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

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Notes about this book

  • averythingcooks on May 18, 2020

    So this section of the book is not indexed (at least not that I could tell) but on pages 352-353 you will find a beautiful spread called "aromatic flavour bases of the world". There you will find illustrations of plates (in that vey charming - at least in my opinion - style found throughout the book) representing international cuisines "divided by fractions" of the key ingredients. Here you find mirepoix, soffritto, the hole trinity and a number of mixes/countries that I was not familiar with ( eg West African "Ato Lilo" & Puerto Rican "Recaito"). I currently have a large batch of Italian soffritto cooking in a cast iron - the fate of this delicious jammy mixture is to be frozen in 1/3 cup portions (easily sliced for smaller portions as needed). Perfect COVID cooking strategy if you are trying to save a significant amount of very sad celery etc.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chunky: Tuscan bean and kale soup

    • Jane on December 31, 2017

      This is a lovely warming winter soup, a thick stew-like soup. I cooked the beans in the Instant Pot then added the cooking liquid from the beans instead of stock. I think the grated Parmesan on top is important to lift the flavor a notch.

    • ldtrieb on August 30, 2018

      Sort of followed the recipe, already cooked beans added to previously sautéed kale. Looked over the recipe and added anything that wasn't in the original recipe. Oh, and no tomatoes because I didn't have any. Amazing how the parmesan rind changed the taste in just a short simmering time. Superb!

    • ebs on January 25, 2020

      I had some ham bones in the freezer and was making stock with them, so used some of the stock, mixed with some chicken bouillon paste. Instead of pancetta, I used some frozen ham with bacon. I had only one bunch of kale, so it could have been a bit thicker, but this soup was so delicious

    • clcorbi on February 07, 2019

      Excellent soup recipe. Use a good-quality stock here if you can--it really adds a richness that can help cut through all the vegetables. Of course, all the parmesan really helps too. I normally don't love kale soups but this one was delicious.

    • Dannausc on June 06, 2021

      I used 9 c of kale and skipped the cabbage. I added a splash of apple cider vinegar and some pepper flakes. Fairly quick and easy. Pretty decent.

    • AugustaLarson on July 28, 2020

      Omitted the cabbage because I didn't have any, and it was still delicious. Well worth making the full quantity for leftovers.

    • rrackles on December 27, 2020

      Also omitted cabbage because I had none. Used canned navy beans. Husband said he would have liked it spicier, so may add some red chili flakes next time.serving size in book says 6-8, but that is more accurate for a starter. As a main dish for lunch, the two of us finished just over half, and we are looking forward to the leftovers!

  • Cherry tomato confit

    • Laurendmck on July 23, 2018

      I made this with grape tomatoes and put it on top of small toasts with ricotta. They were quickly devoured by my dinner group!

    • e_ballad on July 04, 2021

      Delicious. Cooked for only 30 mins based on @Ro_’s review. Used in a quick pasta dish with fresh basil, Parmesan & a splash of cream.

    • Ro_ on July 03, 2021

      This was nice-not-great. I think possibly I left them too long in the oven as they ended up a bit mushy. I quite liked it (served through pasta with some chicken, parmesan, lemon) but my partner wasn't a fan.

  • Miso-mustard dressing

    • Laurendmck on October 22, 2018

      Really good on a slaw I made with cabbage, carrots, radishes, peppers, and garlic.

    • clcorbi on February 17, 2019

      Very nice, if a little heavy on the ginger for my taste. Delicious massaged into a kale/shallot salad.

    • Acarroll on September 25, 2021

      Really tasty, a little sweet for my taste. I would cut back on the honey next time.

  • Tuscan pasta and bean soup (Pasta e fagioli)

    • Cheri on February 02, 2019

      This is good, better if made ahead. The kale is bitter, of course, so the fresh parm is a good counter. Makes quite a bit. Omitted bacon, added leeks.

