A Brief Guide to Chicago Chinese Food (Reader Question)

The question has come in concerning the conspicuous lack of a bar and restaurant guide for Chicago, my home town: You’ve made semi-themed dining and drinking guides for New York, San Francisco and Denver (of all places). Do you plan to do a similar guide for Chicago in the future? I’ve personally had little luck with most Chinese food…

The Curious Case of Chicken (Reader Question)

An extraordinary number of readers have had issues cooking chicken breast, which was best expressed as follows: I want to get into the healthy habit of preparing my lunches for the week in advance. I really like chicken breast but it never seems to keep well. If I eat it immediately after cooking it, it’s juicy…

Making Healthy Delicious

Delicious food can be difficult enough to make sometimes. But delicious and healthy often seem mutually exclusive to some. This need not be the case though. By combining some of the food science-based Cheap Tricks I’ve previously employed with a couple new ones, I’ve found a way that you can completely eliminate any empty calories, such as…

Building a Better Fried Calamari (Reader Question)

In keeping with my pledge to answer all of your questions stemming from the Ask Me Anything I posted several days ago, I’ve decided to take a crack at this one: You posted a really delicious looking picture of fried calamari on the email page for this Ask Me Anything you’re doing. I searched your blog…

A Quick Guide to Herbs (Reader Question)

I asked you guys for questions and you delivered some great ones. Thank you so much for that! Unfortunately, to adequately answer your questions will take a lot of time and attention, so I’m going to take them one at a time and clear through them over the next couple weeks. That said, I’d like to…

Ask Me Anything!

Many of you have sent me your questions about everything from substitutions in my recipes, where and how to procure ingredients to alternative, time saving cooking techniques. I’ve been flattered by your interest, but I also have come to the conclusion that I should probably start a regular forum to address your questions. I’ve also made…

The Quintessential Thai Street Dish

In soliciting feedback from some of my readers, one thing that has come up fairly often is that my recipes are a bit complicated. Although that’s a fair point, this website is not entirely geared towards novices. It’s true, there are some complicated recipes that I’ve developed and published. That said, there are plenty of easy ones…

Thai Food, Explained

I’m no musician, but I do love music. Perhaps that’s because I happen to think music has a lot of parallels with cooking, as I’ve previously explained. But one of the biggest parallels between music and cooking is structural. Take classical music as illustrative. We have the great composers of history who write awe inspiring…

An Abridged List of Aromatics

The following is an extension of my Guide to Spice Blending, in which I discuss the fundamentals of mixing spices and how to cook with them. Below is the figure depicting the four types of cooking aromatic categories (where an aromatic is any spice, herb or aromatic vegetable) and their maximum suggested ratio of use. The…

A Guide to Spice Blending

The status of spice knowledge in the Western world has been entirely flabbergasting. The fact that no one in the West—in print or in person—has yet provided anyone else with so much as a theoretical framework around which to base a rigorous spice blending technique is shameful. It is, after all, not just important which…

The Cheap Tricks of Delicious Cooking

Although cooking great food is really about science, art and intuition, cooking really good food often isn’t much more than collecting a handful of what I call cheap tricks. A cheap trick is generally some sort of exceptionally useful cooking technique or rule of thumb that I’ve uncovered during my culinary journey. It’s cheap because…

A Dichotomy of Seasonality: Two Taco Recipes

I like to think of tacos in two camps that follow seasonality: Fresh and rich. Fresh is synonymous with summer and involves the best produce and lighter flavors. Rich comes with winter and is deeply flavored and hearty. Below are two examples of such seasonal tacos.