Economic consultant in DC with a passion for non-academic and non-desk job things like cooking, mixing cocktails, drinking, design, and most of all, music

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  • Location: DC
  • Favorite foods: Anything really hot. Lao, Sichuan, Thai, Indian, Mexican....Most Mediterranean food, esp Spanish, real Italian, Turkish, and Lebanese. Plus Iraqi and Persian!
  • Last bite on earth: Probably Mapo Tofu with a side of homecooked Iraqi food

How to Cook Spanish-Style Pimientos de Padrón

Kenji, would shishito peppers be a good sub? I can find them much more easily than Padrón.

Sichuan-Style Hot and Sour Eggplant Is a Great Dish That Just Happens to Be Vegan

I order this all the time at Sichuanese places, and the final products always remain so damn purple! How did yours turn out? When I've made this or similar dishes, the color fades as the eggplant cooks.

The Le Creuset Wooden Scraping Spoon is My New Favorite Spoon

I too echo heckler0077's question. Been considering something like this for a while...

How to Make 15 Minute Stovetop Roast Turkey and Mole Enchiladas

Would that the mole took 15 minutes to make...

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

Damn it! This post made me pull the trigger on a super clean Griswold. Kenji, you'll bankrupt me!

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Buying, Prepping, Cooking, and Carving Your Holiday Turkey


I'm wondering, would raising one leg up somehow enable it to cook faster and therefore to a higher temperature?

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Buying, Prepping, Cooking, and Carving Your Holiday Turkey

So, I followed your spatchcocked recipe last year, with a heritage breed Turkey. As far as I'm concerned it came out great...initially, but most of the other members of my family are obsessively fearful of "raw" poultry, and me telling them that 165º was done did no use, so back in the oven it went to cook more (a verbal fight actually broke out). Any suggestions for how to keep, say, one bit of leg (for myself) less overcooked than the rest?

Regional Mexican Cuisine: The Yucatán's Mayan Splendor

Awesome, I remember the food there being quite delicious. Any forthcoming SE recipes?

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

@Scott569, No, I meant uppercase dotted i that exists in Turkish, why I can type with no trouble, it just doesn't display...unless I use the HTML I guess: İ

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

big +1 to the sucuk suggestion

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

err, apparently the SE posting thing can't handle the upper case dotted i. No matter, what I meant of course was tantuni!

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

PS: Food Lab TANTUNİ EDITION, pleeeeaaase?

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

All I saw was the headline and I thought OH HELL YES. Possibly the greatest egg dish ever

Recipes From Chiang Mai: Nam Phrig Noom (Pounded Roasted Chili Dip)

I would imagine this is eaten with sticky rice, no?

Adana Kebabs (Ground Lamb Kebabs)

PS Kenji: Can we PLEEEEASE have a tantuni food lab?

The Food Lab: How to Make Adana Kebabs (Turkish Ground Lamb Kebabs)

There's no need for skewers to be trustworthy, they're just plain strips of metal

Adana Kebabs (Ground Lamb Kebabs)

I'm in Istanbul right now (not my first time here), and 20% fat seems like way too little, based on what I've seen waiting to be cooked, and the finished product in many cases.

Exploring Washington DC's Best Ethiopian Restaurants

Another huge vote for Keren, (Eritrean, which is extremely similar with many identical dishes)

Ask A Bartender: Cocktails for Summer Entertaining

Daiquiri for a short blast of cold, mojito for a longer, drawn-out cool down

What's the Difference Between Light and Dark Brown Sugar?

Is after-the-fact brown sugar interchangeable with naturally brown sugars like Demerara or Muscovado?

Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know

@JacktheBeanstalk - as I understand it, a lot of it has to do with the grind of the knife. If it has a convex grind, as many higher end Japanese gyutous have, food sticks less.

Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know

Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know

Kenji-san, I'm sure you've mentioned it before, but what cutting board is that?

How to Cook Lao Food Like a Pro

For anyone in DC who wants to try Lao food, I cannot recommend Bangkok Golden in 7 Corners highly enough - it made the Post's 100 Best Restaurants list this year, and is my favorite place in the entire area. It's the only Lao food between here and New York as far as I can tell.

The Serious Eats Guide to British Sweets

Talking of Peter Kay, no reference to Hobnobs being "The SAS of biscuits?"

Rescuing my cast iron pan

So my mother set the oven to self-clean not realizing my Lodge cast iron pan was in there....All the seasoning has been stripped off, the pan is now GREY, not black, and has a fair amount of rust on it. How do I remove the rust? Is it worth arduous reseasoning, or should I just be patient and wait for an affordable vintage piece on ebay?

