Celebrity chef David Chang makes home cooking easy with one kitchen appliance and simple ingredients

Celebrity chef David Chang makes home cooking easy with one kitchen appliance and simple ingredients

Ugly delicious

Text: Eugene Chen

Image: Netflix

Not everyone has the time to always cook hour-long meals. Chef David Chang knows this, which is why we're a fan of his videos on Instagram where he shares tips on making home cooking easier

On some days, the last thing you want to do after work is cook a complete meal, but at the same time, you don’t want to spend too much of your money eating out. We're sure everyone has experienced this dilemma before. The owner of Momofuku and host of Ugly Delicious, David Chang, has just the solution: Using simple ingredients and a "special" kitchen appliance.

What is this kitchen appliance? The microwave. Yes, that thing you use to reheat leftover refrigerated pizza. Chang believes that the microwave is one of the most underutilised kitchen appliances when it comes to home cooking. However, some people speculate that cooking using a microwave can make the food radioactive, which isn’t true according to the World Health Organization—just make sure your microwave isn’t damaged.

Intrigued? We recommend whipping up these five easy-yet-tasty recipes:

Sukiyaki and egg custard with salmon roe

David Chang makes his version of the Japanese hot pot dish by starting off with dashi—a mix of hot water and bonito flakes—and mixing it with soy sauce and agave, which is pretty much the stock for the whole dish. The egg custard or chawanmushi is basically just a mix of egg, soy sauce, and dashi beaten up and tossed into the microwave for eight minutes. Yes, it’s that simple.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are arguably the perfect side for almost any dish. This recipe is insanely easy as all you really need is potatoes, butter, cream, and any seasoning of your choice. Oh, and of course you need a microwave; that’s where the magic happens.

Mac and cheese

This recipe, according to Chang, is like a Cacio e Pepe/Mac and Cheese hybrid. Sounds fancy, but cooking it is easy. It’s the perfect recipe to try out if you have some cheese that’s about to expire laying around in your fridge. As expected, you’ll need a microwave and a blender for the “cheese sauce”.

Tingly microwave chicken

Microwaved chicken doesn’t sound too appetising, but don’t worry, the microwave is only used at the start of this recipe. Its role here is just to give you a head start with the cooking process while preparing the other ingredients. Take note that Chang also uses his own Momofuku Tingly Salt, which includes Sichuan peppercorns, giving that tingly sensation. In his words: “This is my go-to at home, I probably make this recipe more than anything else.”

Pork belly

Unfortunately, this recipe does not use a microwave. Instead, Chand uses a ddukbaegi, which is a Korean pot meant for stews. If you don’t have one, you could probably just use a simple pot with a cover. All he really does is sautée his aromatics, and toss everything else into the pot.

With all these tips and tricks, cooking the next meal won’t feel like much of a chore. From now on, the microwave will not just be a kitchen appliance that reheats leftovers, but something much more.

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