• Favorite foods: Traditional Vietnamese and French foods!
  • Last bite on earth: A giant bowl of pho with everything

Latest Comments

The Nasty Bits: Pork Neck Posole

This might be my favorite soup recipe ever. I don't make it as much as I like because it is a bit time and labor intensive, but it's just so worth it every time. I love soups and make them often but there's no soup that I get as excited about as this one. I feel bursts of giddiness as I plan to buy the ingredients and more giddiness as I watch the pale green pot bubble away. I have a pot on the stove right now that'll be ready to enjoy in less than 40 minutes and I could not be happier. :)

I don't like to boil the hominy for so long (I get anxious about long periods of high heat on the stove) so after soaking, I cook mine in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours. I add plenty of boiling water when I put in the kernels to expedite the heating process of the slow cooker.
Also, I don't like the pedical, the hard tip cap at the bottom of the kernel, so I pick that off after the hominy is cooked but before adding it to the broth. It's an extra 15 min of work if I do it while watching tv, but I feel it makes for a more pleasing textural experience in the end.

Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits

I used this recipe as a quick biscuit topping for a chicken and broccoli casserole earlier tonight. Easy, buttery, and delicious. I especially love recipes that use so few ingredients. I'm bookmarking this one for future use. :)

Rice Cakes with Chili Paste, Fermented Black Bean, and Sichuan Peppercorn

I just made these and am still picking at the remnants as I type. It's so awesome. I had to make a few substitutions because I couldn't find fermented black beans or decent bok choy last minute but the Korean soybean doenjang and elongated mustard didn't detract from the final dish at all. I also sliced the sausage thinly on the bias so that they matched the rice cakes in shape, just for kicks.
It went over really well with my family and I already can't wait to make it again. :D

20,000 Miles Till Lunch: Feasting Our Way Through Yunnan Province

@RaptorEsq, I politely disagree. The celebration for the Autumn solstice really is akin to a second New Year, a huge social and cultural (and often religious) affair. Even in the US, my family has always invested days, if not weeks, of preparation and forethought into our Autumn new year, despite ours being just a small familial affair. For a family that didn't celebrate Christmas until immigrating to the US, the Lunar and Autumn New Years are as big as holidays get. So, no, I definitely wouldn't compare it with St. Patrick's Day (I didn't even wear green the other day, I totally forgot).

@Fiona, these articles are incredible. I truly hope we'll be hearing much more from you, whether it be about this trip or any other future adventures you have in your family's travels. It's not often that I can live vicariously through such eloquent writing. :)

Classic Sage and Sausage Stuffing (or Dressing)

I made this for the first time today and the first compliments came from my mom who'd been saying all week, "just no stuffing, ok?"
It was fanfriggintastic. I used potato bread on the suggestion of another SE-er, Jimmy Dean sage sausage (easiest), fresh sage, and celeriac (I didn't have celery stalks on hand), assembled it the day before and threw it in my convection oven today while my turkey was hogging the normal oven.
It was sooooo good, I wish I'd made more for more leftovers for stuffing waffles. I'm making those for lunch tomorrow.
Another winner, Kenji! I'll be making this again for Christmas this year, by request, I'm sure. :)

Beyond Turkey: The Migration of Thanksgiving Tradition

I liked this a lot, too.
I'm the only American-born in my family, all of my sibs are immigrants. By the time I was old enough to understand the difference between Thanksgiving and other food-filled holidays, my mom had given up on trying to do the traditional turkey and sides and we just did lots of viet food all on the same day. Since my mid-late teens, I've taken over and slowly brought back the turkey, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, etc. as my cooking skills have developed. I figure it's my birthright to do the traditional Thanksgiving meal since I *was* born on Thanksgiving. :)

Bacon and Avocado Take Your In-N-Out Animal-Style Double Double to the Next Level

This is killing me! There are 2 in-n-outs within jogging distance of me. But the only way I'm letting myself eat a burger is if I do jog to it. But it's still hot out. But. . . deliciousness. . .

How to Make Traditional Cassoulet (And Why You Should Put Chicken in It!)

Kenji, you beautiful genius, you. I teared up a little bit reading this. I'm willing to accept your sacrilege of chicken with your duck fat logic. I'm making this as soon as it gets cool enough (Cali-living, you know what that's like now -.-) and this seriously looks like it's going to hit the Xmas dinner table alongside your slow roast pork shoulder. I wish it was winter already!!!!!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Cue fist pumping in my excitement that cassoulet is coming!!!!! :D

Skip the Beaches and Hit the Streets: A Crawl of Da Nang's Amazing Street Food

Agh! This article makes me so upset and so hungry! Well, upset because I'm hungry. Haha. I'm lucky enough to live super close to Little Saigon but we can't get any decent mi quang here. And I've never seen banh xeo or goi bo kho (we call it goi đu đu, papaya salad, the beef jerky is a given) with that liver sauce. Our goi comes with shredded, jerky-like liver on top as well, but I can just imagine the transcendence of that sauce!
Thumbs up for making the culinary-best of your trip. And thanks for sharing it with all of us back home! If my family ever gets to visit Đa Nang like we keep saying we will, I'll know where to go. :)

Culture Club: 6 Made-in-NYC Yogurts Worth Seeking Out

I'm too far away to get any of these incredible yogurts, but I'm feeling the urge to make my own yogurt again!