  • Pork braised with chilies

    • jzanger on December 11, 2017

      This tastes incredible and is dead simple to prepare. I made this on Thanksgiving day and we ate it the next night which I think gave the liquid time to reabsorb back into the pork. The resulting sauce was intense and complex without being spicy and all the beer added such a wonderful acidity to something that has the potential to be incredibly rich. I will absolutely make this again.

    • Astrid5555 on January 13, 2019

      This was excellent. Made only half a recipe, but my pork shoulder took more than 4 hours to become as tender as I wanted it to be. Used dried Guajillo chiles and the optional smoked paprika for extra smokiness. Looooved the sauce! Already looking forward to use the leftover meat to make pork tacos.

    • ShirleyHarring on March 28, 2021

      Very good base recipe - I found I wanted more liquid for the sauce though? I agree on it needing zesty flavours. I'd like to try this with an old coq or older braising hen.

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      I think I used too much chipotle, less is more here. The sauce was complex and tasty, but not as enchanting as I'd hoped. It needed a lot of bright flavors of lime, sour cream, cheese to pick it up. I'd repeat it with some tweaks.

    • averythingcooks on September 04, 2017

      We really enjoyed this shredded pork / sauce combo in tacos. I used a mix of ancho, Anaheim and cascabel dried chilies and added chipotle as asuggested. After pureeing the sauce , I tried passing some through the sieve but didn't seem to "catch" much so skipped that step for the rest of the sauce. Of course I did peel the garlic even though she "said" I didn't have to :) I did thin it a bit with beef broth before adding it back to the shredded pork. Toppings included grilled corn cut off the cob, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese AND the lime crema / quick picked red onions from Dinner CTG. Those last 2 were a delicious complement to the smoky, spicy pork.

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      I used beef broth in place of the beer. It turned out really good. Definitely deserves a repeat. Made for fantastic tacos.

    • Ro_ on October 27, 2019

      This was the first time I had ever made slow cooked pork like this, but it was very good. I used a 1.3kg pork shoulder and reduced all the ingredients except the tomatoes proportionally. I used one 500ml can of Leffe beer, some hot smoked paprika and 6 dried guajillo chiles. I took it out after 3.5 hours (I could have left it for 4 or even 4.5, realistically), shredded the pork and did the sauce, then combined them both and put the pot back in a warm oven for a couple of hours until I served. The result was very rich, smoky pork which was perfect for tacos. I agree with the other comment that this needs zingy, bright flavours to go with it: guacamole, coriander, cheese and lime were perfect with it. I'll make this again, but the tweaks I'll try will be a) using more tomatoes/liquid to get more sauce at the end (I'd have liked more) and b) trying other things than beer for the liquid, eg medium-dry cider to give a fruity, sweet note.

    • Lucylew on October 11, 2019

      I used bone in country pork ribs so mine cooked in about 3 hours. 1/3 dried ancho and 2/3 guajillo chiles and 24 oz Budweiser beer. Used the smoked paprika as well. After cooking, I removed the meat and then took out the bones, bay leaves and garlic skins and used the immersion blender on the sauce. This was so much better than I thought it would be! It made amazing tacos with corn tortillas, white onion and cilantro. Wow!

  • Curried chicken salad

    • radishseed on November 12, 2020

      Delicious. I suspect a good vegetarian version could be made by subbing chickpeas for chicken.

  • Caesar dressing

    • okcook on March 07, 2018

      This turned out really well. But, I made some modifications: I used 4 oil packed anchovy fillets; 3 T lemon juice; and 1 oz of grated Parmesan (I think there is a typo because 1 oz was about the one cup she gives as an alternate to weighing the cheese.

  • Sicilian chicken salad

    • lorloff on July 30, 2021

      This was great. I halved the recipe because I only has a small amount of cooked chicken to use. The pine nuts were wonderful and with the currants. I used vegan mayo from my farmers market. I ended up adding more of the marinated red onions because they were so delicious.

