Author: Chang David
Package Dimensions: 18x254x567
Number Of Pages: 400
Release Date: 26-10-2021
Details: Product Description
The founder of Momofuku cooks at home . . . and that means mostly ignoring recipes, using tools like the microwave, and taking inspiration from his mom to get a great dinner done fast.
David Chang came up as a chef in kitchens where you had to do everything the hard way. But his mother, one of the best cooks he knows, never cooked like that. Nor did food writer Priya Krishna’s mom. So Dave and Priya set out to think through the smartest, fastest, least meticulous, most delicious, absolutely imperfect ways to cook.
From figuring out the best ways to use frozen vegetables to learning when to ditch recipes and just taste and adjust your way to a terrific meal no matter what, this is Dave’s guide to substituting, adapting, shortcutting, and sandbagging—like parcooking chicken in a microwave before blasting it with flavor in a four-minute stir-fry or a ten-minute stew.
It’s all about how to think like a chef . . . who’s learned to stop thinking like a chef.
About the Author
David Chang is the founder of Momofuku. His cookbook,
Momofuku, and his memoir,
Eat a Peach, are
New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Los Angeles.
Priya Krishna is a food reporter for
The New York Times and the author of the bestselling cookbook
Indian-ish. She grew up in Dallas and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I am a bad cook who can make delicious food. Yes, I’m a chef, but I’ve long felt that cooking doesn’t come naturally to me. It took me a while to realize, though, that what “cooking” meant had long been defined
for me, by others. First, by culinary school, where I was taught that there is a “right” way to cook and a “wrong” way to cook, whether it’s braising meats or saucing pasta. Then, early in my career, I worked primarily in European-fixated restaurants, where the whole point is to make the same thing, the same painstaking way, again and again. You have to follow the rules. You can’t just make stuff up. And so I forced myself to learn the rules.
Meanwhile, I never used to cook at home. In fact, I bragged in interviews about how my fridge was mostly just filled with beer. I lived in my restaurants. My apartment was a place to crash, so restaurant cooking was all the cooking I knew.
But that’s all changed now. I have a wife, a baby, and in-laws, and most of the time, it’s my job to feed them. I’ve had to learn to become a home cook for the first time in my life, and it’s entirely different from how I cook at restaurants. Now I make stuff up out of necessity, with my new guiding principles: to create something as delicious as possible, in the least amount of time possible, while making as little mess as possible.
At home, I am flying by the seat of my pants: I play fast and loose with my microwave, throw aesthetics out the window, and generally don’t adhere to any particular style or cuisine. When you’re busy and you have a family and you need to put food on the table, you do what you have to do. As I’m writing this, I am in the kitchen of a rental house, where my family has been quarantining because of the coronavirus pandemic. When we arrived, the cabinets had dried thyme and bouillon cubes—and that was it. I diluted a bouillon cube in water, mixed it with crushed tomatoes, and added some sugar, salt, and fish sauce that we brought with us. I served it over pasta. It was great.
And it was only after I started cooking at home that I realized that most of the rules you hear about cooking exist simply because someone made them up once. In our country, those rules are very often from a European perspective. They could be genius, rooted in science, or they could be totally arbitrary. But if all you’re taught is to just follow the rules, there’s no way to tell which is which.
These ingredients only go with these ingredients. You don’t mix this with this. This recipe is a “project” while this recipe is “easy.” The fixation on rules m