Our Authors

Asparagus Ain't Sichuan, but Boy Does it Work in This Fiery Salad

Asparagus isn't exactly a Chinese ingredient, but that doesn't mean that it can't find a comfortable home in Chinese food. I've got no doubt that if asparagus were to grow in the cool, misty mountains near Chengdu, that we'd see it served as a cold green appetizer or side dish on menus in Sichuan. This recipe—cold and crunchy asparagus tossed with firm tofu in a fiery sweet-hot-sour vinaigrette—is really inspired by the host of cold or warm appetizers you find in Sichuan that make use of roasted chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, and vinegar. More

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

Ever since giving up soda a couple months back, I've been drinking a lot of iced tea and coconut water. A lot of coconut water. After having drunk, tasted, and meticulously note-taken my way through every brand of coconut water I could find, I consider myself a sort of expert on the subject, and I've got some opinions on what makes great coconut water, and who does it the best. More

Use the Microwave to Dry Your Herbs for Long-Lasting Intense Flavor

Like oysters and princes, herbs are nearly always at their best when they're fresh. But we've all been there: you buy a bunch of parsley from the supermarket for those 2 tablespoons of garnish that you need, a week goes by, and you suddenly find yourself with a whole lot of fresh parsley that's on its way out. What do you do? Compared to other drying methods—like hanging or using a low oven—the microwave produces the most potent dried herbs with the freshest flavor and the brightest color. Here's how to do it. More

The Science of Pie: 7 Pie Crust Myths That Need to Go Away

The world of pie making abounds in myth, legend, tradition, tall tales, short tales, and other manner of never-been-blind-tested theory. And while learning at your grandmother's (or grandfather's) knee may lead you to excellent pie crust, you're more than likely to pick up a couple of bad habits and un-truths along the way. Today we're going to look at a some of the most common myths in the land of pie crust, poke a few holes in those theories, and come away with some better recipes in the end. Are you ready? More

How to Make Sichuan-Style Wontons in Chili Oil

Sweet and savory. Slippery and slick. Juicy and tender. Hot and sour. Garlicky. So. Freaking. Good. These are all words that should enter your head as you slide back a bowl of suanla chaoshou, the Sichuan-style wontons that come coated in an intensely aromatic sauce made with vinegar, garlic, and roasted chili oil. It's the sauce that brings on the contrasts with its almost overly intense flavor, thanks to sweet Chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, and plenty of chili oil with crunchy bits of fried dried chilies. More

How to Make Japanese-Style Pork and Cabbage Dumplings (Gyoza)

As far as dumplings go, Japanese-style gyoza are some of the simplest to make, if only for the fact that they are almost always made with store-bought, ready-to-fill wrappers at even the best dumpling joints in Japan. My mom wasn't the most talented or passionate cook in the world, but to this day her gyoza remain one of my favorite foods of all time. I've been making gyoza for over three decades now. Here's every trick and technique I've picked up, modified, or developed over the years. More

The Le Creuset Bi-Material Spoon Is the First Plastic Spoon Worth Owning

Let me get one thing straight with you: I don't like plastic cooking utensils. They're weak, ineffectual, melty, flimsy tools that make me feel like I'm cooking in My First Kitchen. That's up until now. For the first time in my life, I've found a plastic cooking spoon that I'm not only happy with, but that I actually find myself reaching for instead of my silicone spatula or my wooden spoon from time to time. More

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Chorizo and Potato Tacos

Crispy potato and chorizo are a classic taco combination—one that taco trucks usually get wrong. The ideal potato and chorizo taco should be deeply browned and flavorful, each crisp cube of potato coated in a thin layer of bright red fat packed with spicy, meaty flavor. The chorizo itself should have a range of textures from tender and moist to crisp. It's a very straight-forward process to get there, but it does take a bit of time. Here's how I do it. More

The Vegan Experience: Over 100 Flavor-First Vegan Recipes!

The fourth year of The Vegan Experience has come to a close, though I hesitate to use that term. How can a lifestyle or a series of decisions ever really come to a close? Veganism is a full time reality for many of our readers and a lifestyle that affects my personal food choices throughout the year. I like to think of February not as my "once a year vegan thing," but more as the one time of year in which I focus firmly on an important aspect of my regular life. All of my omnivore-oriented recipes are flavor-trumps-all. Why should any of the 100+ vegan recipes I've developed over the years be any different? More

The Ultimate Vegan Party Food: Fully Loaded Queso Dip

The ultimate party snack, now in a 100% animal product-free form. This vegan queso dip is packed with a gooey cashew and potato-based nacho sauce, soy-lentil chorizo, avocados, scallions, tomatoes with chilies, and black beans. The flavor is so good even your omnivore friends won't know that it's vegan. How do I know? Because I even tricked my avowed meat-eating friend to dig in before telling him that it was vegan. It's that good. More

