Love to eat. Love to cook. Love to read about eating and cooking. That's about it really (I mean, besides the huge nerd/geek thing...)

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Favorite foods: It'd be hell of a lot easier to list what I don't like here...
  • Last bite on earth: Black pepper chaar served with white rice and talaa va ghost

The Food Lab: How to Make Turkey Weisswurst (White German Sausage)

Amazing job! Quick question... if you HAD to recommend a pork fat substitute, what would it be? Duck fat? Goose fat? A mixture of beef and poultry fat?

Please let me know, thanks!

Dear Hosts/Hostesses, Please Learn This Simple Rule.

Not trolling, but all the current/prior host/esses posting on this thread right now seem to keep parroting the same excuse over and over again: "customers aren't willing to wait the "real" or "overestimated" waiting times". I'm sorry, but that just means you're lying to us to keep us there and take our money, which to me makes you out to be big thieves and liars.

I agree with you when you say you cannot tell how long current customers are going to stay or how bad the kitchen is backed up. I also agree with you when you say that some managers force you to lie to the customer about how long the true wait is. However, please take the BS excuse of "I'm lying because you won't actually wait the real time" and defenestrate :) it.

If you have no obligation (as in a manager forcing you) to quote a short waiting time, then it's your duty as a service professional to quote an accurate or slightly overestimated time. Let the customer make the decision of whether s/he will wait that amount of time. If s/he isn't and you lie to keep him/her there, then basically you're going to end up with an irate customer to whom you lied to make him/her part with his/her money. That's fraud and stealing.

Also, Kenji, I'm not sure why most reviewers are reluctant to name names when it comes to a restaurant with bad service. I understand that you guys aren't exactly the "anonymous" food critics anymore but a restaurant should be made aware of practices that are negatively impacting its image. I understand that food critics cannot do this in certain countries (especially in the Middle East, where I grew up) but at least in this country we have the freedom of speech to make sure people are held accountable for their actions.

That's my 2 cents, and then some, and I'm sorry if any host/esses are offended but that is my honest opinion.

Memorial Day Grilling Giveaway: Win This Delicious Cap of Ribeye

I love getting friends together and spending some time drinking and playing card games while the meat cooks away...

Memorial Day Grilling Giveaway: Win This Delicious Cap of Ribeye

I love getting friends together and spending some time drinking and playing card games while the meat cooks away...

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

I know it's sad but growing up in Dubai we only had Hardees for a viable burger option. I love that taste of a simple Hardees cheeseburger with a solitary pickle, or even better, the grandpappy Roast Beef burger.

My best burger memory would be as a kid when my dad would come home from a long day at work and say we were going to Hardees. Did you hear folks?! WE WERE GOING TO HARDEES!

Haha, it's the simple pleasures that make us the happiest...

7 Can't-Miss Dosas in NYC

Max, Tiffin Wallah has great food. It's definitely worth a repeat trip if you'd like.

7 Can't-Miss Dosas in NYC

I cannot honestly endorse going to Saravana Bhavan because it some of the worst service I've had in my life. It's to the point where I would curse them out if I went back.

I know people say that in South India that's the service but as a Pakistani who grew up in Dubai, I've been going to South Indian restaurants all my life. The people there are nothing but the sweetest and friendliest I've ever met. And any bad service was always apologized for.

Screw Saravana Bhavan to Hell.

7 Can't-Miss Dosas in NYC

I'm going to post this comment in the slideshow as well because it's well worth repeating... I cannot honestly endorse going to Saravana Bhavan because it some of the worst service I've had in my life. It's to the point where I would curse them out if I went back.

I know people say that in South India that's the service but as a Pakistani who grew up in Dubai, I've been going to South Indian restaurants all my life. The people there are nothing but the sweetest and friendliest I've ever met. And any bad service was always apologized for.

Screw Saravana Bhavan to Hell.

Spring Tasting Menu (Ramps?)

Thanks guys! Although I should've made myself a bit more clear... I was looking for *restaurant* suggestions :)

Thanks again!

Homemade Vegan Kimchi

Hey Kenji, awesome post, natch, haha... I was wondering what would happen if you used miso paste AND fish sauce? How about all 3 umami bombs?

Sous Vide Egg Souffle

@dbepstein I was thinking the same thing!

Robyn Lee's Camera

I just bought a Nikon D7000 with a 35mm f/1.8g prime lens and it's amazing! My friend recommended a prime lens, he has a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and was trying to get me to buy that. Unfortunately, it was out of my range, even used (which is how he got his).

So far I'm happy with it and the lens is just fantastic!

Melty American-style Cheddar Cheese Slices For Burgers and Grilled Cheese

Awesome sauce again Kenji! (pun intended)

I'm assuming the same amount of gelatin is okay even if you use something like vegan or kosher gelatin, correct?

Thanks again!

Food Humor On Sitcoms


Dead Like Me was one of my favorite shows of ALL TIME! I loved it and Mandy "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Now prepare to die!" Patinkin was awesome as Rube.

I met Ellen Muth and Callum Blue at New York Comic-Con a couple of years ago and they were awesome, haha...

