That chubby guy, from the thing. Yeah. I'm the one who used to work in the frozen pizza factory, remember?

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Favorite foods: Everything from asparagus to a rare ribeye to a chili-cheeseburger. I have far more of a weakness for salty and savory than for sweet. Bring me a steak and a baked potato, and skip the dessert.
  • Last bite on earth: I plan to never have a last bite, as I have no intention of dying.

Latest Comments

The Comfort Food Diaries: All I Want Are Some Potato Skins

You're welcome, Keith, and I'm glad you quit smoking (because man, it sucks but it's hard to know how much it sucks until you get away from it), and also, if you still have a mom, please give her a kiss from the mom-less.

The Comfort Food Diaries: All I Want Are Some Potato Skins

Anxiety in your mid-30s is pretty common, even extending to regular anxiety/panic attacks. It tends to fade as you get a bit older. So said my doctor, anyway, and it's proven to be true in my case.

You don't have to be Midwestern to love potato skins. I grew up in Los Angeles and I'll still eat them any old time, although... I have to admit I don't know where I'd go in my neighborhood to get them. Once I find it, you should come on over and I'll happily buy you some potato skins and drinks. You'll have to smoke outside on your own, though, that's another thing I left in my 30s, along with the anxiety attacks.

The Best Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I forgot to say so at the time, but I made these and they are, indeed, spectacular. I might cut down on the cream cheese just a wee bit next time, but that is not by any means to say these weren't amazing as the recipe is written.

In Praise of Ugly Food

Hmmmm. This is tough. I've always been willing to champion dishes that taste good but aren't visually appealing ("stop whining and just eat it" is my motto). But it does seem a bit odd to tout their visual aspect as a virtue.

How Thanksgiving Killed My Restaurant Career

" I also learned that the world's most decadent stuffing is made by folding diced foie gras into cubes of toasted brioche."

Sweet mother of mercy, I want this recipe.

The Food Lab: Here's What I'm Eating on Thanksgiving

I have never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner, because we're always at my dad's place, which is on the same property as my grandparent's house. For years my grandmother has put on a feast for upwards of 50 people, but in the past few years she's simply not able to do as much as she once could.

Which means there's one thing we probably won't be having, that's been an integral part (many family members think it's the best part) of our Thanksgiving dinners: My grandmother's noodles. They're extremely floury, cooked in turkey drippings and chicken stock. Everybody loves them. I've tried to recreate them using recipes I found on the internet, and came up short. I asked for the recipe once, and the units of measure were eggshells, but I lost the recipe and anyway I don't think she was telling me everything.

It will kind of be the end of an era, and a bit of a bummer.

Want the Best Thanksgiving Stuffing? Consider the Oyster

Yeah, there's always a dish of oyster stuffing at my family's turkey day table. I know that for sure, because I have to be careful not to take any of it due to a severe shellfish allergy.

Ounces and Grams: Why Mass Is Not the Best Way to List Ingredients

I liked this, but then I've always been much more willing to be slapdash about ingredients when I'm cooking. (And luckily my wife is the baker in our family). I used to be religious about measuring everything, but I've found that once you know what's going on when you cook and why you're doing something, a recipe is a guideline, not a holy text.

Oh, and by the way, Kenji, apropos of nothing in this post but related to your book: I had no idea you could microwave metal bowls. Naturally I tried it, with great trepidation at first but with growing confidence the more I did it. I'm thoroughly amazed, and I'll probably never buy another Pyrex bowl. Some day, you should do a Food Lab on the science of what's going on with metal in microwaves!

The Food Lab's Ultimate Creamed Spinach

This is interesting - I had no idea it was supposed to cook low and slow. The recipe I've used calls for cooking the spinach, taking it out to cool a bit, squeezing it in a towel, and rough chopping it. Meanwhile you make a bechamel, then stir in the spinach.

I will have to try this method. I wonder how it will differ in taste and texture.

(The main thing I've learned, so far, is to wash the bejeezus out of the spinach, because there is nothing worse than grit in your creamed spinach.)

Two Ingredient Never-Fail Cream Biscuits

Made these last night. It does what it says: Incredibly easy, very tasty biscuits with just two ingredients. They're good as is, though next time I think I'll just a little bit of salt to the flour, maybe a teaspoon.

