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Tabitha Brown On Her Favorite Vegan Ingredients That Provide Non-Vegan Flavors - Exclusive

If there's one thing Tabitha Brown is known for, it's vegan comfort food. The social media star, actress, and best-selling author became a household name among foodies for her down-to-earth and utterly delicious plant-based takes on some of our favorite foods. From bacon made of carrots to creamy mac and cheese courtesy of cashews — and so much more — Brown is on a mission to prove that vegan food is comfort food, and anyone can enjoy it.

Of course, when you're not cooking with meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs, you've got to get creative in order to build flavors. Brown is a verifiable expert when it comes to finding vegan flavor bombs. She's showcasing that and more with her first cookbook, "Cooking from the Spirit," which features some of her family's favorite vegan recipes and ingredients, all infused with the sweet and sassy soul that makes Brown so beloved among her fans.

Tasting Table recently got the chance to chat with Brown about the dishes in her cookbook along with her tried and true secrets for creating delicious vegan food. She told us that feat involves the use of some pretty unique and out-of-the-box ingredients at times, which can help pack a dish with nutrition and flavor alike. In our exclusive interview, Brown shared her absolute favorite vegan ingredients she turns to in order to elevate plant-based dishes beyond your wildest dreams — and while there's a good chance you don't already have these ingredients in your kitchen, you may just want to change that ASAP.

Unique Asian seasoning blends make for tasty vegan treats

When Tabitha Brown is looking to add some un-vegan flavors to her totally plant-based dishes, she turns to a few ingredients from the Eastern Hemisphere to bring delicious depth to her comfort food. Brown told us that one of her favorite vegan ingredients is the Japanese seasoning blend, nori furikake. "I talk about this a lot in the book, too, and I feel like I've made it very popular," said Brown.

Nori furikake is a mixture of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and a blend of other herbs and spices "that makes things taste like fish," according to Brown. She says she loves to add "that flavor of seafood" to all kinds of ocean-inspired vegan dishes. "I add it to my vallops, as I call them, which is oyster mushrooms or king trumpet mushrooms to make vegan scallops. I also add it to my chickpea tuna salad or un-tuna salad."

Another go-to vegan ingredient for Brown is something known as kala namak, or black salt. The South Asian spice, which is actually much more pink in color (and not to be confused with Himalayan salt), "makes things taste like eggs," said Brown, who calls this ingredient "a game-changer." She warned that "you only need a pinch" of this strong, eggy seasoning, which "smells like sulfur" right off the bat. While that smell may not tingle your taste buds, Brown says to trust her and try this out for yourself. "I actually use this in [my] deviled egg recipe," said Brown, adding, "I put a pinch of the black salt even in my pickle juice so that when I soak my mushrooms, it gives them a pickled egg flavor."

Click here to get your copy of Tabitha Brown's cookbook, "Cooking from the Spirit."