I'm in grad school for social work, but planning ahead for a second career as a glorified lunch lady... Do lunch ladies earn higher wages than social workers?

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Favorite foods: Tacos, rice, noodles, and pasta.

A Day in the Life: Ed Levine, Serious Eats Overlord

I'm so glad you wrote this! I've missed your voice on Serious Eats!

Win a Copy of 'Plenty More'

Not so unusual, but I love me some pan seared oyster mushrooms!

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

Just out of curiosity, does it taste different when you make the menemen in a sahan (versus a non-stick skillet or a cast iron pan)?

Meet and Eat: Miki Kawasaki, Spring Editorial Intern

+1 for Pasta! Will you share your recipe for aglio e olio? Also, it's ok not to like eggs. Nigel Slater can't stand them and he's an international treasure :)

Cook the Book: 'Ottolenghi'

Braised cauliflower with bacon, carrots, and tomatoes.

Big Fat Pupusas at El Salvador Restaurant in San Francisco

Reina's on Mission and Guttenberg has my favorite pupusas in the city.

Cook the Book: 'The Glorious Vegetables of Italy'

A pasta dish with mushroom and cream that was a special at Tommasso's in San Francisco.

Cook the Book: 'Flour, Too'

Cook the Book: 'River Cottage Veg'

roasted asparagus!

Dinner Tonight: Farro Salad with Squid, White Beans, and Green Beans

I can't look at squid anymore without thinking about the pig anus calamari episode on This American Life.

Snapshots from Hong Kong: Photo Tour of 7-Eleven

They should have country-themed 7-Elevens in the U.S. E.g. Hong Kong 7-Eleven in Chinatown, Japan 7-Eleven in Japantown, etc. That would be so rad!

Sandwiched: Canned Sardine Banh Mi

YES! My dad is from Laos and I grew up having tinned tomato sardines in the breakfast spread. It's so freaking good!!

In Our Community Corner: Meet Erica Jacobs (aka: 'Teachertalk')

Yay! I'm so glad we all got to meet Teachertalk!

Cook the Book: 'The Kimchi Cookbook'

fermented bean curd :)

Gadgets: GIR Spatula

Get Your Tickets for This Year's Woks and Lox, the Jewish-Asian Christmas

ARGH! I want!!! But I'm in SF...

Snapshots from Istanbul: Turkish Breakfast Is Awesome

I want!!!!!!!!! Also, yes, recipe for menemen please.

Cook the Book: 'Jerusalem: A Cookbook'

Dinner Tonight: 20-Minute Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken

I also use Mae Ploy, it's awesome. Also, I am totally making this for dinner right now.

Cook the Book: 'Burma: Rivers of Flavor'

tacos de cabeza at la taqueria on mission a week or so ago

Slurped: Thick Knife Peel Noodles at Uncle Zhou in Elmhurst

I love this series!

Chichi's Chinese: Fermented Bean Curd

I'm with @jt58612. I inhale this stuff. Soooo gooooooooooood.

Serious Entertaining: A Robyn Lee Dance Party

This. Was. Awesome.

Chichi's Chinese: Silken Tofu with Chili Oil

I can't wait to make this and put it in my mouth. I LOVE Chi Chi's Chinese!!

Twisted Root Burger Company Offers Discounts for 'Best Butt,' 'Best Looking'

What to do with blue corn?!

Hi all! I bought these small ears of blue corn at the Alemany Farmer's Market in San Francisco last week, thinking that they were the same as yellow corn, but they're not! They're starchier and denser. I boiled them last night, thinking that I would use them in a salad, but I wasn't prepared for the texture. What should I do with them?

Favorite soupbook?

While I lived in Poland, we had soup as a first course for lunch every day, and I rarely had any of it. I just wasn't into soup. But ever since I left, it's all I want to eat! (Ok, soup and burritos. Thank goodness I have access to burritos again.) I've been looking around for some good soup cookbooks, but I would love your recommendations. What is your favorite, most slammin'est soupbook?

What makes my cupcakes crack and sink?

I've been trying to find a really awesome brownie cupcake recipe and the one that I've been testing is pretty good - light and slightly fudgy and moist in the middle - but it's hard to frost because it puffs up and cracks, then the innards deflate when the cupcakes cool. I reckon baking powder would remedy the situation, but wouldn't that make them less dense? Could you tell me what makes my cupcakes crack and sink and what I could do to prevent it? Also, any brownie cupcake recipes that you love would be greatly appreciated; I feel like this one isn't fudgy enough. (I know, I know; maybe I should just make brownies!) The recipe I used is as follows:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs, room temperature
¾ cup unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Bake at 325 for 20 minutes.