How to Make Vegan Chorizo That Even a Carnivore Will Relish

I wanted to make a vegan chorizo recipe that doesn't just come close to regular chorizo in the flavor department, but outright nails it. I wanted a meat-free chorizo with textural contrast up the wazoo, and a chorizo that changes texture as you cook it just like its meat-based counterpart. I wanted a chorizo that is tangy, rich, and complex. In short, I wanted nothing less than the best darned meat-free chorizo around. And what I want, I get. More

2 Vegan Cheeses That Anyone Can Love

There's a dearth of good vegan cheese alternatives out there. Some are downright abysmal with tofu-like flavor or watery, grainy interiors. Others come closer to the mark. But even the very best melting-style cheeses are a far cry from the real deal. The good news is that there are two cheese-style products I've found that are not just good-for-vegan food, but are good enough that anyone should be happy eating them. More

5-Minute Spanish-Style Bean Salad is an Hors D'oeuvres Star

This easy bean appetizer takes only five minutes to prepare, but it does rely on some high quality ingredients for optimal flavor. Tender, creamy giant lima beans are worth the splurge when you're coating them with your best extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a pinch of smoked paprika. Celery, shallots, and garlic round out the flavor profile and add crunchy texture. More

The Art of the Perfect Grilled Cheese (Plus 20 Variations to Shake Things Up)

A grilled cheese is a grilled cheese, right? I mean, it's the first meal that most of us learn how to cook at home by ourselves. It's the perfect midnight snack or soup-dipper. It's great for kids but is never turned down by an adult. It's salty, gooey, crisp, buttery, and comforting in all the right ways. But there's grilled cheese, then there's GRILLED CHEESE. Here are 20 great ways to tell the difference. More

Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn't be Either)

I'm on a mission to convince you to make shirataki noodles a pantry staple. That's right, I'm talking about those slippery yam-starch noodles packed in water-filled bags that boast their calorie- and gluten-free properties. But I want to be clear: I don't give a damn about their supposed health properties. Honestly, I think they're delicious. Let me explain. More

The Food Lab: How to Grill or Broil Tofu That's Really Worth Eating

There's a lot of bad tofu out there (particularly bad grilled tofu, I'd add), and more often than not, it's because people try to cook it like it's a piece of meat. Tofu is really easy to dislike when it's soggy, mushy, bland, or burnt. But great tofu—tofu with a tender center surrounded by a well-seasoned, crisp crust—is one of the most satisfying bites of food I can think of. Here are 9 tips to help you grill tofu so good even tofu-haters might come around to it. More

The Best General Tso's Chicken


Maybe you can explain a little better what the problem was so that perhaps other people can gain from your experience?

Dark soy sauce is what the recipe calls for. It is not as salty and a little sweeter than light soy sauce.

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

I guess Wendy's fries must vary a lot depending on the particular franchise. I've never had anything but perfectly crisp, potato-ey glory. Like at McDonald's, if the fries are stale or limp, you can always ask for fresh ones and they'll replace them!

@A Serial Cereal Eater

Yes, those are good fried pickles! And Shake Shack is not that bad outside of the heavily trafficked NY locations. At least as fast as an In-N-Out stop.


I'm in the same boat as the other Five Guys haters. Bland, underseasoned beef, poor technique, just a bad burger overall that tricks you into thinking its edible by shoveling on lots of toppings and sauce. The fries always taste burnt to me too. No thanks.


I'll have to try that!


I've been to fatburger! It's pretty good, though I'd put it on, say, Fuddrucker's level, not as good as Smashburger.


Depends on where you go, but at the vast majority of McDonald's, the patty comes in frozen and precooked and gets thawed, heated at the store while the round eggs are fresh. In some locations they also get the round eggs pre-cooked.

The egg patty *used* to always be fresh and there was a special little device that would scramble/steam-cook the eggs on the flattop but they are getting phased out.




Well, I included it because quick pizza chains are a reasonably fast alternative for a takeout burger joint. I'd count places like Sbarro, Papa John's, Papa Gino's, etc as fast food pizza because they always have parking lots, don't have full service, and are reasonably quick in-n-out.


Bojangles would be a pretty close second pick, but nothing compares to Popeye's.


First off, pink slime is beef, not chicken so no, they don't use pink slime in their chicken McNuggets. Second, chicken nuggets are made only with breast meat and skin. they start with actual full chicken breasts and grind them up with some binders (starch mostly), skin, seasonings, etc. They get battered once with a starch-based coating, then with a corn-based coating and fried. That's it. Nothing really crazy in them at all. I know all this because I'm working on a homemade version now and have done a TON of research into how they get made, their ingredients, etc.


I suppose I was a little loose with the definition. Some Shake Shacks you can't get in and out in 30, and Imo's you probably can't either. But Torchy's is still pretty fast.