    • SugarTreeBaking on February 09, 2019

      Used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts, halved red grapes in place of the hard to locate currants. Delicious blend of flavors, very enjoyable served in butter lettuce cups. When I make this again, I’ll add a teaspoon of sumac to the red onion and olive oil mixture.

    • KarinaFrancis on December 29, 2020

      Yum, this was delicious, served on toasted sourdough for a light dinner. I felt very accomplished making the aioli by hand and it was so much better than shop bought. I’ll definitely make this again and might try the previous suggestion of using almonds and grapes.

    • bwhip on July 03, 2017

      Very tasty. A really nice blend of textures and flavors, with the creaminess of the aioli offset by the acid of the lemon juice and macerated onions, along with a little sweetness from the currants.

    • Dannausc on May 23, 2019

      Really good with a nice variety of flavors. Definitely worth a redo!

  • Spatchcocked Thanksgiving turkey

    • lorloff on November 30, 2019

      This spatchcocked turkey was a real winner. I used the method from Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Food Lab of setting a grate on top of the vegetables produced delicious vegetables and great turkey drippings for sauce. I used carrots, celery, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, rosemary and tarragon both fresh. It cooked very quickly and evenly. I used a thermapen instant read thermometer and removed the turkey when the breast in several spots reached 160. I let the turkey sit for 25 minutes before carving. Samin’s brine was magnificent and flavored the turkey throughout wonderfully. I removed the turkey from the dry brine and allowed the skin to air dry for 8 hours per Lopez-Alt’s instructions. I did not have enough time to air dry it over night. I also added fresh herbs under the skin of breasts, legs and thighs before I put the turkey in the oven to roast. I used fresh sage, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. I served with a chanterelle mushroom, rosemary and roasted garlic gravy.

  • Honey-mustard vinaigrette

    • Kjohns101 on June 12, 2018

      I love this. Made with dried shallots or without shallots. Very simple but just right amount of sweet, not too sweet. Used on a shrimp chef salad with oranges. Good on butter lettuce and goat cheese salad. Keeps well for 3 to 4 days in fridge.

  • Chicken with vinegar (Poulet au vinaigre)

    • mcvl on March 08, 2020

      Hmm. This is good, but in no way special. Another time I would take a hint from Marcella Hazan, or Judy Rogers, or Grace Young.

    • Kinhawaii on May 05, 2020

      Good. Could see this with other herbs.

    • Dannausc on March 11, 2018


  • Caesar salad or, an exercise in the art of layering salt

    • L.Nightshade on April 06, 2019

      What I actually did was follow the salad instructions on pages 48-49, then later found the dressing recipe on page 247, which is much more specific about the ingredients and amounts. The dressing also requires the mayonnaise, which I made from page 86, a lesson in fats and emulsion, then later found the actual recipe on page 375. I also made the torn croutons from pages 236, adding garlic as in the first variation on page 237, but not the oregano. It may take me a while to get the hang of this book. I found it a bit annoying that the “lessons” in the front of the book are not cross-referenced with the actual recipes later in the book. BUT. This salad was perfect! One of the best Caesar salads I’ve ever eaten. And I did like the experience of making the dressing by taste instead of by measured ingredients. I felt kinda cheffy.

  • Fresh ginger and molasses cake

    • L.Nightshade on May 20, 2019

      I've tried making this cake in a ring pan and a bundt pan, because I wanted a pretty form, but it is just too moist for that. It needs the flat pan with the parchment. So I finally gave in and made a full recipe in a springform lined with parchment, which worked perfectly. I don't think this cake needs frosting or any accompaniment, so I dusted with powdered sugar. The sugar eventually melted into the moist cake, so it needs dusting at the last minute. It's a fabulous, moist, flavorful cake. Mr. Nightshade has requested for all his birthdays, my birthday, and Christmas.

