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

Traditional or Not, There's Technique at the Heart of Teriyaki Burgers

@Kenji: Oh, I'd use fresh cabbage on the burger itself. I meant coleslaw on the side!

Traditional or Not, There's Technique at the Heart of Teriyaki Burgers

Aha! Glad to have confirmation from the food science master himself that flipping burgers several times on the grill is a good idea. I generally start flipping them at about 45 seconds (to give it time to firm up just a bit), then continue flipping every 30 seconds or so until I decide they're ready. For this recipe, I'd probably skip the last few flips and instead glaze them a few times, every 30 seconds.

Also, we can use the rest of the cabbage to make coleslaw, which I think will make a delightfully tangy counterpart to the rich sweetness of the teriyaki burger, no?

Chicken-Fried Chicken With Cream Gravy

@HappyHighwayman I think he says so in the instructions, but if it's not in there, I can't imagine any reason why you couldn't use one. I imagine it would make the frying easier.

Chicken-Fried Chicken With Cream Gravy

Kenji discussed his reasons for not using the chicken drippings in the original Food Lab article. And, having used this recipe and method to make chicken fried steak tonight, I can say that I fully agree. That was an excellent gravy.

The Food Lab: Chicken-Fried Chicken Is Country Cooking at Its Most Comforting

Oh wow, do I feel like a doofus. I asked the question without even looking at the actual recipe. He specifies that a 12-inch cast iron skillet will work, along with the wok or the chicken fryer.

The Food Lab: Chicken-Fried Chicken Is Country Cooking at Its Most Comforting

@sbp123: I'd love a commercial deep fryer, but I just do not have the room in my little kitchen for something like that. Even the smaller models are too big, really. We have extremely limited counter space, and that's not the sort of thing you can stick in a cabinet (and even if it was, our cabinets are pretty full already). If I did more deep frying, I'd consider it, but... I don't, so for now I'll just muddle through using either cast iron or the dutch oven. C'est la vie.

@RichL: Thanks! That's what I'll use.

Oddly enough, thinking about this post made me want chicken-fried steak, and I think I could use this method. Although there probably isn't any point in an overnight marinade.

The Food Lab: Chicken-Fried Chicken Is Country Cooking at Its Most Comforting

Okay, this looks even better than the regular fried chicken. I think this is happening in my kitchen, and soon. I'm actually really interested to find out what a cream gravy with onions and garlic tastes like.

Kenji, if you've answered this question before I apologize, but will a regular cast-iron skillet work for the frying here? If not, how about a dutch oven? I don't have a chicken fryer or a wok.

The Food Lab: The Best Southern Fried Chicken

All I can say is to quote Rick Moranis as the Keymaster in Ghostbusters, when asked if he wants some coffee: "Yes, have some."

Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

I forgot to mention this one. My boss when I worked at the frozen pizza factory used to eat Cool Ranch Doritos dipped in Bob's Big Boy blue cheese dressing (which we also made at that factory). I am not kidding. She was skinny as a rail, too.

The Best Fried Chicken on the Planet: An Opinionated World Tour

I was only in Japan for about 10 days, but I ate *so much* karaage. So, so good. We also ended up at a fried chicken restaurant in Osaka that made American-style fried chicken that was on a par with Popeye's (or my favorite small LA chain, Golden Bird).

Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

Kenji, I feel better about eating my own shame-a-rito, knowing that my favorite cook and food scientist does too. :)

Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

I'm with Leanne. I love to crunch up uncooked instant ramen I don't even bother with the seasoning packet, honestly. I like it on its own, and at about 20 cents a pack, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than Doritos.

If I'm boozy but still functional, I like to take a few of the soft-taco size flour tortillas, smear them with a thin layer of refried beans and some cheese, fold them into thirds, then cook them in a non-stick pan or on my stove's griddle. Meanwhile I mix up a sauce of sour cream and Tapatio to slather all over the top. Nom nom.

If I'm less functional or just lazy, I have been known to take a slice of lunchmeat and roll it up with a slice of processed cheese food and eat it, with a glob of mayo to dip it into. It's a Shame-a-rito.

The Japanese Way to Make Potato Salad

Dang. I wish I'd had this recipe yesterday, when I made potato salad. Ah well - next time!

Easy Mixed Cheese Quiche

I should note that I have made it like that (with a roquefort and leek filling) and it was absolutely amazing.

Easy Mixed Cheese Quiche

In Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook, he has you scald the milk and cream, then put it in a blender and blend the hell out of it with the eggs. As I recall, the proportions are the same as given here. It might be worth a try!

12 Grilling Mistakes You Don't Have to Make (But Probably Do)

@jameycookzlawl Well, at least you bothered to type up an actual comment and hide the ad in it, instead of just pasting in some boilerplate.

12 Grilling Mistakes You Don't Have to Make (But Probably Do)

I have to say, my heart dropped a little when I saw the title of this article. I was sure there was something I was doing wrong. So you can imagine how pleased I was to get to the end of it and be able to say that I have never done *any* of these things (well, okay, I don't bother with a 2-level fire when I'm grilling burgers). Huzzah!

Pretzel Bao With Sweet Sesame-Hot Mustard Pork

I made these last weekend, and they were good. Really good. The pretzel buns are amazingly tender.

One step that isn't on here, though, that I would strongly suggest anyone making this recipe should do: In Step 5, after you've mixed the pork and sauce, make sure you season to taste.

I should have thought of doing that, and I wish I had, because my only complaint with the recipe was that the filling was a little bland (which was surprising, considering all the flavorful ingredients in the sauce). Salt and pepper would've helped, and it's a bit hard to add once the filling is baked into the bao.

Still, 5 stars for the method. You could fill these with all kinds of stuff. I'm contemplating a sausage and potato filling.

The Good Bagel Manifesto

@kenji: So... what's your feeling on using leftover bagels to make a sandwich? I say this because at my local bagelry it's cheaper to get half a dozen, but my little family only consists of three people, and one is enough for breakfast.

Is it acceptable to then use the leftover bagels (toasted or not) to make a sandwich with, say, sliced deli meat and cheese?

(I'm gonna keep doing it anyway, of course. But I am curious as to the official policy.)

All About Geoduck: The Life of a (Delicious) Oversized Mollusk

Never have I been so glad to be allergic to shellfish. Sure, maybe this is technically a mollusc but OH WELL.

Boldly Go Where No Caprese Salad Has Gone Before: Fried Caprese Bombs

I love fried things. I love cheese, including fried cheese. But this seems like a thing that didn't need to exist. Caprese is great because you get bright, fresh flavors, while at the same time getting the richness of the mozzarella. If you insist on having fried cheese and tomatoes, get some fried mozzarella sticks and serve it with a tomato dipping sauce. And leave the Caprese alone!

A 5-Stop Eating Tour of LA's San Gabriel Valley for Under $40

As a lifelong LA resident (who has worked in Pasadena for the past 10 years), I... must shamefully confess that apart from the occasional bahn mi, I have not made as much use of this amazing resource as I should have. I will endeavor to rectify that, though, and this list seems like a good place to start.

Switch Up Your Chips With Loaded Naan Nachos

So if I understand it correctly, the "cho" hierarchy is now:

1. Naanchos
2. Steakchos
3. Spamchos
4. Nugchos/Totchos
5. Nachos

Taste Test: The Best Supermarket Bacon

I think Farmer John's is pretty good, but I'm pretty sure they're So Cal only, so it clearly doesn't belong on a national list.