Staff Picks: The Pantry Staples We Can't Live Without


This is hardly a complete list, just a list of the first things that popped into our heads, and things that we feel are not totally common. Like you wuoldn't see black pepper or salt on this list even though everybody has it. I definitely keep anchovies at all times.


I order mine from Amazon generally, though my last batch I got from a specialty shop in SF.


That's surprising! I know that at least in NY and Boston, they were pretty much impossible to find until the early to mid 2000's.

Cooking With Olive Oil: Should You Fry and Sear in it or Not?


The bitter flavor created by blending has nothing to do with heating. It comes from oxidation caused by violent turbulence, and it's a very real phenomenon (just try blending your olive oil for a minute and tasting it side by side with un-blended oil and you'll taste a very strong and distinct bitterness!

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others


I actually did include a few young coconuts when I was tasting. Some of the bottled ones (Harmless HArvest in particular) tasted *better* than an actual coconut. I'm not sure where the coconuts came from, however.


Our ad sales teams and editorial teams are completely separate entities and our reviews are not biased by advertising or sales. Most are done double blind just to ensure no bias is presented.

We tasted every single nationally available major brand out there, so if it's not on our list it's because it didn't stack up to the competition (perhaps this will give you a hint as to why).

For the Best Oatmeal Pancakes, Toast Your Oats and Brown Your Butter


Yes, it works! Because it's a little bit thicker than standard pancake batter, it actually works as-is with no modifications in a waffle iron.

Foolproof Pan Pizza


a 15 inch skillet is a little bit larger in area than two ten inch skillets, but the same amount of dough should work. You'll probably need ton increase cooking time.

For the Best Oatmeal Pancakes, Toast Your Oats and Brown Your Butter



And I'd use the uncooked flakes for this recipe.

Quick and Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi


By the way, I don't mean to make it sound like you're doing anything wrong. I'm just trying to figure out exactly where things could have gone wrong so that I can help you fix it and make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. This is a new problem for me.

Long shot, but maybe it was the paper towels? What brand were you using there?

Finally, as your first comment actually did have a 1 star rating already on it, there was no need for you to follow up with your second comment that just said "1 star" and had a second 1 star rating (essentially, you were accidentally voting twice), so I removed the second post. Just in case you were wondering where it went.

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)


I just kind of tease the noodles apart with my fingers. Some break anyway. Alternatively you can soak them in room tempreature water for about 5 minutes and they should get soft enough tnat you can pull them apart without breaking them.

Quick and Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi


That's really strange, I've done this exact technique with Polly-O brand - multiple times actually, as it's also a technique I used several years ago for a Ricotta cheesecake recipe I was working on where I tried it with every brand I could find at the supermarket. I haven't heard of this happening to anyone else and the only times it has happened to me was with a really local ultra-fatty brand. I can't imagine what could have gone wrong.

With 6 ounces of ricotta drained, why did you need to add more flour? Did the dough not come together? It should remain sticky - adding too much flour can make them dense. Did you happen to read the accompanying post and video?

Quick and Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi


Hmm, can you elaborate a bit? What brand of ricotta were you using? I've had no problems sticking other than with a super high fat brand (in which case you can just use a spatula to scrape it off) and from the comments, other folks seem to have had success as well. I'd like to see if we can figure out exactly where things went wrong.

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others


Bad teeth. Trying to save them. It's about the phosphoric acid, not the calories. No soda, no very acidic fruit juices, etc.

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta


I'm not sure! I literally cooked a batch using this method just yesterday and it worked fine. One thing might be that your water cools down too much. You have to use a large pot and not cook too many gnocchi at once to cook from frozen.

The Neverending Soup Pot: An Improv Routine to Kick Your Dinner Rut to the Curb


This is not true. Boiling will kill bacteria but it will not destroy any toxins that are produced. Boiled rotten food can be just as dangerous as in-boiled!

Repeatedly refrigerating/heating the same pot can be dangerous over time even if you boil it each day!

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta


Regular will work fine! I use semolina for dusting as it rinses off more readily, but either will work.

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta


I tried these using Calabro part skim ricotta and they work out just fine!

@Joe Blowe

I love Marcella's sauce!

@naags and @unixrab

I haven't tried with matzo meal or rice flour, but I don't see why it wouldn't work!

@Dave Doty

Yes! Use the paper towel technique instead.


I'll definitely be doing that in the fall! Pumpkin/ricotta gnocchi sound great to me.

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta


You definitely can! I'd use whole milk. Even that should still not have enough fat to really gum up your gnocchi.


The only ricottas I tried that had too much fat were really really high in fat. A regular whole milk homemade ricotta should work just fine as written.


I haven't tried it, but I know cup-4-cup generally works in all pasta recipes quite well. I'd try that.

@Ann S.

