The No Recipe Cookbook

The Atlantic has an article about a new cookbook by Sam Sifton that throws out the traditional recipe in favor of a less ridged structure. They pull this quote from the book for Teriyaki Salmon With Mixed Greens:

Turn your oven to 400°F or so, and while it heats, make a teriyaki sauce with soy sauce cut with mirin, plus a healthy scattering of minced garlic and ginger. It should be salty-sweet. Then put your salmon fillets on a lightly oiled, foil-lined baking sheet, skin-side down. Paint them with the sauce and roast them in the top of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, painting them again with the sauce at least once along the way. Slide the finished salmon onto piles of mixed greens and drizzle with remaining sauce. Cooking’s not difficult. It’s just a practice.

I’ve often said that recipes are guides, not rules, but this feels more like a technical challenge from The Great British Bake Off more so than a “recipe.”

The one issue I would have with this example is the “healthy scattering of minced garlic and ginger.” Too much of either of those can make the whole meal go south pretty quickly, so while, as the pulled quote says, “Cooking’s not difficult. It’s just a practice.”

One has to wonder how many times you’ll need to spoil the salmon before you get it right.

Outlink: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/when-did-following-recipes-become-a-personal-failure/618085/

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