Are there any ingredients David Chang couldn’t live without?
I don’t think I could live without rice and butter. Not that I eat butter a lot, but I think that’s something we don’t get in America… there’s something decadent and luxurious about really, really good butter. It’s just sublime.
I should probably throw in eggs. I think eggs are, as a group, one of my most favorite things to eat, whether it’s a fish egg or a chicken egg. It’s such a perfect food, because there are so many ways you can manipulate it. Turn it into a sauce, you can soft boil it, you can fry it… there’s so many ways you can cook an egg, and they’re all fantastic and delicious. I’m particularly fond of a soft poached egg, because I always say that it’s a poor man’s way to add luxury to food. There is something about that creamy egg yolk that’s decadent and delicious.
Rice — not just because I’m Korean or Asian — because I eat it all the time, and it’s an ingredient that we’ve tried to look at over the years. It’s something we’ve been studying a lot more and trying to incorporate it in a more efficient way. I’m constantly dumbfounded by how people figure out how to manipulate this thing over the years to make rice noodles and rice cakes and all this stuff.
Obviously, a lot of that’s just trial and error over many, many years. Rice and heat have this very strange relationship that no other starch that I know of has. That’s something that we’re trying to figure out right now.