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make Lighter Tuna Noodle Casserole With Just One Pan (and No Knives!)

Ah, no joke, this is super similar to my dinner last night.
I soaked pasta and cooked it in enough of the soaking water to barely cover and salt and pepper. As the water reduced, I added heavy cream. When the cream thickened and covered the pasta, I added lemon zest, and lemon juice. With peas and tuna and parsley folded in at the end!
It's not as well thought out as your dish, but it's just as quick (aside from soaking the pasta) and delicious and my go-to when I need protein. I'm gonna try your version with creme fraiche ASAP. And potato chips. Cuz that definitely needs experiencing.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Ahh, the worry lines. I can see where Grilka got his name. So awesome.

Why Does Absinthe Get Cloudy?

Was anyone else seriously bothered by the scene in Penny Dreadful where Dorian Gray hands Ethan Chandler the glass of CLEAR absinthe? :(

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@coppertone24 - I feel ya. That adorable picture of Toby makes up for it a little, though.

I'm super envious of all your guys' ice cream. I think High Road is the only ice cream carton I've ever finished before it dried out and developed frost. It's so good but not the most affordable. :/

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@billy and @eliza - Kenji's traveling through Asia with his wife for a while. When he gets back, he should be writing regularly again from their new place on the West coast.

I am a little sad that there aren't any pet pics this week, but Mr. Bear and those shots from Kenji's trip nearly make up for it. I'm dying for those mangosteen!

The Nasty Bits: Bowl Steamed Pork Belly

If anyone has any doubts about going through all the steps for this dish or finding the ingredients, do it. I made a modified version (based on what I had on hand) today and it was a huge hit. It's delicious, decadent, and pretty impressive to bring to the table.
I didn't have black beans or jalapeños but I was still able to churn out a fantastic dish. I did have the pickled mustard greens, though, and it was a very tasty addition. I bulked up my bowl with extra glutinous rice (just thoroughly soaked, it'll cook through during steaming) mixed with chopped shiitake mushrooms and oyster sauce.
Yes, what I made was pretty much only inspired by Chichi's original dish but I made do with what I had and what I thought would please my Viet parents (whose palates are generally unaccustomed to some Chinese ingredients). But my point is, if you feel hesitant to make this because of the ingredient list, adapt to what you can get your hands on. We've just finished dinner and I already wish I could make another bowl (but I won't for a while, this is so decadent!)

Ideas in Food vs. Strawberry Shortcake: Reinventing the Berries

Yay! Welcome, Aki and Alex! I'm a big fan of your stuff and use your risotto and pasta methods all the time. :) I'm so glad to see that you'll be sharing your innovative ideas with the rest of SE now! :)

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I'm a few days late on this but we're gonna miss you so much, Carrie. Some of the best sweets recipes that I keep on hand are ones I learned from you. Best wishes with your writing, you have a great style and I'm sure we all look forward to reading your future works. And who says you can't drop us the odd new sweets recipe once in a while? ;)

Sweet Technique: How to Make Italian Meringue

I always felt that Swiss was more involved due to having to monitor the temperature of the egg whites over the double boiler. I'm always afraid of scrambling the whites!
That shot of the torched meringue-covered whisk is gorgeous. Will you be exploring the other styles and explaining the pros and cons of and best uses for each?

Are the Rules of Big-Pot Blanching True?

Excellent! I usually use whatever pot is still available that would fit at least twice the amount of veg I'd need to blanch. And salting is a crapshoot with me depending on whether I remember. But I always use an ice bath and my mother is consistently amazed at the crispness and greenness of my vegetables. :P I put the ice in the bowl while waiting for the water to boil, add the vegetables to the pot, and add water to the ice while waiting for the water to come back to a boil. I think it's completely worth the extra bit of effort, but maybe it's easier for me because I have an ice maker instead of trays like some others?
Great testing, Daniel, this'll be the kick in the butt if I ever feel too lazy or rushed to skip an ice bath in the future. :)

How to Make Portuguese Garlic and Cilantro Bread Soup (Açorda à Alentejana)

Um, @Daniel, if you're not using that much breadcrumb, you're obviously not using enough in pasta! (Best pasta topping, ever)
I second @ericacbarnett's freezer idea. Whenever I have bread that I can't or won't (yeah, not all baguettes are created equal) finish, I leave it in a warm oven to dry out before I crumble it and keep it in a plastic container in the freezer.

I hate that this recipe is going to make me go buy chorizo, but I'm also super excited to make it. This is exactly what I need right now.

Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

I'm gonna miss Robyn so much. :( I'm dealing with my denial of her leaving by reading her blog from the beginning. I'm currently on 12/2004 and, basically, I'm pretty concerned with Robyn's eating habits even though I know she survives until now. . .

Best of luck, Robyn! Check in frequently! We want to know how you're doing! :)

Brandied Cherry Clafoutis

This was my most successful clafoutis ever. That is to say, my only successful clafoutis ever (I have terrible clafoutis mojo, no idea why).
My only problem was that my flour had a lot of difficulty incorporating into the batter since it was so liquid. I ended up having to push all of it through a strainer. That bit aside, this was fantastic and went over really well with everyone. The cherries (I made mine with rum) added a nice boozy bite and the texture and flavor of the custard was satisfying even with small servings. I swore I'd give up on clafoutis if this one didn't work, but now I won't have to! Thanks, Carrie! :)


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