Yerba mate drinkers- question!

So I have a newish mate gourd, I "cured" it as recommended by filling it up with mate and pouring boiling water in and letting it stand for a few hours. Been using it for a couple weeks - notice a few black mold spots. The other day, after use, let it dry (with paper towel inside to absorb moisture), and there are black spots all over! Some mate website said this is normal and not harmful, but man that freaks me out.

Is that actually normal? What can I do about this?

Crispy Pajeon - HOW??

Pajeon is one of my favorite quick things to cook when I don't have a lot of time or ingredients in the house. No matter what I do, I can't get it crispy like the Korean restaurants I go to. It doesn't matter the ratio of flour to water, AP flour to rice flour, whether there's an egg or not, whether i mix the scallions in the batter or put them in the pan first....

Do I just need to use a ton of oil and shallow fry it? I'm sort of making mine like Western pancakes, with enough oil to coat the pan but not much more.

What should I make tonight?

Here's what I have in my fridge/pantry

less than 100g ground pork
sichuan chile bean paste
1 leek
3/4 of a kabocha
napa cabbage
lebanese olives
salted black beans
dried shiitake
kouya tofu
a small amount of firm silken tofu
aged cheddar
chicken broth
dried facing heaven chiles
sichuan pepper
an array of indian/arabic spices
fresh thai chiles
some scallions (maybe)
sesame seeds
sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, sake, venegar, various cooking oils, butter
fresh udon
dried soba
brown japanese rice
white japanese rice
basmati rice

In about two hours I need to make dinner. I was thinking Mapo Doufu (it would conveniently use up the pork and chile bean paste, as well as the leek). Only concern: I don't have a ton of tofu, nor do I have much of the right kind of rice, and I don't like eating East Asian food with basmati rice....

Should I just go for it, or can you guys suggest something else?

Chicken stock in the UK?

So I'm in London for a little while over from the US, and I can't for the life of me find those boxes of chicken stock, the ones that last forever and once opened will last for a little while in your fridge. All I can get are stock cubes (gross!), or tubs/bags of stock which are VERY expensive. What to do??

Vodka cocktails

OK, so I'm poor and am randomly laden with a bunch of vodka lying around. I'm not a vodka person, unless it's for shots before going out. Is there anything I can mix with it for a nice autumnal drink? Or am I doomed to tonic, ginger ale, and juices?

Japanese vs. Western knife ethic

So I have a Japanese gyutou and I love how sharp it is. But since it's so thin and delicate it's not best for all applications. In the Western kitchen, 99% of work is done with a heavy chef's knife and a paring knife.

But it seems the standard in Japanese kitchens is you have multiple knives, specialised tools like the yanagi, deba, nakiri, usuba, honesuki, etc.

This is where my question sort of emerges. A gyutou is a "Western-style" Japanese what paradigm does that fit under? Is it still meant to be used with a large cast of supporting knives? Do people in Japan use them with just one or two other knives? I'm a bit confused

First time making!

So I'm having several friends over for a barbecue, and I'm strongly considering making ribs. All I have is a large Weber kettle. From what I understand: put the coals on one side, put wood chips on top, put a drip pan with water next to it, then put the grate down and put the ribs over the pan and let it go for 4-5 hours.

I've also heard about foiling, a second pan on top of the grate... and then how do I maintain the temperature? Will Kingsford briquettes last 5 hours, or will I likely have to top up the coals?

Experts, please help!

Vodka infusion advice neeed!

Hi everyone, I'm making a bunch of infused vodkas for a party saturday. I've got kiwi, which is coming along well, chai spices, which is turning out AMAZING, citrus with mint, and rosemary.

The problem is the herbs. It's only been 24 hours for all of them, but the rosemary one smells really unpleasant, and the citrus/mint one too, but to a much lesser extent. I can't describe how the rosemary one smells, other than like old rotten herbs I guess. It's still totally intact and does not appear to be decomposing at all (it shouldn't, it's vodka!). Even weirder, it tastes ok, but the smell is repulsive.

The citrus-mint one has a faint smell of mint that's been sitting in water way too long, like if you leave the ice cubes in a drunk mojito to melt and soak the mint for an hour or two. It also carries a hint of that taste.

Needless to say this is not at all desirable! What can I do? Is this normal? I've seen recipes for mint and rosemary vodka and none of them mention any sort of problem like this.

I muddled a lot more mint and am now infusing a smaller quantity of vodka, for a shorter amount of time, in the hope of adding the strained result back to the citrus mix.

By the way, I'm using pretty good (Pinnacle) vodka, 80 proof, so it's not the alcohol.