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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

by Samin Nosrat

Other authors: Wendy MacNaughton (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4031210,158 (4.39)29
Whether you've never picked up a knife or you're an accomplished chef, there are only four basic factors that determine how good your food will taste. Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat are the four cardinal directions of cooking, and they will guide you as you choose which ingredients to use and how to cook them, and they will tell you why last minute adjustments will ensure that food tastes exactly as it should. This book will change the way you think about cooking and eating, and help you find your bearings in any kitchen, with any ingredients, while cooking any meal. --… (more)
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» See also 29 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Has a nice approach to cooking. It's like Jazz,. master the basics (salt fat acid and heat) then you can improvise! ( )
  buecherportal | Sep 19, 2021 |
Read some, skimmed some, passed it on to my kid. Useful for more serious cooks than me. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 28, 2021 |
If you loved the Netflix show, think of this as all the entertainment of that and twice the learning. I freely admit to referring to the author as "St. Samin of my Kitchen" and this book is my Kitchen bible. If you are a person who thinks they can't cook, read this book. But really read it--absorb it, take notes. Then PRACTICE. Eventually you will understand that those four elements: salt, fat, acid, heat are TRULY the keys to not just decent cooking, but great cooking. This book gave me a lot of confidence to go "off book" and start improvising more. A few of her recipes are now staples, like the Borani Esfanaj (Persian Spinach Yogurt), which takes me back to my childhood growing up in Los Angeles and frequenting Persian food restaurants with my dad. Also--that recipe alone is worth its weight in gold for this tip: placing cooked spinach on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet to prevent overcooking and discoloration (see p. 372). I've only just begun to try the actual recipes (the first half of the book is a how-to guide to cooking), but I can also highly recommend the Glazed Five-Spice Chicken (338-9), which is well-worth the overnight marinade.

Nosrat's writing style is welcoming and humorous--Wendy MacNaughton's illustrations keep things light and whimsical but still informative. Nosrat is self-effacing in recounting tales of her own learning and even if you think you don't LIKE to cook--spend some time with this book. You may change your mind. ( )
  rebcamuse | Dec 31, 2020 |
Gift from Consuela H.

Skimmed, watched 4-part series on Netflix (not especially informative but very delicious-looking).
  JennyArch | Sep 15, 2020 |
Quite readable, with valuable information. It lacked the charm of some of McGee's writing, but the quirky illustrations with flecked with bits of wry humor, are an asset. ( )
  quondame | Jun 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nosrat, Saminprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacNaughton, WendyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blind, SofiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollan, MichaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Anyone who likes to eat, can soon learn to cook well.
—Jane Grigson
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For Alice Waters, who gave me the kitchen, and for Maman, who gave me the world
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Whether you've never picked up a knife or you're an accomplished chef, there are only four basic factors that determine how good your food will taste. Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat are the four cardinal directions of cooking, and they will guide you as you choose which ingredients to use and how to cook them, and they will tell you why last minute adjustments will ensure that food tastes exactly as it should. This book will change the way you think about cooking and eating, and help you find your bearings in any kitchen, with any ingredients, while cooking any meal. --

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