Posts Tagged ‘david chang’

Poached Egg Time TrialsYes, I can get a bit…obsessed…at times.

My good friends over at Cheap Seat Eats blog turned me on to a video in which Wylie Dufresne shows a new way to poach an egg. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know I’ve been working to perfect the various methods of cooking the venerable Hen’s Egg. I just about have the hard-cooked egg down pat (thanks to my friend and author Barb Hendee), but the perfect poached egg has eluded me.

I’ve tried many methods. I’ve tried classic out-of-the-shell methods like the dead-drop (sticks to bottom of pot), the swirl/vortex (still all thready), and the Martha Stewart cook-in-spoon-followed-by-scissoring-off-the-threads-to-make-it-look-nice-nice method (too obsessive, even for me). I’ve tried several in-the-shell methods, too, from the classic 5-minute egg (impossible to peel), to David Chang’s one-hour slow-cook method (too unreliable and never cooked well enough).

Nothing has pleased me. Here’s what I want in a poached egg:

  • Firm, cooked white
  • Creamy, orange yolk, almost like a sauce when it spills
  • Enough of a “sag” in the cooked egg so that it looks poached, not hard-cooked

Dufresne’s method, based on modernist techniques and analysis, gives us a perfect, in-shell, poached/soft-cooked egg. I tried it once. Damned near perfect. I tried it again. Damned near perfect again. My only complaint was that the egg stood a bit too tall, and was a bit “too” cooked at the prescribed cooking time.

So, I set about performing a time trial. Four eggs. Four cook times, ranging from Dufresne’s prescribed 5:45 min, and downward.


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Y’know, I get really depressed when my recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup a la David Chang continually gets more hits than my current posts on writing, culture, and current events…

…but then a vee of Canadian geese fly in from the south, happy, crossing overhead, cheering each other onward, their chatter echoing across the cul-de-sac until it fades away to the north…

…and I feel better. Chicken noodle soup for everyone. Enjoy.



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Simple Living

There has been a ton of interest for this recipe, and with good reason; it’s a great show and a good recipe. If you’ve landed here from a web-search, please, enjoy the recipe. Please also check out my books. You can read excerpts here, or find the books in the banner to the right and on my Author Page at Amazon.

Now, to the recipe:


The other day I happened across an episode of “The Mind of a Chef.” (How did I miss this show before?) In this episode (“Simplicity”), host and chef David Chang finds places where the chefs have pared everything back to its most simplistic.

While the episode was great, at one point Chang frustrated me entirely. He gives instructions on how to make a simple chicken noodle soup, but blasts through the process with no detail. Example: at one point he instructs us to “boil the shit out of [the broth].” Not very helpful.

But, always on the lookout for good recipes, I spent some time this weekend reconstructing (or deconstructing) Chang’s method from the brief clip. One innovation is to cook the chicken and vegetables separately. A common problem with chicken broth is that the vegetables can overpower the chicken, but by separating the two, Chang makes it possible for us to adjust the mixture according to personal preference and to account for, say, a particularly strong onion or exceptionally sweet carrot.

The result was, in all humbleness, nothing short of excellent.


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