And I guess I'll have to keep making them, since I bought a whole bag of self-rising flour which I don't have much use for. Darn, how terrible. :)

This Is the World's Easiest Biscuit Recipe

@leapfrog22 The trouble with satire this good is that it's almost indistinguishable from actual comments/questions that pop up on almost every recipe.

This Is the World's Easiest Biscuit Recipe

Kenji, a long time ago I swore to myself that I wouldn't nitpick typos in your articles, but I couldn't help it with this one, just because it's pretty awesome if you say it out loud:

Most of use aren't going to make enough biscuits in a lifetime to hit that stage...

Mosta youse guys ain't never gonna make enuff biscuits to be that good, so fuhgeddaboutit!

The Food Lab's Foolproof Onion Rings

@cnlforbin Right? When it comes to my greatest pleasures in life, they're all legal. Not necessarily *wholesome*, but legal.

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Kitchen Shortcuts

@Kenji, your storage solutions are genius and I intend to apply them as soon as I can, if I can.

Dumb question(s), though: Do you re-use containers you get from the deli/takeout, or do you buy them somewhere? I would assume they're available at restaurant supply stores, but do you have to buy in bulk? And do you just throw them out (or put them in the recycling bin) when you're done?

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Carne Asada

This was great, Kenji. I spent a large chunk of my youth (and a smaller chunk of my adulthood) in California's Imperial Valley, where they take carne very seriously, even if they do pronounce it like "carny." Every time I'm down there I try to visit Ramey's on my way back and score some amazing Brandt Beef ribeyes and a few packages of carne, which freezes just fine as far as I can tell.

But perhaps next time I'll get off my lazy duff and make it myself, and this looks like a great way to start.

What Is a California Burrito?

@veronykah: This answer is 5 years too late, so I doubt you'll ever see this, and for all I know you don't even live in LA any more, but... there are a number of Mexican places in LA that make California burritos. Cactus Taqueria, which has four 5 locations in Hollywood and the Valley, has them. If you search Yelp for "California burrito" in Los Angeles, a bunch of places pop up. Hopefully there's one near you!

Forget Boiling! Use Less Salt! Plus More Tips for Better, Easier Pasta

@kenji: This marks the third time in five years I've groaned at your "penne pincher" pun. It's nice to have traditions.

How to Season and Maintain a Wooden Cutting Board

Just seconding @Ocean - it really would be nice to have a link to the comments at the top of the story. Thanks! It would also be nice to have a link to my account somewhere on the home screen, as well, so that I can easily get to stuff I recently commented on - again, to make it easier to check back in on a conversation.

Charcoal Versus Gas Grills: The Definitive Guide

Interesting, and for me, timely. I've used my Weber for 10 years, but lately I've been considering getting a small gas grill for the sake of convenience.

I'm quite intrigued by the infrared grills, though. Do you think at some point you might do a test on them? I'd like to know how they perform before I go out and buy one. It seems like they could give you the convenience *and* the dry heat of charcoal, although obviously not the charcoal flavor.

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

Although it occurs to me that perhaps this could be an opportunity for Serious Eats: Casserole Week!

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

Wow, I didn't know there were people out there who are even more annoyed about the "casserole" thing than I am. I applaud your dedication.

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

@Copperkettle218: I appreciate your reasoned argument, and I think you make some excellent points. I especially appreciate that you didn't fall back on the lazy and inaccurate "casserole" thing.

But I also think you're fighting a battle you can't win, or even a battle you may have already won but which won't change anything. People are still going to call it pizza, and they probably always will.

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

Jon Stewart said "casserole" that one time, and unfunny people have thought it was clever to repeat it ever since.

I appreciate it when somebody says it, though, because it lets me know that I no longer need to take that person seriously. How knowledgeable can they be if they don't even know what a casserole is?

Teriyaki Burgers

I made these pretty much exactly to the recipe (I forgot the shichimi togarashi, oops, so I just used some pepper instead) and the burgers were so, so, so good. My wife had been deeply skeptical, but too polite to say so: now she is now demanding further teriyaki burgers. (I think the kewpie mayonnaise helps a bit, too.)

6 out of 5, Kenji. These burgers are seriously amazing.

To the folks asking in this or other threads... do *NOT* mix the teriyaki sauce into the meat before cooking. You will absolutely be rewarded if you layer it onto the outside over the course of cooking.

How to Not F#&k Up a Caprese Salad

I agree with you entirely, Kenji. It is a near-perfect thing. Why screw with it? Apparently your co-worker doesn't agree though: