Food writer and author of "Sushi A to Z the ultimate guide" I wrote weekly food columns for as The Foodie Freak. I am a culinary instructor for a couple of colleges and several small cooking schools and have a small food company

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  • Location: Clearlake Oaks, CA
  • Favorite foods: Japanese is kind of a gimme but I find I love any nations food as long as it is well made.
  • Last bite on earth: Bouillabaisse, hands down

Microwaving Japanese Rice?

They do make a microwave rice cooker although I've never tried it.

Using lemongrass

@Lorenzo, I'm not the ultimate authority, you and I said basically the same thing, I was just disappointed with the confusing variety of responses. If someone doesn't know the answer they shouldn't add a response.

Carbon steel, 2 questioins

High carbon steel equals ugly stained blade, love it. It gets sharper than anything so enjoy the blade and cut whatever you want with it. Stains are like birthmarks, they don't hurt anything they just keep you from being a supermodel. If Mila Kunis had a birthmark would you refuse to kiss her?


Why is Joe Bastianich an a-hole...because we love watching that. He's the culinary Simon Cowell and I love what both of them do (but I'm the same as them).
People don't watch for Paula saying "Your special" People watch for "Let me win this for your" That's good TV!

Using lemongrass

I'm so sorry you got so many conflicting responses. Here's the facts. Lemongrass has flavor in the entire plant but the white base holds the most so most people just use it and not the green part. Since lemongrass is so fibrous it should be beaten coursely otherwise it's like trying to get sawdust out of your marinade. If you want more flavor without worrying about your guests having to floss then blend in fine and put it in a teabag or cheesecloth so it can be easily removed.
Good Things

Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cookie or Cake?

I think you answered your own question, make chocolate cookies ahead of time.

Did we (NYers) just get dissed?

No insult to individuals of New York but "New Yorkers as a whole" ego's are 99 out 10, they can afford to have a few notches taken out of their belts. Only New Yorkers feel like they are above criticism.

Infused alcohol - how long does it last?

It's alcohol, it's fine for a long time

What to do with a gallon of Maple Syrup?

If I had a gallon of maple syrup I would get a 10 x 10 sheep of plastic, call Kate Beckinsale....nevermind.

A pheasant in the freezer...

I'd spatchcock it and cook it with a brick to avoid drying it out.

Where to use lemongrass powder

Why not in everything? Last night I made pork chops with pineapple, garlic scapes, artichoke hearts, soy sauce, and wished I had lemongrass

Will mayo last just as long with other ingredients?

Technically since mayo is so acidic it doesn't need to be refrigerated even when opened the problem come if a bread crumb or other non-acidic object enters the jar it creates a miniscule breeding environment for creepy crawlies.
Mayo based sauces (especially with additional acids) stored in the cold box can last for a couple of months

Everyone eventually gets a bite of the proverbial...

I read the sewage based faux meat article a few days ago and was of the opinion "It's been sterilized and is safe, so sure I'd try it"
Talk about recycling!

Time on my hands- which recipes should I conquer?

Pick something unique and try to make it you'res. I'm currently trying to perfect a completely clear bloody mary mix.

Food and Wine Magazine Keeps Sending Me Invoices (and magazines)

Magazines (generally) make enough money to thrive through advertisers and subscriptions are just gravy. So buy sending you magazines they stay in you mind and hope that you'll just renew out of habit. My wife doesn't golf but has recieved golf magazine for ten years without paying for it.

fresh garlic

Spring garlic if that is what you're refering to, aka garlic that hasn't been "cured" or dried. Is milder than regular garlic and should be used ASAP or the drying process will begin. I buy spring garlic and store half of it on the kitchen counter while using as much of it as I can and I put the rest outside in the sun to cure which will take about two weeks. When the stem in dried and papery completely your garlic will store for almost a year.

Yuba Recipes

Use them like you would rice paper wrappers, but watch it they are just as delicate

Amateur Wine Taste-Along: Pinot Noir and The Sideways Effect

@phillamb Here's one column that talks about the situation
There was a case (no pun intended) in Italy back in the 80's when in order to get wine out on the market faster they spiked the wine with rubbing alcohol and several people died.

