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Anyone else really enjoy cooking with red palm oil? How do you use it?

by (8858)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:17 PM
Created January 15, 2011 at 7:04 PM

I saw a similar question going back to April of last year. Not much of a response, which is sad to me because I feel that red palm oil is the equal to coconut oil and butter and bacon fat, albeit very different taste-wise. For slow-cooking chicken, I think it has no equal. For some it appears to be an acquired taste. When I first cooked with it I was reminded of some great meals I had in Washington, D.C., at African restaurants in Adams Morgan. Red palm oil might have been the secret ingredient in some of those meals.

Anyone else have any uses for it and/or recipes?

Here's my recipe contribution:

African Paella

Take whatever meat you've got defrosted at the moment and pan sear it in red palm oil. In my version I used pork shoulder (0.25 lb), chicken legs (1.0 lb), chuck roast (0.5 lb) and chicken hearts marinated in chardonnay (0.5 lb). These were basically uncooked "leftovers" that needed to be cooked before they spoiled.

Put the seared meat in the crock pot or Dutch oven on low. Reduce the fats left in the pan with some chardonnay. Add to the crock pot with the meat. Set to low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Add a bit of water and/or chardonnay. Don't want to drown the meat in it. 1/4 to 1/2 of the way up to the level of the meat seems to work.

Add a large bay leaf and some cinnamon sticks or cinnamon, along with salt to taste. Consider adding curry powder if you have a taste for it. Coriander and/or cumin work nicely, too. Dice an onion and/or garlic and add this in as well. For that matter, throw whatever appeals to you into the mix. You really can't break a crock pot recipe...

Consider adding some bacon as well.

I fried some bacon before eating and threw half of it in at the last minute, then fried some chicken pate that I had in the fridge in the bacon grease. Served some bacon and pate on the side.

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5838 · January 16, 2011 at 12:47 AM

I highly recommend it, wjones. I bought it at either my local whole foods or henrys. I forgot which, but it was one of the two.

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8858 · January 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM

I'd never eat it straight. The smell and look of it don't seem very good in its raw state. It's only when you cook on low heat for a long time with strong spices (cinnamon, curries) that the "true" flavor comes out.

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8858 · January 15, 2011 at 11:09 PM

I'd like to try rendered duck fat. Do you render it yourself or do you buy it?

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8858 · January 15, 2011 at 11:08 PM

The red color is cool...except for the splatter all over the stove top...

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18691 · January 15, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I feel so out of the loop! I am just barely used to adding fats and oils to stuff. I am happy with my bacon fat, Kerrygold butter and coconut oil for now.

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19220 · January 15, 2011 at 8:16 PM

I have tried it but really dislike the taste.

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7324 · January 15, 2011 at 7:27 PM

I found the taste off putting, so I don't use it anymore.

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14 Answers

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2633 · January 15, 2011 at 9:36 PM

I use a little with eggs as, like Ben said, it gives them the most lovely, appetizing color.

I also use it to round-out my ground beef and lamb "curries" which I eat for lunch over (don't tell) white rice.

I hadn't thought of throwing some in with pot roasts, but that sounds like a great idea as well.

I will say, it has a strong, distinct flavor that needs an assortment of other tastes which it can compliment. Straight-up palm oil isn't all that tasty... kind of like fish sauce, it works best when it's an under-note to other things.

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8858 · January 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM

I'd never eat it straight. The smell and look of it don't seem very good in its raw state. It's only when you cook on low heat for a long time with strong spices (cinnamon, curries) that the "true" flavor comes out.

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15966 · January 15, 2011 at 8:06 PM

i will admit that while i keep red palm oil in the kitchen i am not really a diehard fan of the flavor. I use it though because i believe its good for us. I kind of dig having a big jar of red fat too; people are always like what the hell is that

Anyway, i find that the easiest thing to use it for is when making an omelet. Its kinda cool: it dies the whole omelet a pleasant orangey color, like the color you will get when you use really good quality, fresh eggs.

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8858 · January 15, 2011 at 11:08 PM

The red color is cool...except for the splatter all over the stove top...

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10768 · April 01, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I found it to be super in almost any curry dish, the flavor of the oil really seems to compliment those spices.

I also played with this list... http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Palm_oil_Recipes

but I like it best in curries and thai food.

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5838 · January 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I bought a bottle about 6 months ago. I have used it 3 times, and although I do not mind the taste, I just prefer other fats more. I mainly use for fish. I have always thought about using it more, but then I reach for the butter, CO, or rendered duck fat.

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5838 · January 16, 2011 at 12:47 AM

I highly recommend it, wjones. I bought it at either my local whole foods or henrys. I forgot which, but it was one of the two.

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8858 · January 15, 2011 at 11:09 PM

I'd like to try rendered duck fat. Do you render it yourself or do you buy it?

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0 · May 15, 2013 at 8:56 PM

I am about to use palm oil for the first time. I found it in a Jamaican store for just $5.99. I couldn't resist. thats even cheaper than vege oil. the bottle I bought is 33.81 fl/oz. I'm going to try it in a marinara just to sautee the onoions and garlic. If anyone has thoughts on this, please respond.

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0 · February 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM

I got a big bottle of red palm oil because a housemate said it would be good for us. It sat on the counter for Weeks. I decided to try it in something red and spicy. I stir fried mixed vegies in the red goop. Looks kind of pretty. I added a can of spicy pasta sauce and served over pasta. It was good. I also have made Spanish rice with the red goop. It looks funny but in a spicy dish I don't even know its there.

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11254 · February 26, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I've gotten used to putting a little on eggs. Recently I bought some that I think comes from Brazil. Anyway it is light orange instead of red, seems much more saturated because it is more solid, and tastes much lighter. One could almost mistake it for butter, except for whatever it is that makes it so easy to distinguish between the fat of plants and animals.

I like using it directly on food rather than cooking with it, because I imagine the various vitamins and stuff don't have a chance to degrade from the cooking process.

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726 · February 26, 2013 at 7:16 PM

I really like red palm oil as the base for African-style stews. The African News Cookbook is old but excellent, with lots of great recipes that would not be the same without it, many/most of which are generally paleo. One way to appreciate its unique flavor is to make my Afro-paleo French onion soup: slice a few red onions, saute them low and slow for 45-60 minutes, then add enough beefy bone broth to cover and season with salt and pepper.

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1187 · February 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

I'm allergic to coconut/mct etc so its my only recourse.

It is kinda vile, but its also really lovely with very ripe plantains. That's as far as I've gone.

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0 · February 26, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I found a great one on youtube it was with fish, kale .. very yummy! I guess you just have to find the right recipe for it.

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2688 · February 22, 2013 at 11:08 PM

Started using it once a week or so in some rice, egg yolk, and liver based on PHD recommendations. At first I didn't enjoy the flavor, but more and more I get an actual craving for it.

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0 · February 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM

When used alone the taste is quite strong but when mixed with other spices it enhances their flavors. Don't give up on this fantastic oil.

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2024 · February 03, 2013 at 1:30 AM

I want to love it, but alas, it's vile.

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