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How to Make Korean Stir-Fried Pork With Chili Marinade and Kimchi (Jaeyook Kimchi Bokum)

There are too many great meat dishes in the Korean canon to pick a favorite, but this one of stir-fried marinated pork with kimchi is definitely in my top five. Easy to make, it features thin strips of pork shoulder in a spicy-sweet blend of Korean chili paste, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil—plus a bit of Asian pear for both flavor and its tenderizing effect on the meat. More

How to Make Aguachile: The Chili-Spiked Mexican Ceviche

If you love ceviche, then Mexico's aguachile is for you. Traditionally made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion, it's served immediately while still totally raw, unlike most other ceviche recipes. It's worth trying the original version, but the dish is a springboard for improvisation. Try the three recipes here, starting from the classic, and then proceeding with two increasingly untraditional versions. More

How to Make the Best Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes

However many ways there are to skin a cat, I'd wager there's fifty times as many ways to make tomato sauce from fresh—not canned—tomatoes. The best, though, comes from summertime tomatoes at the peak of ripeness, and layers the deeply sweet flavors of long-cooked tomatoes with the fresh, bright, fruity notes of barely-cooked ones. This sauce achieves that, and is so good, you won't even need to put cheese on top. More

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@Leang Make that 10 pounds. I was in the office alone last night with 2 trays of baked ziti and half a ball of Di Palo's mozzarella. Lord save me.

The Food Lab: The Easiest Foolproof Crispy Pan-Seared Fish You'll Ever Make

@dongale I'm with you, I love my steel skillets as well.

Light-and-Tender Honey-Almond Cake (Or, How to Beat Perfect Egg Whites)

@storunner13 Just added a crumb shot!

How To Make Tex-Mex Migas: Scrambled Eggs With Tortilla Chips, Onion, and Chilies

Thanks @beetee81, I really appreciate that.

Is it Really Necessary to Add Garlic After the Onions When Sautéing?

@Scott569 That's what I thought too, but by that logic a large pan set on a too small induction burner should still heat up edge-to-edge just as well as one on a larger burner. But I know from experience that it doesn't work that way (a large pan on a small induction burner gets hottest in the center where there's direct contact with the burner area, and cooler around the edges where there's not). So degree of contact does seem to have an effect on how well a pan heats on an induction range, which suggests to me that a bulge on the bottom of a skillet that prevents full contact could be a problem for fully heating the pan. Can anyone who understands thermodynamics and electromagnetism better than I do explain the dealio here?

How to Make Korean Stir-Fried Pork With Chili Marinade and Kimchi (Jaeyook Kimchi Bokum)

@Porgy No, you're right, "sticky rice" isn't the best term for medium- and short-grain rice. I've updated the article and recipe to be more clear.

The Best Po' Boys in New Orleans

@Max and @Vittrick I made it to Mothers about 15 years ago and ate a disgusting amount of food, but what I had was all very good then.

Also, I once got a (totally worthless) pearl in an oyster po boy in NOLA.

How to Make Korean Stir-Fried Pork With Chili Marinade and Kimchi (Jaeyook Kimchi Bokum)

@lkonvark Not a stupid question at all, rice is one of those things, like eggs, that seem simple but can actually be very hard to get right. When I used to cook family meal in the restaurants where I worked, the latin american staff requested rice every day, no matter what else was on the menu. I used to break out in a cold sweat making rice for them...few things shook my confidence more. A guide to rices and cooking would be very cool!

@Rio I love fermenting things...I'd be game to tackle the topic. Your interest is noted!

@Porgy Ah, good question, I wasn't very clear. I mean Japanese or Korean-style medium grain rice that's a little sticky once cooked, like sushi rice and other types. Not truly sticky glutinous rice.

Is it Really Necessary to Add Garlic After the Onions When Sautéing?

