Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston uses beet powder, made from pulverized dried beets, to give his char siu chicken a distinctive pinkish hue that typically comes from chemically produced red food dye. Similarly, the ingredient can color everything from pickling liquid and aïoli to baked goods and frosting. "It adds an inherent sweetness," says Shepherd, "but it's not a strong flavor."
Featured in: A Houston Cookout with a Far East Reach
- 1 lb. beets, peeled and sliced paper-thin
Spread beets on a Silpat-lined baking sheet and bake at 200° for 2 hours. Alternatively, use a dehydrator set to 150° for 3 hours. Place dried beet slices in a food processor and purée until finely ground.