  • Creamy asparagus and mint pasta

    • Astrid5555 on June 06, 2020

      This was really good, manageable for a weekday lunch. Did not blanch the asparagus in the pasta cooking water, but sautéed the cut spears in a pan together with the yellow onions. Loved the addition of fresh mint!

  • Any-other-citrus vinaigrette

    • abrownb1 on December 16, 2019

      Super simple and delicious! The shallot can be strong if used right away - it definitely benefits from making in advance to give time to mellow. Suggest halving the shallot if using right away if you want a more delicate flavor. I've made it with a blend of lemon/grapefruit and it was wonderful, especially with salmon or shrimp and avocado.

  • Persian herb and greens frittata (Kuku sabzi)

    • apattin on April 07, 2019

      Used 15 oz spinach and 2 bunches of beet greens. 8 eggs. Divided into two so I could cook it more comfortably in a 10-inch non-stick pan.

    • apattin on April 07, 2019

      Next time I'll add some barberries 2TB

  • Tuscan bread, bean, and kale soup (Ribollita)

    • bernalgirl on January 22, 2021

      Great easy base soup, finished rosemary chile oil.

  • Indian carrot raita

    • bernalgirl on March 20, 2021

      This and dal makes such a simple and delicious meal but I can’t wait to try this with more complex dishes.

    • sosayi on January 29, 2020

      Really delicious and quick to prepare. Simply grate carrots, add to yogurt with grated ginger and spices toasted in ghee. And done! Good accompaniment to a spiced lentil soup. Would make again.

  • Persian-ish rice

    • twoyolks on June 19, 2020

      I didn't cover my rice and it came out completely cooked in about 35 minutes (I did make a half recipe). I found that the browned rice was too salty and too crunchy. It was almost too crunchy to eat.

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      After the initial parboiling the rice cooks uncovered in yogurt. In my case this was insufficient to finish cooking the rice as there are no instructions to cover the rice so it can steam. It came out pretty flavorless and raw.

    • puddlemere on January 06, 2019

      The recipe in the cookbook doesn't call for covering the rice after parboiling, but the version on the website does: I ended up covering it after about 15 minutes so that the rice would cook through, and cooked it in the butter/oil for about 45 minutes total. It came out really delicious and crispy!

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      It did not hold together when I flipped it over and could have used a few more minutes in the pan. It still tasted really good though!

  • Buttermilk-marinated roast chicken

    • twoyolks on January 06, 2021

      I'll be a contrarian and state that this wasn't really any better than any other roast chicken I've made. The chicken was fine if a bit bland. It did brown a lot but it was closer to too much. Not bad, just not exceptional.

    • Barb_N on January 24, 2019

      This does make for a very moist chicken, but it terms of flavor and ease of prep I prefer Zuni Cafe's technique. Now looking for recipes to use up buttermilk...

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      Fabulous recipe, amazingly tender and well seasoned chicken. Rivals our house recipe of roast chicken with lemons and garlic.

    • raybun on September 17, 2017

      I know it's not much of a recipe but the method is excellent! The chicken is SO moist after its salt rub and 24 hr buttermilk marinade. That varnished mahogany look is not from a strange photo filter, it really looked like this! (Photo)

    • inflytur on November 27, 2020

      Excellent for turkeys also. I followed her modified recipe for brining a turkey that was published in the NYTimes in Nov. 2020. Three quarts of buttermilk for a 13 lbs bird.

    • KaraCooks on February 14, 2020

      I make this chicken regularly...I have sometimes added Franks Red Hot to the buttermilk for a nice hit. Super easy and YUMMY!

    • bwhip on November 23, 2017

      So simple, yet so great. Perfectly moist and flavorful chicken.

    • anya_sf on December 23, 2020

      So good! Truly the moistest chicken ever. My chicken weighed a little over 4 lbs and needed an extra 15 minutes for the thighs to cook through. We sprinkled extra flaky salt on top at the end. I wonder if this technique could be used for just breasts.