@Vegan For all low-heat scenarios, the onion fully cooks without the garlic burning (now, if you wanted deeply, deeply caramelized onions, maybe the garlic would start to burn, so in very long-cooking instances you may want to hold it back). For high-heat scenarios, in the small pan the onion was fully cooked, but in the large one, even though the onion was more browned on the outside, it wasn't as far along. Basically just beware of high heat and empty-ish pans with the garlic.

@KevinMofM Yes, garlic can definitely burn in a hot pan while searing things like meat. I'll sometimes throw a crushed, skin-on clove in when pan-roasting meats, but only after I've added butter and am basting the meat with all the fat in the pan.

How To Make Tex-Mex Migas: Scrambled Eggs With Tortilla Chips, Onion, and Chilies

@Anonnie I haven't made the Spanish ones before, but I've got plenty of Spanish cookbooks at home, so maybe I'll start doing some reading and see where it leads.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

I will say, I turn to the victorinox knives for my paring knives. They're inexpensive, sharp enough for my paring-knife tasks (and even shaper once I take them to the whetstone), and issues like balance and build quality don't bother me as much when it's a tiny knife used for small jobs. I always have a few in the drawer.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

@akay1 I do think there's a trick to the grip on the peeler and also how you hold the vegetable that you're peeling...it's different with the y-peeler. Maybe we should do a how to peel with a y-peeler technique article. Also, I find the swiss y-peelers that Kenji linked to to be sharper than most other peelers, so you don't need much force when peeling...it cuts more like a very sharp knife. (I also throw away my y-peelers with some frequency and always keep a few new ones in the drawer to have on-hand when I decide the one I'm using is too dull.)

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

Wow, Kenji's list plus some of these comments make this one heck of an invaluable guide for people who need to buy their first set of kitchen gear. I might add a pyrex measuring cup or two and some measuring spoons to the list (though, honestly, when I cook for myself I rarely need them; I use them a lot for recipe development).

@akay1 It might just be an issue of practice and getting used to a new tool shape. I'm not sure I've ever seen a pro cook use a linear peeler, and the y-peeler has been my preference for a long time. I think once you get used to the y-peeler, you'll find they're much faster and easier to use. In other words, once you go Y, you never go I.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

@lucien You've nailed it, and these definitions are helpful in understanding this. As you mention, acidity is also my hunch as to why tomatoes stored for too long in warmth start tasting worse than the refrigerated ones, but I don't have the tools to prove the theory. The ones left out seem to lose too much acidity and the tomatoes cross over into dull territory, while the refrigerated ones have been suspended and maintain some of those nice bright notes.

How to Make Aguachile: The Chili-Spiked Mexican Ceviche

@bearnaise From what I've read it's a texture issue with previously frozen shrimp, not a safety one. I haven't tried it out side by side, but that's the reasoning.

Cook-and-Serve Flour Tortillas From TortillaLand Are as Close as You'll Get to Homemade

Stupak says he uses lard, but he also has the recipe on his website, and it gives the option for lard or vegetable oil.

Cook-and-Serve Flour Tortillas From TortillaLand Are as Close as You'll Get to Homemade

@Kenji Hm, I actually don't know what Alex uses either. I assumed it was lard, but then again it would make sense to use something vegetable-based so that they work for vegetarian customers. I can find out though and report back!

Cook-and-Serve Flour Tortillas From TortillaLand Are as Close as You'll Get to Homemade

This is NYC-specific, and doesn't work for at-home dining, but I'm a big fan of Alex Stupak's flour tortillas at Empellon. Tasting Sue Torres' flour ones at Sueños, now closed, were the first time I realized flour tortillas didn't have to suck. In addition to the pre-cooking thing Kenji describes above, I wonder how much the lard in them has to do with quality. Maybe a lot of the bad supermarket brands use less of it or leave it out, both to appeal to fat-averse customers and maybe also for longer shelf stability, but that's just a guess (anyone taken note of this? Kenji?). Anyway, if you're in NYC and haven't been convinced of how good flour tortillas can be, I'd recommend trying the ones at Empellon.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

