Thursday, June 8, 2023

Unpopular ingredients that chefs should use more often (j-r)

This article is a combination of the previous Unpopular ingredients that chefs should use more often (a-i).

Unpopular ingredients that chefs should use more often


You may find Jicama also labeled Yam Bean or Mexican potato. It is a root vegetable that is commonly grown in Central America and sold from street vendor carts. This vegetable can be eaten cooked or raw. However, it is important to note that the seeds and leaves of the plant are toxic and should not be eaten. The following is a link to an example recipe of how chefs can use jicama in their cooking.

Unpopular ingredients that chefs should use more often


Also called oriental flour, Kamut is a type of nutty grain primarily grown in Europe. It is an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins, and manganese. This recipe is a great example of how Kamut is used in cooking.


Also known as green laver or aonori. This unique food is a type of seaweed found near Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Green laver is a great source of calcium, magnesium, lithium, and amino acids. The recipe below demonstrates how chefs can use green laver in a recipe.

Monk’s beard

Monk’s Beard is also often called agretti. It isn’t a common ingredient so you may not have ever heard of it before now. Apparently, it is quite the succulent green that is moist, slightly bitter, and resembles the flavor of chard. Monk’s Beard or agretti is grown around the Mediterranean but primarily around Sicily.



Nori, like the green leaves, is also a type of seaweed. It is primarily used in Japanese dishes as sushi wrap. An example of a nori recipe can be found in the link below.


Oprah is also often called moonfish. This is quite a large, full-bodied, colorful fish. Oprah is described as tasting like a cross between the tuna fish and a swordfish. Oprah is found in warm southern waters and often eaten in Hawaii. An example recipe for how chefs can use Opah in their restaurants can be found included in the link below.



Pattypan is an unpopular member of the summer squash family. It is very small compared to most members of the squash family. They are yellow in color and are shallow in stature. Pattypan can be eaten just like most other members of the squash family. Remove the stem end and the bottom end as they are typically too tough to eat. The seeds on the inside of the pattypan should also be removed before cooking or consumption. The recipe below is an example of how chefs can use the Pattypan in their recipes.


The quahog is a type of edible clam that is found in the Atlantic Ocean near North America. This is considered the largest type of clam and is popularly used in clam chowder. An example of the quahog used in a clam chowder recipe can be found below.



Rabbit is considered one of the healthiest and most lean types of meat. It doesn’t have a lot of fat content or calories and the rabbit is considered environmentally friendly. Rabbit is commonly eaten in other parts of the world but we in North American tend to consider them more as pets than as food. However, that can be changed. An example of a rabbit as food rather than as a cuddly pet can be found in the link below.

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Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!


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