    • BasicStock on December 08, 2018

      This is going to be the way I roast chicken from now on. Moist and slightly elusively tangy. Makes me want to tackle more of Samin's recipes.

    • shesketh on January 21, 2019

      Wonderful way of cooking chicken - tender, moist and full of flavour. Everyone loves it.

    • Tweedles81 on February 12, 2019

      This was my first time roasting a whole chicken, and I don’t think I am ever going to do it any other way! This was juicy and flavorful - even the leftovers were moist the next day! I look forward to building on it next time - maybe stuffing the cavity with aromatics, adding a few spices to the buttermilk marinade, etc.

    • Ro_ on September 07, 2020

      This was great in terms of the moistness and the perfectly crispy skin. However, it lacked flavour for me - possibly this is because I forgot to dissolve two tbsp of salt in the buttermilk, so I just ground salt into the buttermilk-chicken bag as best I could, but maybe not enough. Next time I'd probably add some other seasonings to the buttermilk too - some interesting suggestions in the other comments.

    • excurvatus on July 26, 2019

      I feel like the whole internet already knows this, but this truly is as amazing as everyone says it is. Relatively blank slate to add other flavours to your leftovers, too.

    • sofull on November 24, 2020

      So good. So easy. Very moist and no fuss recipe.

  • Kufte kebabs

    • twoyolks on June 19, 2020

      Pretty quick and simple to make with great flavor. I made them with ground beef without any issues.

  • Turkish köfte

    • twoyolks on June 06, 2021

      I liked the köfte but felt they were a little on the bland side.

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      So good!

  • Chicken pot pie

    • hirsheys on April 29, 2019

      I chose to make the chicken pot pie in hopes that it would be similar to one that my mom used to make growing up. In the end, my cousins (new parents, who I cooked this for) and I liked this, but didn't love it, though that may have been in part due to the few changes I made to the recipe. I stayed pretty true to the recipe, though I used chicken breasts (on the bone), rather than a whole chicken or chicken thighs, since I prefer white meat for pot pie. I also wish I'd used sherry rather than wine, since I like the flavor better. Next time I'd chop, rather than shred the chicken, too. (I left out the skin - too flabby!) You're supposed to skim off 1/2 c fat, then mix it with 1/2 c flour to make a paste that you then reincorporate with the gravy. I had much less than 1/2 c fat, but it worked fine, though a bit gluey. I used my own version of drop biscuits, rather than the ones from the book.

    • hirsheys on April 29, 2019

      Quick update - I've just eaten the leftovers from yesterday and they are WAY tastier. The whole dish went from meh to YUM. The wine flavor came out more and everything melded together much more. Next time I make this I'll make the filling the day before, then make the biscuits and bake it the day I serve it. Definitely worth making again.

  • Marshmallowy meringues

    • hirsheys on May 10, 2020

      Made these right as I was getting sick with COVID, so not sure I totally got the full experience. They were a nice texture, though.

  • Slow-roasted salmon

    • mrsmadam on July 25, 2021

      This is a great method for salmon. I had one 12 ounce, skin on filet of what I would consider normal thickness. I have to agree about checking after 25 to 30 minutes as mine was overcooked at 45 minutes. That said, I agree with Barb_N, the method is so gentle the fish was still very good. Be careful with the soy glaze. It goes from done to ruined in the blink of an eye. I ended up topping my with buttered pinko and briefly slipped it under the broiler. Also, the skin just slipped off after cooking.

    • mondraussie on October 25, 2018

      Pay attention - cooking time depends on the thickness of your salmon. Definitely check after 25-30 mins.

    • Barb_N on January 23, 2019

      Despite other’s notes about risking over cooking, I think this is a very forgiving techniques and results in moist, perfectly cooked fish. Served with lemon salsa from same book.

