David Chang has appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations many times, and it’s always one of my favorite features. He’s sort of a reluctant gourmet, who simultaneously seems to have deep disdain for the pretentious entrappings of fine dining and a deep love of the art and discipline of cooking.
His Momofuku restaurants dot Manhattan and have been the darling of critics and foodies alike for some time. His cookbook, cowritten with Peter Meehan, tells the story of an obsessive chef who left Michelin-starred New York restaurants to go learn the in noodle shops in Japan before opening Noodle Bar, a minimalist restaurant with a noodle counter, paper napkins, and impeccable preparations of traditional Ramen shop favorites.
I love Chang because he seems to get that the point of great food isn’t awards or accolades, it’s meals. It’s supposed to taste good, and his food certainly does. One of the most amazing meals of my life was a whole rotisseried duck at Ssam Bar in New York, served family style and eaten in lettuce wraps.
Here is one of my favorite of his recipes: Ginger Scallion Sauce. I like to make a big batch of this and eat it for a couple of days. It’s amazing scooped right onto some fresh noodles or rice, goes great with most meats, and is amazing at breakfast: Just make some rice, fry up a few eggs over easy, and scoop a spoonful of this sauce over the eggs.
Ginger Scallion Sauce
Makes about 3 cups
•2½ cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
•½ cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
•1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
•1½ teaspoons usukuchi (light soy sauce)
•3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
•3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Though it’s best after 15 or 20 minutes of sitting, ginger scallion sauce is good from the minute it’s stirred together up to a day or two in the fridge. Use as directed, or apply as needed.