Amateur Wine Taste-Along: Pinot Noir and The Sideways Effect

I understand, that's why I was just making fun and not really insulted. I just watched flight of the living dead and had no idea there were so many weapons on an airplane :P

Amateur Wine Taste-Along: Pinot Noir and The Sideways Effect

Kenji, I'm sorry but as a wine writer living in the middle of wine country I have to make fun of you. Only city folks outside of the wine country think sideways has any useful information. It's like Nebraskans watching the movie Jaws and thinking they are shark experts.
When Sideways came out there was such a glut for Pinot that French winemakers ran out and started labeling Merlot as Pinot. So idiots were drinking the very wine they were mocking.
Come on out here, I'll give you a personal tour of the wine country, have you meet the wine makers, and REALLY learn about the grapes.
You are still my favorite food writer though.

I love living the country life

I thank everyone for the concern my garbage collectors are possoms and raccoons. On the rabies concern, more cows have rabies than most other animals so it's not a huge concern. Life in the country is less hazardous than life in the city.

I love living the country life

I never get coyotes, I hear them but they don't come close. I get mountain lions but never bears. I was given a fountain for my pond but don't use it because I don't want to advertise a drinking fountain.

Soft shell Crabs Question

saucy is right the crab just molted and hasn't hardend yet. It's softer than shrimp shells and totally edible. To clean a soft shell crab you lift either side of the carapace (back) and remove the gills then you cut off the eyes (face) and it's completely edible from there.
If you get really hardcore you will eat shrimp shell and all.

Master Chef: theater of the culinary absurd, or a good watch?

I like Master Chef because it is home cooks that know they aren't pro's. While The next FN star (no offense SE, I'm trying to be nice) are non-pro's saying they are pro's

What do you do with the vegetables from making vegetable stock?

composting them isn't throwing them away.

I love living the country life

I'll admit I miss living near fantastic restaurants. I have to drive an hour to go to a restaurant that "city people" would recommend but I love butchering a chicken and then throwing the carcass outside and having it gone in the morning.
It's great, any dinner scraps get thrown outside and the next day there is nothing to be found. If you sleep with the window open you have to be OK with listening to crunching noises.

Do you measure ingredients when you cook?

Making meatloaf tonight I was throwing rosemary in, then some bread crumbs, etc. and my was asked "How do you know you are putting the right amount in?"
I said "I know the flavors and what they will taste like in the end"
Which made me wonder, how many of you measure ingredients and how many just throw?

Fun with fakes.

Last week I made foccacia out of pillsbury pizza dough, olive oil, and rosemary, I called it "Faux-ccacia"
Today I made chicken chunks, water chestnuts, and wrapped them in bacon and called them "Ru-Mock-ee"
Now I'm trying to come up with another one. I was thinking about creating "Spamburger helper"


I really want to watch some of the subjects that they cover but the hosts (Mo Rocca) voice is just too grating for me to listen too. Am I the only one who can't stand his voice?

Why is raw "blue"

I got stumped this evening...
I told my daughter I was making "Black and Blue" steak for dinner and she asked how raw meat got the name "blue" instead of pink or red.
Anybody have a clue?

Soft boiled eggs

What is your way of making soft boiled eggs. They are the ultimate breakfast for me yet I can't seem to find a great (read perfect) way of making them. Cold water method, Warm water method, what is a great way of consistantly getting a solid white but a creamy yolk?

Feeding my daughter

My trick for feeding my daughter has been copied by people who saw me do it and I thought I would pass it on to you.

When she was young (She's 15 now), she would say that she was done eating and I would say "Let me check" and I would lightly start pressing her stomach with my finger tips. I would "Find" spots on her and say "Oops here's an broccoli shaped empty spot" and pointing to a different spot on her stomach "The spot could hold some more bread, but then you would be full"
After a couple years of this my daughter started feeling her own stomach at the table and saying "OH! heres a bean shaped empty spot" and she'd eat some beans.