jesus wept good with the right spicy and crunchy things to go along with it on a nice bakery roll.

Can second this; I think smoked cheeses are also great on toasted multigrain rolls with avocado or crisp tart apple slices or fig butter.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:06 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Triple Smoke, from Corsair Artisan Distillery in Nashville - smoked over 3 different types of wood.
posted by mmiddle at 4:18 PM on December 15, 2014


I came in here to say Lagavulin and smoked paprika.
posted by town of cats at 4:29 PM on December 15, 2014


My dad smokes cream cheese, and it's amazing.

He takes a couple boxes of Philadelphia cream cheese, takes the foil packet out of the box, and peels back the foil carefully so the block of cheese is contained in the foil "boat". Then he smokes this with low heat (I think he uses apple wood? or hickory?) for about 30-45 minutes. It comes out golden brown, hot, and almost runny.

Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes then dip a chip.

Oh man I want to make some now.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:35 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


My dad smokes his own chipotles, and I add them to soups and pots of beans -- basically, anywhere you'd use bacon. They give off that great smokey flavor and only a tiny bit of heat. You can buy dried chipotles in Mexican markets places that sell a lot of bulk herbs and spices.

On preview, yay dads.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:38 PM on December 15, 2014


Oh and hacker pschorr beer. Tastes like you're drinking it at a campfire.

Hacker Pschorr is a brewery which brews several kinds of beer. I'm not aware of a smoky variety, at least in the US.

However, Rauchbier (literally smoke beer), as mentioned above, is a traditional style in Germany. It's made with malt that's been dried over an open fire, and does taste noticeably smoky. It's definitely worth tracking down.
posted by pullayup at 4:56 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seconding mezcal. It's like smoky tequila.
posted by ewiar at 5:03 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


On preview, yay dads.

The only person I know who owns a smoker is my mother's wife, so she's, um, kind of like a dad? Anyway, she'll smoke pretty much anything you care to name. Cheese is great. Salt is great, and you can add it to anything. Shrimp are really awesome and unusual, but not vegetarian.

So basically, msbubbaclees, if your guy is really serious about wanting to eat all of the smoked things, he should get a smoker.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Smoked braised mixed greens, from the Neelys.
posted by mmiddle at 6:00 PM on December 15, 2014


Smoked cinnamon!! I put it in nearly everything: pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, breads. It is the secret ingredient that makes people comment on the unusual deliciousness of everything that contains it. Worth the splurge.
posted by southern_sky at 6:14 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do you have access to the grill? This summer, my husband and I tossed All The Vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, fresh green beans, snap peas, thickly sliced zucchini/summer squash, etc.) with a mix of garlic, soy sauce, and hot sauce and grilled them in a basket. We ate them with a smoked paprika + chipotle + smoked salt mayo (take mayo. add other ingredients until you're satisfied with the flavor) and died of smoky happiness.

I imagine you could achieve a similar effect indoors by adding a couple of dashes of liquid smoke to the veggies, then roasting them.
posted by rebekah at 6:40 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I made these Smoky Cardamom Ginger Molasses Cookies for a party over the weekend and great googly moogly, they are not messing around--I described them fresh out of the oven as "the Octomore of winter cookies, like licking a fireplace". I'll warn, make sure to really pulverize the black cardamom to prevent hard seemingly inedible bits of debris in your batter.

(Also, since he already digs LS, a tip from Sally Schneider--you can rub ground up lapsang souchong on tofu, veggies before cooking/grilling to impart smoky BBQish savory flavors.)
posted by ifjuly at 7:31 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Agree too about smoked salt (the Meadows in Portland has really delicious Alderwood Smoked Salt) and stuff like maple bourbon smoked sugar.
posted by ifjuly at 7:33 PM on December 15, 2014


Liquid smoke is my not-so-secret ingredient for red beans and rice. Normally there's a smoked hamhock thrown in, but I don't eat pork, and honestly like the vegetarian version better anyways. Memail me if you want the recipe.
Nth'ing everyone who suggested smoked cheese (especially gouda), and smoked paprika. Smoked paprika makes basically everything better!
posted by csox at 7:35 PM on December 15, 2014


Tube Rose is a pretty great smokey nasal snuff worth trying if you're in the USA and willing.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:11 PM on December 15, 2014


Addendum to the roasted mushrooms: I can't believe I forgot this, but sprinkle everything with salt & lots of fresh black pepper before baking. THEN proclaim that you are a genius/hero/etc.
posted by kate blank at 8:28 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, and there's Bitters Old Men's Smoke Gets In Your Bitters, which has lapsang souchong and asian pear notes. I like to use it in manhattans and manhattan-like (whiskey + some complementary second spirit + drop of bitters + orange twist or cherry) cocktails (as with most bitters, a little drop goes a long way).
posted by ifjuly at 8:57 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Smoky Martini.
posted by John Cohen at 9:17 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Freekeh is wheat that's roasted in its own straw after harvesting. It's used like rice and has a nice smokey flavour.
posted by BinaryApe at 10:11 PM on December 15, 2014


I smoke tomatoes -- just throw whole tomatoes into the electric smoker and let 'em run for 45 minutes to an hour. The heat from the element (it's a crappy smoker) splits the skins so they slide right off, and then i throw them into Ziploc bags and freeze them. Three small smoked tomatoes, braised with kale and garlic in lots of olive oil, makes a delicious side dish -- or semi-puree it with a lot MORE olive oil for a fantastic vegan pasta topping. Good with roasted pine nuts on top.
posted by KathrynT at 11:02 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]




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