    • rosten on January 16, 2018

      Very good, incredibly simple. Would have been better if I pulled it out of the oven a little sooner. So, would recommend checking after 30 minutes or so. . .

    • pattyatbryce on March 06, 2019

      So simple and delicious. Now in regular rotation.

    • Skamper on June 11, 2019

      This was delicious. I used two single portions of salmon and let them roast for about 24 minutes. Basted them with tare.

    • Heykellysue on April 10, 2020

      Very simple and turned out great. I chopped a bunch of dill and cilantro and coated the filets with the herbs and olive oil and let marinate for a couple hours before cooking. the fresh dill really complemented the salmon

  • Nekisia's olive oil and sea salt granola

    • UteJohanna on November 16, 2019

      You can massively reduce sugar with great results - I make it with 100 ml maple syrup and no added sugar and it's so good!

  • Glazed five-spice chicken

    • KarinaFrancis on August 24, 2021

      Yum! I halved the recipe and used thighs and they were delicious, beautifully bronzed and sticky. I bet this would be great with wings too. I wish I’d listened to Samin and made rice for the delicious juices

    • stockholm28 on June 09, 2018

      This requires an overnight marinade. Other than that, this is a very flavorful dish that requires little effort. I cut the recipe in half and just cooked 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.

    • Barb_N on June 12, 2018

      This is an amazing marinade that spins straw into gold while cooking. Next time I will bake in a larger dish as there were too many pan juices (which I normally would relish) for the pieces to really get sticky.

    • bwhip on July 08, 2017

      Delicious! I cut up a whole chicken for it, and made my own five-spice, as my grocery store was lacking. Marinade/Glaze was really tasty. I served it with the recommended Jasmine Rice and Vietnamese Cucumber Salad from the same cookbook. Excellent, flavorful combination.

  • Roast: butternut squash and Brussels sprouts in agrodolce

    • KarinaFrancis on May 08, 2021

      I really enjoyed this salad. Unfortunately the Brussels sprouts were big and unappealing so I subbed broccollini. The agrodolce was delicious with the squash. Next time I will add a bit more mint.

    • ksg518 on September 24, 2021

      I've made this several times. It's a lovely dish especially with the agrodolce and mint. Leftovers hold up reasonably well if you keep the dressing separate. This is substantial enough to be a vegan main dish but would also make a great holiday side dish.

    • Lepa on January 27, 2018

      My family of squash skeptics loved this salad. I did, too. I will absolutely make this again. We ate it with coconut rice and soy-glazed salmon and it was a bright contrast to the rich, creamy rice. Like the other poster, I turned the vegetables so they would evenly brown.

    • Rutikazooty on January 13, 2018

      This is an amazing dish!! I’m not crazy about squash but this is so good. I did turn the squash and brussel sprouts over while they roasted although it didn’t say to do that in order to get browned on other side.

  • Vietnamese cucumber salad

    • KarinaFrancis on April 11, 2021

      Like previous reviewers, I thoroughly enjoyed this simple, fresh and crunchy salad.

    • clcorbi on February 17, 2019

      Excellent cucumber salad. I omitted the cilantro because I didn't have any, and thought it was fine with just the mint. The toasted peanuts really take this over the top.

    • sosayi on February 15, 2020

      Delicious cucumber salad. I upped the fish sauce slightly and only had dried mint, not fresh. Otherwise followed the directions exactly. Would make again.

    • Rutikazooty on January 14, 2018

      Delicious salad.

    • Ro_ on June 18, 2021

      I love cucumber salads, and this was a great one. I accidentally bought parsley instead of coriander, so just used that, and it was fine! Loved the sour acidity of this salad, and the richness of the peanuts. Will make again.

    • Beebopalulu on December 08, 2019

      Good cucumber salad, but not extraordinary

  • Shaved fennel and radishes

    • Zosia on August 07, 2020

      Bright tasting and with good crunch. It went well with the slow-roasted salmon (citrus variation)

    • damazinah on December 26, 2020

      This is a great light salad to counter richer meals. I served it at Christmas dinner with some Italian fare, but it would work well anytime you just want a bright, easy side. Shaving the radish & fennel give them a much less intense, almost sweet (by vegetable terms), flavor.