@guy Thanks for the thoughtful response. When I started these tests, I was initially shocked by the results, because they totally defied my expectations (because, before I started this, I was also in the are-you-crazy-don't-ever-refrigerate-a-tomato camp). If for some reason new rounds of testing reverse my initial tests, I'll once again be shocked, and I'll also be intrigued and fascinated and will want to dig even deeper to figure out where things went wrong the first dozen or so times. The worst that happens from my perspective is I eat my words, and own up to it publicly, and we rework these articles to give the best info to our readers as we possibly can. Everyone who said I was wrong will enjoy a big I-told-you-so, but at the very least we will have demonstrated that we're not wedded to any position if better evidence/information comes along and are willing to question ourselves and listen to constructive criticism.

The only thing I'd disagree with you on is that I've violated some kind of journalistic integrity with the headline. I concede that it's brash and loud, but it's not inaccurate, and that's very important to me. Breaking it into two parts, it says "Why You Should Refrigerate Your Tomatoes" (being very careful not to employ exclusive words like "always" or "never", which is what many other publications do if you do a web search these kinds of topics), and then it says "and Ignore Anyone Who Tells You Otherwise", which is cocky for sure, but if I've found conditions in which there are reasons to refrigerate tomatoes, then I'm right to say you should ignore people who tell you to "never" refrigerate tomatoes. Putting aside accusations of trying to create a very clickable headline, which I'll own up to, I don't see how the headline is dishonest or an affront to journalistic integrity.

I'm happy to pull the curtain back further on this: We live in an age, and work in a field, where google search drives traffic, and traffic is the key to our business. I know there are some wonderful, longtime serious eats readers out there who don't need tempting headlines to click and read, but the truth is that the number of people visiting out site through web searches vastly outnumbers that, and we do therefore need to stay competitive by attracting the attention of those web searchers. We don't do a ton of obsessing about SEO here (honestly, we should do a lot more), but we do have to keep web searches in mind when constructing headlines. "Refrigerate" and "tomato" are pretty key words for this topic, and they need to be in the headline. Now, if you actually search those terms on google, assuming you see similar results to what I'm seeing, you're going to see one article after another titled something along the lines of "Why You Should Never Refrigerate Tomatoes". When a web searcher is scanning the results, it needs to be immediately clear that we have taken a different position on this, and this headline cuts right to the core of that.

Still, we hear your comments and we'll try not to go too far off the handle with attention-grabbing headlines, but you may have to indulge us a little given the current state of how these things work.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

Hi folks, quick update: Given all of the thoughtful (and a few angry) comments here, we're going to do EVEN MORE TESTING! This is clearly a topic everyone has passionate and strong opinions about, and while my tests have--I think--raised some very serious questions about how reliable the never-refrigerate rule is, there's no question that even more systematic tests will help settle this further. Here's our plan: here in NYC, I'm off to the farmers market to buy at least a case of tomatoes (whatever I can carry, and double checking with the farmer that the tomatoes have never been refrigerated), then take them to the office where I will refrigerate half overnight and the other half not. I will then bring the refrigerated ones back to room temperature, and then will have as many people as I can round up taste them all, in randomized order and blind, and evaluate each tomato on a scale of 1 to 10 on texture, aroma, flavor, and overall preference. I'll tally their ratings and see where things land. Meanwhile, in SF, Kenji is going to go pick his own because he's lucky enough to have access to that out there, and will do a temperature test: he will leave some tomatoes out and refrigerate the others, then take the refrigerated ones out and cut a slices off of each as the cold ones come back up to room temp to try to evaluate how flavor, aroma, and texture change as a function of temperature. We'll report back with our results as soon as we have them ready.

