The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

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The Food Lab: How to Make Thai-Style Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 15 comments

Thai cooks are experts at grilling all manner of meats, but nowhere does that proficiency shine more brightly than with chicken. Crisp, golden skin, coated in a richly charred marinade of toasted spices and herbs seasoned with fish sauce and sugar, the chicken is butterflied, flattened, and threaded onto bamboo skewers before being slowly grilled over charcoal. It's tasty enough on its own, but dipped into a sweet and spicy chili sauce, it becomes mind-blowingly delicious. More

Thai-Style Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

Thai-style grilled chicken coated in a marinade flavored with cilantro, white pepper, and fish sauce is one of the tastiest things you'll ever pull off of your grill. There's a reason you can't walk more than a few blocks in Bangkok without catching a whiff of its intense aroma. Here's how to make it in your own backyard. More

The Food Lab Turbo: Forget the Flank, Skirt Steak is the King of Stir Fries!

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 21 comments

Why is it that nearly all recipes for stir-fried beef call for flank steak? I've been following the advice for years, but have never been truly satisfied with the end results. Sure, flank steak is pretty meaty, absorbs marinades well, and can come out tender. But may I propose an alternative? Skip the flank and go for the skirt. More

Stir-Fried Beef with Snap Peas and Oyster Sauce

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 3 comments

Intensely beefy and buttery skirt steak is the star of this quick stir-fry, featuring sweet snap peas tossed in oyster sauce. More

The Food Lab Redux: How to Make Orange and Sesame Chicken at Home

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 24 comments

If I put in the work to develop a technique I'm happy with, I'm the kind of guy who likes to maximize its utility. Prime example: take all the lessons I learned during months of testing recipes for General Tso's Chicken and apply them to its very similar partners-in-crime on the Chinese-American lunch special menu, orange chicken and sesame chicken. More

The Best Chinese Orange Chicken

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 3 comments

Crispy chunks of deep-fried battered chicken in a sweet, sour, and savory glaze with complex orange flavor. The Chinese take-out classic, made in your own kitchen. More

The Best Chinese Sesame Chicken

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 3 comments

Crispy chunks of deep-fried battered chicken in a sweet, sour, and savory glaze packed with sesame flavor. The Chinese take-out classic, made in your own kitchen. More

The Food Lab: Slow-Smoked, 40-Ounce, Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steaks

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 30 comments

Smoking is generally a method reserved for long-cooking, tough cuts like pork shoulder, ribs, or beef brisket, intended to deeply flavor and tenderize the meat over the course of a half day of cooking. But with a bit of finesse and a couple hours of free time, it's perfectly possible to get that same smoky flavor into a thick-cut steak and still have it come out perfectly medium-rare and juicy, so long as you play your cards right. Here's how it's done. More

The Food Lab: How to Make Foolproof Eggs Benedict

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 26 comments

Combine our recipes for foolproof Hollandaise sauce and foolproof poached eggs—along with a toasted, buttered English muffin and ham crisped in butter—and you've got yourself a plate of eggs Benedict, the unrivaled King of brunch dishes. More

Foolproof Eggs Benedict

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 2 comments

Combine our recipes for foolproof Hollandaise sauce and foolproof poached eggs—along with a toasted, buttered English muffin and ham crisped in butter—and you've got yourself a plate of eggs Benedict, the unrivaled King of brunch dishes. More

The Food Lab Turbo: These Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers Will Knock You Out

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 8 comments

There's something about the way the caviar of the South (as pimento cheese is affectionately known) melts into a rich, oozy coating, its acidity and punch of pimento flavor accenting a thick and juicy grilled burger in a way that regular cheese just can't. Add some pickled jalapeño peppers in there in place of standard pickles and you've got yourself one hell of a fiery backyard treat. More

Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 3 comments

There's something about the way the caviar of the South (as pimento cheese is affectionately known) melts into a rich, oozy coating, its acidity and punch of pimento flavor accenting a thick and juicy grilled burger in a way that regular cheese just can't. Add some pickled jalapeño peppers in there in place of standard pickles and you've got yourself one hell of a fiery backyard treat. More

The Food Lab: Essential Techniques and Recipes for the Summer Grill

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 7 comments

In honor of the grilling season I'm missing, I'm going to make it my goal to get as many folks out into their backyards and onto their balconies as many times as possible this summer, because let's be honest: everything tastes better when there's fire, smoke, and cold beers involved, and what better way to gently nudge folks outdoors than with recipes and techniques? I've written a fair amount about grilling in the past, and while this list doesn't encompass quite everything I've done, it does hit the staples of an omnivorous summertime grill with plenty of chicken, steak, sausages, burgers, and—my favorite—corn. More

The Food Lab Turbo: Easy Fingerling Potato Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

Dill, potatoes, and sour cream go hand in hand. Just ask any Scandinavian and they'll tell you. That said, most Scandinavian-style potato salads tend to be extraordinarily creamy. This version uses only the barest touch of sour cream, instead relying on good technique to pack the potatoes with plenty of flavor and brightness. More

Easy Fingerling Potato Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 3 comments

The key to the deeply-seasoned potatoes in this tangy and creamy salad is to cook them in water seasoned with salt and vinegar. A dressing flavored with olive oil, sour cream, and dill binds it together. More

The Food Lab Turbo: 3 Grilled Pizzas With Grilled Vegetables

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 4 comments

Grilling pizza is one of the easiest, most delicious ways to get the kind of charred, crisp crust that the greatest pizzas in the world strive for. More importantly, it affords you the opportunity to grill your toppings before applying them to the pie, giving your finished pizzas an extra level of flavor. These three topping combos are cooked 100% outside (no need to pull out a pan indoors before you hit the grill), and none of them use sauce, letting the flavor of the grilled vegetables really shine through. More

Grilled Pizza With Grilled Tomatoes, Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Marcona Almonds

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt 1 comment

I know I'm committing a grave seasonal recipe faux pas here by combining a spring ingredient (we're in the middle of asparagus season!) with a late summer product, but dammit, we've gotten so good at cherry tomatoes that they're sweet and flavorful pretty much all year round. More

Grilled Pizza With Grilled Shiitake, Sopressata, and Parmesan

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt Post a comment

This guy is all savoriness. It starts with shiitake mushrooms charred on the grill. Slices of sopressata get the briefest turn over the fire, then go on top of a pie with fresh mozzarella. On go the mushrooms, along with a fistful of coarsely shaved Parmesan cheese. More

Grilled Pizza With Grilled Broccolini, Chilies, and Garlic

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt Post a comment

Broccolini or broccoli rabe with garlic and chilies is a classic flavor combination. In this recipe, I toss the broccolini in garlic oil before grilling it over hot coals, then apply it in whole pieces to the pie which also gets slices of fresh mozzarella and a scattering of fresh hot chilies. More

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make The Best Egg Salad

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 75 comments

Perfect is a word that I throw around a lot, and it's always with the understanding that it's a goal that can be strived for but never achieved. This particular recipe for egg salad is about as close to perfect as I've ever had. It's not fancy, there are no special ingredients, but it's well balanced, with bright, fresh flavors and a texture that spans from rich and creamy to crisp and crunchy. More

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