  • Citrus salmon

    • Zosia on August 07, 2020

      The slow-roasting method worked very well and the citrus complemented the salmon nicely.

  • Bright cabbage slaw

    • bching on March 17, 2019

      What a great technique and variations. It's now my go to slaw. The recipe says it serves 4 generously. I'd say it serves 8 generously, and it's easy to scale up and down.

    • averythingcooks on December 26, 2018

      I made this to serve with tacos (chile braised pork from the same book). For me, it was far too acidic ..... a couple of spoonfuls of miracle whip (I know - love it or hate it!) tossed in fixed it for my palate.

    • sdutton on January 16, 2019

      My husband and I make this often. We love it.

  • Indian-spiced salmon

    • ksg518 on January 27, 2021

      Just delicious. I had great salmon which probably contributed to the final product but we felt the spices worked perfectly with the salmon. I think the cooking time is a little too much - mine was done in about 35 minutes. This is a spinoff of Nosrat's slow cooked salmon so check the reviews for that recipe for more comments about the cooking time.

  • Chicken with lentil rice (Adas polo o morgh)

    • twarner on December 08, 2020

      This was absolutely delicious!

    • paisleymonsoon on December 29, 2020

      This homey and tasty. The raisins are really the best part. I will definitely make this again. I could have shaved a lot of the 1-hour prep time off this recipe if I'd cooked the chicken and onions at the same time in separate pans. I ended up having to wash the pan after cooking the onions because the bottom was getting too black, so I didn't get any bonus flavor. Also, this recipe tricked me a couple of times because I didn't realize I should NOT have rinsed the basmati rice. I did, and then I had to dry it off. Also, I didn't realize I needed to pre-cook the lentils. So there I was an hour into prep with uncooked lentils. I just threw them in the pot and hoped 40 minutes would cook them. It did, and I liked the texture better than mush. I kept adding more water because I was afraid of everything sticking and burning. In the end, I added twice as much or more than the original liquid amount. However, the salt amount recommended was accurate to properly salt the dish.

  • Meyer lemon salsa

    • Barb_N on January 23, 2019

      I made this to serve with slow roasted salmon. I don’t have access to organic meyer lemons so made with regular lemon. Simple and more than the sum of its parts.

  • Finger-lickin' pan-fried chicken

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      I usually omit parmesan for ease of prep. The key is seasoning (salting) all toppings really well - the flour and the bread crumbs. Frying takes about 2X as long as indicated, but that may be because I'm a lazy chicken pounder. I usually only use about 3-4 tbsp of ghee, and it's enough. Excellent tender, flavorful chicken that has none of dryness or stringiness common to chicken breasts.

  • Meat: pasta al ragù

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      Fabulously rich and complex sauce, made the house smell so good that my non-pork eating guests asked if they could have some. Comes together very easily, and is incredibly flavorful and rewarding.

    • ldtrieb on September 19, 2017

      Used up some whey I had frozen instead of milk (I did correct later after long cook down and add some regular milk) I had ground pork and ground up some leftover tri tip for the beef. It was lovely, more in the freezer for later.

    • Ro_ on September 27, 2020

      Incredibly rich, smoky, very meaty, unctuous from (presumably) the whole milk (I actually used semi skimmed + some cream). I can't get good quality ground pork where I live, so I actually just used a piece of pork shoulder and a piece of beef chuck and chopped them up very small myself with a knife. The meat certainly cooked through and was very tender, but it didn't start falling apart, so I think texturally the dish would have been better with actual ground meat. I made a half quanity, and 400g of pasta, which I thought would give the two of us eating it leftovers, but it was so good we ended up polishing off the lot ;-)

  • Tomato: pasta alla pomarola

    • ldtrieb on September 19, 2017

      I used wonderful tomatoes, they are so good this year. Froze some and made meat sauce with the rest.