Bear Claw Donuts

Thanks guys... I really hope they come back!

@Saria, no worries... I'd take you up on that offer but dough and I are mortal enemies when it comes to cooking, especially yeasty stuff... I've only had very limited success.

Puff Pastry

Oh wow... I've got to try this one day (even though dough and I are mortal enemies). Would you recommend freezing the butter for the cold pliable butter stage or just refrigerate it? Thanks!

Juicy Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage

@Grampy use 3.2 oz of salt but other than that I believe this is scalable.

The Pizza Lab: Sausages And the Science of Salt


Awesome post! As always, I'm going to whine about non-pork alternatives (have to try and be somewhat of a good Muslim, haha). If I use lean beef how would you recommend I boost the fat content? Vegetable Crisco? Suet? Also, how much fat should be added? As in, what percent by weight of my sausage should be fat?

Thanks for everything!

The Serious Eats Book: On Sale November 1!

Honestly, the first part of this article was a waste of our time and your space... "What's Inside?". Who cares?! It's Serious Eats and I've already pre-ordered my copy!!!

Giveaway: Enter to Win This Panasonic Breadmaker

Or fresh Afghani naan bread... you could walk into a shop making them fresh and be hungry all over again even if you just had a 10 course meal.

Giveaway: Enter to Win This Panasonic Breadmaker

Freshly made French baguette... you could put almost anything on it and it'd make an amazing sandwich (although, I'm not sure about Kenji's hyperbole of dogsh*t but I bet you'd have to think about it for a second or two before you decided NOT to eat THAT sh*t sandwich, haha).

SousVide Supreme Temperatures & Times

Perfect! Thank you!!!

Wooden Spood With A Kneading Hook


Thank you :D

The Food Lab: Ceviche And The Science Of Marinades

I just had a thought of a ceviche party! Lay out the cut up fish, ingredients, acids and martini glasses. Tell them to go wild and eat after 10 minutes of adding the acid, haha...

So Long, Folks (and See You Next Week)


This was my reaction when I just read this:

I'm stuck in Dubai due to a visa issue and the world gets turned upside-down, haha. Well at least the tourists have someone knowledgeable telling them where to eat in NYC.

Thank you so much for all the hard work over the years!

Salem Pasha

Spring Tasting Menu (Ramps?)


I was hoping people would have suggestions for good tasting menus that use spring produce, especially ramps (only ever had them on a Motorino pizza once). Only restriction being that they be accommodating of "no pork" and I'll eat everything they'll put in front of me.

Thanks in advance and hope to hear from everyone soon!!!

Wings In NYC

So I might have missed it, if so, I'm sorry for what follows.

I'm surprised that after all the awesome comparison posts we've gotten so far from SE (e.g. the best soup dumplings, etc.) that we haven't gotten one for wings yet.

So, with that in mind, what are your favorite places for Buffalo style chicken wings. Two things to keep in mind, first they MUST have bones (boneless are just dry chicken tenders) and secondly are there any spots that have SUPER spicy wings (I considered the horrible taste of the phaal to be more of the challenge rather than the spice at Bricklane)? Consider suggestions for super spicy a sub category.


Food Humor On Sitcoms

So my friends and I watched the pilot episode for "Raising Hope" this weekend and this joke had us dying. It was about the last meal for an inmate on Death Row:

"Your girlfriend's a smart cookie. She requested her last meal be a McRib Sandwich with a Shamrock Shake... those two are almost never on offer at the same limited time. Bought herself a few extra months with that one."

Seriously, we fell off the couch laughing, haha... any others you guys can think of?

Bear Claw Donuts


I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get bear claw donuts in New York City? I used to have them as a kid back in Doha, Qatar. They look like this:

and the ones I had were filled with apples.

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

Laab/Larb Recipe


I'm trying to find an authentic laab/larb recipe that is authentic. I prefer very spicy stuff but don't worry about that because I can always ratchet the spice up in the recipe myself (I thought the duck laab at Zabb Elee at a 5/5 level sort of tickled). Here's one I found already and it LOOKS authentic but not sure. Any help is much appreciated, thank you!

SousVide Supreme Temperatures & Times


So I might be getting a SousVide Supreme for my upcoming birthday (or at least assistance in buying one). I was wondering, is there a website that helps you with deciding what temps to cook food to and how long it takes to reach those times? And I don't mean the FDA temps that make shoe leather out of food, I'm talking about medium-steaks, pink/dark red duck breasts, etc.

Somewhat like what Kenji did here:

Any help is much appreciate, thanks!

So... What'd I Miss?


I went home to Dubai in November 2010 for my sister's wedding and got stuck there for 8 months waiting for a visa on account of being a Pakistani. I'm back now as of this past Saturday and I wanted to know, what'd I miss?

I kept up with the food scene a bit while I was there but got lazy. I still have yet to try Hill Country Chicken even though it opened up right before I left and we're neighbors. Had Zabb Elee last night (duck larb at 5/5 spiciness, found it to be mild), liked it even though a few things seemed... off.