Korean tapioca bread recipe?

My mom loves this Korean bun that is crispy on the outside and airy and chewy on the inside, and is speckled with black sesame seeds. Does anyone know where I can get the recipe for this? She buys it at an Asian supermarket but they sell out really quickly and we don't always get there early enough in the morning. I thought I might be able to make it for her, especially as Mother's Day is coming up, but I can't seem to find a recipe. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

help! stove top baked goods?

I am working a few shifts at my favorite restaurant in Leh, in India, and the electricity is wonky here, and western ovens are very rare. But the restaurant owner wants me to teach them how to bake Western goods - cookies, cake, banana bread and the like. All they've got are some propane powered stoves, and a few pots and pans. Is it possible? Do you have any recipes?

Foreign foods I thought I would never like

I'm moving on to India in a week, after having spent two years living in the Forest, in Poland. Since I've come here, my (previously Californian) diet has changed enormously. For example: I have never eaten SO MUCH (often stale) BREAD AND BUTTER in my life! (I have seen evidence of exactly one toaster in Poland.) I quit vegetarianism, after seven happy years, and am now very drawn to kiełbasa, especially kabanasy. I now love the combination of sauerkraut and mushrooms, though I think Chinese dumplings beat Polish pierogi any day. I ate more celeriac in the past three months that I have in my entire lifetime. I get worryingly excited about frozen vegetables due to the long winters and prevalence of roots. I did not see a single fresh leaf of spinach in two years.

So then, I wonder what will happen in India. I am looking forward to the spice, believe me. Poles are wimps when it comes to spice.

How did your diet change when you lived or traveled in a different country or region? What foods did you end up loving that you never thought you would like? Have you kept any of your transplanted foreign food habits?

man made meat!

I've been hearing buzz about lab grown meat for a while, but I can't wrap my head around it. I'm a bit put off by the idea, though I suppose it has the possibility of being more environmentally and socially responsible, even more ethical, than conventionally raised meat (i.e. mainstream meat industry). What do you think? Would you eat it? If you're a vegan or a vegetarian, would you eat it? Is the mainstreaming of man made meat an inevitability?

Link to NPR article here:

Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Peanut Soba Noodles with Tofu and Pickled Bean Sprouts

Unless you are a robot, allergic to nuts, or hate fun, chances are you, like me, have a giant soft spot for peanut noodles. The sauce is a balance of salty, sharp, sweet and rich, and just hovering between liquid and paste for the perfect amount of "noodle cling". I threw in some easy pickled bean sprouts for kick (and crunch) and some simply seared tofu. More

Seriously Original Noodles at Yuji Ramen

We watched, literally on the edges of our seats as Yuji lit up his blowtorch and pointed the blue flame towards a tray full of mussel shells. The shells crackled and spit briefly, their edges glowing, remnants of their beards flying up in the air as red embers caught in the updraft of smoke. Yuji transferred the mussel shells to miniature French presses, added a handful of smoked shaved bonito flakes, then ladled in a clear broth and placed the pitchers in front of us on the table. This was the last course in one of the most remarkable ramen-based meals I've ever had. And I had it at a lunch counter. Inside a Whole Foods. Weird. More

How To Make Simple Saucy Pasta Without Butter

A quick meal of blanched green vegetables tossed with pasta in a simply butter sauce is a go-to quick lunch for my wife and I when we're at home. But what happens when you want to replace that butter with some tasty olive oil? It fails to emulsify, making your sauce run right off the pasta into a grease-specked, watery pool at the bottom of the pan. My goal was to get a sauce with the slick, pasta-coating consistency of a butter-based sauce, but packed with complex olive oil flavor. More

Canned Sardine Banh Mi

When combined with the usual banh mi accoutrements of mayonnaise, pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro, jalapenos, and a drizzle of Maggi seasoning, a simple tin of sardines transforms into a savory and satisfying sandwich. More

Ask The Food Lab: On Browning Ground Meat In Recipes

"My question concerns cooking ground meat in things such as chili and casseroles. Most recipes call for browning the meat before adding it to the dish. I know that the Maillard reaction creates more flavor, but is there any other reason for this step? Does cooking the meat before mixing it with the sauce/other ingredients make the texture of the final dish 'better' by pre-tightening the meat structure?" More