That would be a jar of Rao's. It's by far the best tomato sauce on the market. Pricey, but it's so so good. I added extra olive oil and pasta water to it to bind it to the pasta.

I haven't tried this with spinach incorporated!

Use the Microwave to Dry Your Herbs for Long-Lasting Intense Flavor


Hahaha oops. I'll fix that. Thanks!

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust


Where I'm from people don't get shot down in the street vigilante style for anything!

Anyhow, this is a cal mex dish, not a southern one, hence sugar in the cornbread. Southerners don't have a monopoly on the stuff!

How to Clean Out Your Spice Cabinet and Organize it—for Good

I really want a better spice storage solution but I'm fresh out of used herring jars. What should I do, Max?!?

This is a great guide and reminds me that I need to go through that one box of spices that I've moved with me through my last three homes without getting touched other than packing and unpacking. I went through a few different storage solutions until I had a facepalm and realized I should be storing my spices in the same way that I store pretty much everything else: in stacking plastic deli containers with universal lids. They open and close easily (I hate out ground spices get caught in the threads of glass jars), and they're totally modular so can fit into a wide range of cabinets, stacking as high as you want. You can also write directly on the containers with sharpies.

Cast Iron Cooking: Tamale Pie With Vegetarian Chili and Brown Butter Cornbread Crust


I've been mostly veg/pescatarian in my civilian life for over a year now and yes, due to the stuff I learned during the Vegan Experience. The Food Lab and Serious Eats will continue to cater to eaters of all kinds, though you probably will see more vegetarian and vegan recipes sprinkled around. I eat just enough meat to do my job (testing recipes, tasting products, etc), which is still a fair amount, I guess, but I don't order it or buy it for myself any more.

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

Sorry folks, there were a couple of hangers on from an older version of the recipe not should all be updated and correct now!

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Pork Dumplings

Our comments sections are for comments pertaining to the particular post, not about our general policy. Since there's a lot of interest here, I'll say once more some things that I've said a few time in the past. After that I'll consider this line of discussion on this thread to be closed and any further comments that are not relevant to the particular taste test will be unpublished. As always, you can email me or the seriouseats editorial team directly at kenji@seriouseats.com or at editor@seriouseats.com. We read every email that comes in.

We know all too well that the negative information on losing brands is useful. Unfortunately, it is not something we're going to print and that's that. If you go to a site like Cook's Illustrated or Consumer Reports where their entire model is based on subscriptions, then you can pay to get that information. As a free site that is supported by advertising, I'm afraid if we were to do that we'd simply cease to exist. It's not our choice, it's the reality of the situation. It is the same case with pretty much any free site out there, and most magazines that accept advertising. Try and find a negative product review in a glossy, ad-based magazine like Food & Wine or Martha Stewar. You won't find one!

Several years ago we thought we could play both sides of the field, doing full lineups of products including negative reviews. As editors we loved this possibility, even though we knew that the positive aspects were always more useful than the negative ones. I've always felt more information is better than less. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way that as a free website dependent upon advertising, this strategy is unfeasible in the long run.

It's the price you pay for free content, and a price we have to pay if we want to continue to be able to provide said content.

What @rickz said is closest to the truth: Our aim is to provide as much information to our readers as possible without explicitly calling out a brand in a negative light. Sometimes you can read through the lines. Sometimes it's harder. In any case, as we've said in the past, our advertisers have no say in our taste test results or editorial content. Our taste tests are not rigged, we will not recommend a product we don't like, and if we have an active ad campaign going on with an advertiser that carries a product in a field we are doing a taste test in, we will hold off on that taste test until we are no longer immediately working with that advertiser so that there can be no chance for any type of impropriety, even if subconscious (of course, our taste tests are also all blind).

Again, feel free to send questions or concerns to kenji@seriouseats.com or editor@seriouseats.com, but please leave this thread open for the actual topic at hand: dumplings.

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Pork Dumplings


We tasted all the major store brands available in SF as well! Of our recommended brands, all except the first are available on the west coast!

Of course we'd love to be able to taste loc brands from every market across the country, but unfortunately its simply not feasible, which is why we focus on those widely available nationally or in the cities we are based out of.

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples. More

Video: Serious Eats Cooks Peking Duck At Buddakan

Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour. More

60+ Holiday Snacks in 20 Minutes Or Less

Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap. More

30 Cookie Recipes from the 2011 Serious Eats Cookie Swap

The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here. More

Serious Eats' Bacon Banh Mi

Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible. More

My All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy

When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen. More

BraveTart: Make Your Own 3 Musketeers

Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote." More

BraveTart: Make Your Own (Better) Soft Batch Cookies

When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing. More

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

Boston: Fried Ipswich Clams at B&G Oysters

These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor. More

Boston: Tamarind Bay's Lalla Musa Dal

As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

How to Make Bagels at Home

I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along! More