What else? High end fancy schmancy pants restaurants, hole-in-the-walls, grimy carts, high-tech trucks, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, anything and everything is on the table. So I repeat one final time... what'd I miss?

Haha and thanks in advance!

Wooden Spood With A Kneading Hook


Awhile back I heard about a wooden spoon used to mix dough and it had a kneading hook on the end. The reviews for it were good and I lost the link to it (should've used Delicious!).

Anyways, I was hoping someone knew what I was talking about and would help me, thanks in advance!

"Are you from New York?"

So I was working in Wilmington, Delaware and was recommended this sub place, Gus's I believe. It was run by this really old (60's or 70's, easily) couple from Sparta, Greece. They bickered in Greek behind the counter and were really sweet. Awesome subs made fresh.

One day I ordered a roast beef sub and as the lady was making it, she asked me if I wanted mayo. I declined and said I'd like mustard. She asked me again, "you want mayo", making it more of a statement than a question this time. I said no, I'm fine with mustard. She asked a THIRD time and laughingly I replied that I was fine with mustard. She then asked me this gem:

"Are you from New York?"

I laughed and said yes. Which was funny because I moved to NYC (and America) in 2002 and used to hate mustard. It wasn't until one of my friends caught me putting ketchup on a hot dog and told me I could only eat it with mustard and/or onions and/or sauerkraut. Since then I love mustard and shun mayo for it most of the time.

My question is, does anyone else have experiences like this where their taste preferences betray where they're from? I found it hilarious and would love to hear more!

Kenji & Heston Blumenthal Prime Rib Recipe Mashup Help Needed...

Okay, so I'm having some people over for dinner in a couple of days and the menu is:

- Bone in Prime Rib
- Chicken Cacciatore (very loosely interpreted)
- Spaghetti w/ garlic & olive oil
- Spinach & mushroom risotto
- Rosemary roasted potatoes

Now I remember in my Heston Blumenthal book he mentioned cooking aged steak at 120 F for something like 10 to 12 hours (I don't have the book with me, it's in NYC and I'm in Dubai currently). I will most likely only be able to get my hands on a fresh cut of bone in prime rib roast which I'll salt for a couple of days.

The dilemna: My mom's oven is electrical and can go down to 50 degrees Celsius. I was thinking of leaving the roast in there all day (about 10 to 12 hours for a 6 bone roast) at 55 degrees Celsius, or 130 F. Assuming the oven is accurate, will that be okay? Will I still need to rest the meat? Will 10 to 12 hours be enough for a roast that size at that temperature? Is there any danger of the roast or meat "going bad" being left like that?

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

P.S. As a "trailer" for a horror story, let me tell you I will most likely be putting many slices back in the oven to make them more than medium for the crowd I'll be serving... *ugh*

Meaty Parts aka Find Me A Good Butcher, Please!


So I don't eat pork and try to use beef, goat and lamb as substitutes when I can. However, it's really hard for me to find certain parts of the animal because I don't have a butcher.

For example, I want "plate", the equivalent of pork belly on cows, goats and lambs so I can try making my own bacon at home. Near impossible to get at places like Food Emporium or Whole Foods and the halal butchers in Jackson Heights (I'm Pakistani) have no idea what I'm talking about. I'd also love to get stuff like a goat leg with cleaned skin on so I can try a "pernil" and what not.

Any suggestions are much appreciated, thank you!

Homemade Bagels, à la Jo Goldenberg

[Photographs: Adam Kuban] This is my go-to recipe for homemade bagels. It's adapted from Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Breads. Clayton, in turn, got the recipe from the folks at the now-defunct Jo Goldenberg's, the famous Jewish restaurant and delicatessen... More

Sunday Brunch: Tamago Gohan

Since the first time I ate this dish it reminded me of my grandmother, even though my Grannie was not Japanese. It's simple, comforting, and wholesome, just like all the food that grandmothers should serve. When you wake up on a dreary Sunday morning and need something steadying, this simple dish of egg and rice can be just the thing to comfort you. More

Easy Provençal Lamb

When cooking for a crowd I tend to go for the wow factor—big, labor intensive dishes that have me holed up in the kitchen for hours, if not days, and always exhausted by the time my guests arrive. And of course, it was the wow factor that attracted me to this recipe for Easy Provençal Lamb from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That?, which began with a leg of lamb that was bigger than one of my own legs. Was there anyway that cooking a piece of meat this giant would be as easy as its name implies? There was only one way to find out. More

Soy-Dijon Chicken Wings

In this chicken wing sauce from Ming Tsai, black pepper is toasted in a medium-high skillet until it starts to smoke, then gets tossed with red wine, mustard, soy sauce, thyme, and lots of minced garlic. The sauce is tart and rich, with a haunting aroma of black pepper in the background. More

French in a Flash: Dijon Chicken

Dijon chicken is simple, but hearty. The chicken has the fall-off-the bone texture of a stew, but enrobed in a thick sauce of cream and aromatic Dijon mustard. Refined and rustic and served with a hearty, warm baguette, it satisfies everyone at the table. More

The Ultimate Sliders

There's more than meats the eye between these diminutive buns: Check out the science here. About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now... More