Mul Naengmyun: The Cold Korean Noodle Soup Perfect for Summer

@joonjoon That's amazing, thank you for posting that. It's funny, my stock was very good, but I have to admit it didn't taste *exactly* like the ones I've had in restaurants. I think you may have just explained why.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

@Primi Timpano You make a good point about the tomatoes in the photo which is worth pointing out: None of the tomatoes pictured (except the rotten one) were from my tastings described here. The ones up top and the sliced ones were from my initial round of crappy supermarket tomato tests, and the box is of sauce tomatoes that I used for my sauce article. I needed tomato photos, so I just pulled those in here, but they aren't if the actual good ripe tomatoes I describe in the article.

As for the rest, it's pointless to argue. All I can say is that when I started these tests I was as convinced as you and everyone else that the refrigerator would do terrible, terrible things to the tomatoes and that the counter ones would be clearly superior. But in actual blind tastings, that wasn't the result I got at all. I can lie and pretend that what I always believed is still true, but that'd be ridiculous. At the end of the day, I'm open to further study and more observations on this, but I think I've done enough to very seriously throw the absolute, inflexible insistence on never refrigerating tomatoes into serious question. Anecdotal evidence isn't enough, other people need to do similar side-by-side blind tests to see if my results are repeatable.

Just one more point though--bringing up pico de gallo storage is comparing apples to oranges. Once a tomato is cut open, it deteriorates in an entirely different way than a whole tomato, at least from my observations. I'm not at all surprised that your refrigerated pico is terrible...I didn't do much testing with this over the summer, but the little I did suggests that refrigerated cut tomatoes are pretty terrible (but so are cut tomatoes kept at room temperature overnight!).

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

@Seattle Food Geek

It was a straight A-B blind comparison, not triangle. My goal over the summer was to squeeze in as many tastings as I could, with as many different tomatoes (both in terms of variety and overall number) as I could manage, to try to eliminate the possibility that, say, I just happened to be putting better ones in the fridge. But it would be great to design more stringent and elaborate tests.

I didn't think to measure mass because water loss hadn't occurred to me as being a potential culprit. I'm curious what your observations have been. The thing that really stood out to me was the dullness that a lot of the counter tomatoes seemed to suffer after spending 1+ days in the heat...either they lost acidity, or it became more difficult to taste the acidity, leading to a duller flavor. Any thoughts on that front?

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

@Rsmurf You'll have to take my word that the tomatoes were good quality, and very ripe. I agree that the refrigerator is not ideal for tomatoes, but based on my tastings I have evidence that heat can be even more damaging to a tomato's flavor. One of the first things to go with exposed heat, based on my tastings, is any appreciable acidity. A good tomato, just like any fruit, should have a sweetness that is balanced by some level of tartness, whether an apple, a peach, or a tomato. I think most people will know what I'm talking about: you bite into that apple, and it's sweet, but it's missing that top note, that brightness, and it just tastes dull. Well, test after test with my tomatoes at home, I found prolonged exposure to high temperatures did exactly the same thing to tomatoes. In many cases the ones that sat out in the heat ended up insipid and dull, which the refrigerator managed to preserve some of those good qualities. That doesn't mean a refrigerator is good for tomatoes, it just means that in certain conditions it's arguably better than the alternative.

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

@SonVoltMMA You're absolutely right that the primary concern with picking tomatoes early is damage that would happen if they were riper and softer, but damage and spoilage are intrinsically linked: the same processes that make a tomato soften and thus prone to physical damage are also responsible for eventual breakdown and spoilage; it's no accident that the sites of initial spoilage on a fruit like a tomato tend to be where damage has first occurred (a tiny bump or bruise, or crack in the skin provide exactly the open door bacteria, molds, and other microorganisms need to get in there and do their thing). I'm with you though, even with spoilage, there's no reason not to cut out the bad spots and eat whatever's left.

The Ultimate Fully Loaded Nachos

What does it take to make an incredible plate of bar-style, fully loaded nachos? For starters, at least three kinds of cheese, two kinds of beans, and two different applications of creamy, tangy dairy. It may sound like overkill, but there's a method to this madness. More