How do chefs create recipes? How do you make a meal when you don’t have those tested instructions at hand? “Following a recipe is easy, but improvising in the kitchen takes confidence — and a well-stocked pantry.” And practice.
In this animated video from NPR’s Life Kit, Samin Nosrat, celebrated chef and author of the best-selling book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, describes each step of how she makes a delicious meal without a recipe.
The summary of tips: Find an anchoring idea that helps you make choices, a simple pot of beans is a good base for improvisational practice, and make sure to keep the basics stocked. From NPR:
Nosrat says she likes to be able “to go to any country at the drop of the hat.” So here are her recommendations for a well-stocked, ready-to-travel kitchen:
• Vinegars, oils, and soy sauce.
• Spicy condiments like hot sauces and pepper pastes.
• Rice (white, brown, wild, etc.)
• Noodles and pastas (soba noodles, rice noodles, etc.)
• Frozen vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peas, etc.)
• Onions, garlic
• An array of spices (don’t forget cumin!)
Related food and recipe videos on TKSST include:
• How To Be A Better Baker with Kiano Moju
• Making ice cream from a 350-year-old recipe
• Omelette by Madeline Sharafian
• Microwave cupcakes in a mug, an easy chemistry experiment
Bonus: Epicurious’ Four Levels video series.
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.