Cook the Book: 'The Kimchi Cookbook'

It's no secret that I'm not much into cleanse diets and salad eating come January. Still, the idea of adding healthful foods to my diet (instead of removing the good stuff, like chocolate) in the new year is a good one. Roasted vegetables and leafy greens are, naturally, a good choice, but a little boring. Instead, I resolve to eat more fermented foods, like kimchi, this new year. And with the help of Lauryn Chun's The Kimchi Cookbook, it'll be easy to add the funky, lacto-fermented Korean pickles to my table. Enter to win your copy here. More

The Serious Eats Guide to Japanese Whisky

Japan has the largest number of whisky distilleries after Scotland and the United States, but up until very recently, Suntory was the only brand of Japanese whisky available for sale in the US. Almost all Japanese whiskies are made in a Scotch-like style: here's our guide to what's available stateside and what these whiskies taste like. More

Serious Entertaining: A Blowout Christmas Dinner

In my family, Thanksgiving is all about family (or at the very least, all about pretending that it's all about family for a night). Christmas, on the other hand, is where we tend to get a little wild. It's the one meal of the year where we go for a no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-metal, full-tilt blowout. It's like we go all year saving up our calories for a rainy day, and that rainy day is Christmas. Missing the point of Christmas? Maybe. Overly extravagant? Possibly. Extremely, mind-blowingly, opulently delicious? You bet your a$$. Here's what a typical Christmas dinner at the Alt family might look like. More

Is The NoMad's $26 Brunch Chicken Sandwich Worth It?

When I heard that The NoMad was offering a sandwiched version of their incredible chicken—foie gras, truffles, brioche, and all—on their brunch menu for only $26, I suddenly thought to myself, hey, now I can finally afford to eat Daniel Humm's roast chicken whenever the mood strikes, before my line of thought stopped with a big mental record-scratch: wait a minute. That's a $26 chicken sandwich. Could it possibly be worth the price? I saw it as my duty to find out. More

Gift Guide: Kitchen Gear for $50 Or Less

The items in this kit are designed to be inexpensive, functional, and adequate to comfortably help you cook for a couple people at a time. Think of it as a kitchen starter kit. I've avoided the standard "toaster with built-in egg poacher" or "electric griddle sandwich maker" type items that might be convenient for a week or two but wear thin very, very quickly. Every item on this list is something you'll use nearly every single time you cook. Many of them are inexpensive and won't last a lifetime, but they'll last until your giftee decides to settle down for an upgrade. More

The Food Lab's Complete Guide To Pan-Seared Steaks

Summers are made for the grill, but what's a steak lover to do when the weather's too cold and wet to light the suckers up? Just cook them indoors. Indeed, pan-seared steaks have several distinct advantages over grilled steaks—enough that there are times when given the two choices, I'll choose pan-seared just for the sake of it. While grilling will get you a rapid-fire crust on your steak with all those delightfully crisp, on-the-verge-of-burnt bits and a good smoky flavor, I find that the even golden brown crust you can develop in a hot cast-iron pan really accentuates the flavor of the beef itself, letting it shine. On top of that, pan-searing affords you the opportunity to add your own flavorings in the form of aromatics. Pan-seared steaks come out about 4 percent moister to boot.

Here's the best way to do it.


First Bites at Ivan Orkin's Game-Changing Ramen With April Bloomfield

I first heard of Ivan Orkin a few years back when my mom returned from a trip to Tokyo and asked me, "have you heard about this American guy making ramen in Tokyo? That's so strange. I wonder if it's good." I have never had the chance to make it to either of his two Tokyo shops, but if last night's dinner at the Ace Hotel is any indication, It's not just good, it's game-changingly fantastic. More

The Serious Eats Guide To Dumpling Styles Around the World

"WHAT THE HECK I HAVE EATEN SO MANY DUMPLINGS" was what Robyn said to me when I asked her to look through her photo collection to help round out this gallery of dumplings from around the world. If I think back on my own life, I end up saying the same thing in my mind. There's something extraordinarily satisfying about biting into a perfect dumpling—the tug of dough, the burst of steam, the first hit of stuffing. We present the Serious Eats Guide To Dumplings Around The World! More