    • spatterson88 on March 14, 2021

      I'll probably not use as many onions next time - they were big and using two overwhelmed my canned tomatoes.

  • Almond and cardamom tea cake

    • ldtrieb on September 19, 2017

      Was afraid it would be too sweet, reduced the sugar by 1/3 and almond paste from 9 oz to 7 oz. Ground my own cardamom and increased it slightly as I found a little more than the recipe called for. It came out very light, with subtle taste of cardamom and slightly crunchy almonds on top. I would definitely make this again.

    • anya_sf on March 31, 2021

      I didn't try the cake until 2 days after baking, but it was still delicious.The cake was soft, dense, moist (no surprise with all that butter and almond paste), with a prominent cardamom flavor which I loved. Note: wrapped several times in plastic and foil, the cake survived an airplane journey in a carry-on suitcase.

    • Dannausc on May 23, 2019

      I liked it quite a bit.

  • Vegetable: pasta with broccoli and bread crumbs

    • pistachiopeas on February 26, 2021

      Made for the second time recently, and used panko toasted in olive oil for the breadcrumbs. The kids loved it.

    • Lepa on August 22, 2018

      I was trying to recreate a perfect bowl of pasta that I enjoyed in Italy recently so my expectations were rather high and I was probably setting myself up for disappointment. This made a good bowl of pasta, for sure, but the long-cooked broccoli didn't have the simple, sweet taste of the broccoli pasta of my dreams so I enjoyed it less than I might have under different circumstances. It was quite good with the breadcrumbs and parmesan (and anchovy) but I'm afraid I'll have to keep looking for the perfect recipe.

    • Dannausc on December 10, 2017

      Quite good.

    • excurvatus on July 26, 2019

      The technique this recipe teaches is so useful. I was impressed how much I could do with so little.

    • paisleymonsoon on January 03, 2021

      I made this one with the bean variation (great Northern beans) and the added suggestion of olives. I also added cherry tomatoes which I think added a nice fresh layer to the dish. It's nothing to write home about, but it was good. My vegetarian pre-teen loved it, so that's always a win. The beans made it extremely filling.

  • Conveyor belt chicken

    • jdub1371 on June 21, 2020

      Very tasty (and moist) chicken thigh, even seasoned with nothing but salt. Skin was pleasantly crisp but not crackly-crisp. Good just the way it is but would be easy to spice up. Boning a thigh is easy and it cooks fast under weight.

    • Dolcetto23 on January 30, 2021

      Dangerously good. Definitely worth using top notch organic chicken for this.

    • excurvatus on August 03, 2019

      I went through a stage of making this - I feel like the fat had difficulty getting fully rendered for me. I'm going to return to it very soon.

  • Spicy brined turkey breast

    • janeh9 on August 31, 2019

      Moist and delicious! Brined for about 12 hours. I added two turkey legs to the brine, moved all to a small roasting pan after initial stove top cooking. I was skeptical about the amount of pepper flakes called for, but the brine is perfect! P.S. Got the boneless turkey breast at Trader Joe’s.

    • Frenchfoodie on March 20, 2020

      This is so good! My half breast made for a half recipe which was still so juicy and tender. Not spicy at all.

    • Tweedles81 on April 02, 2019

      I was hoping to use this for sandwiches as Samin suggested, but my family loved it so much that they didn’t leave me with any leftovers from our dinner! I had to deviate from the recipe a little. I used a bone-in skin-on breast, which took about 5-10 minutes longer to cook. I also only brined the turkey for 5 hours, because I didn’t have more time. The turkey was still super moist and flavorful (and not too spicy as I feared) so I didn’t feel that I missed anything. I will definitely make this again, but will try to find a boneless breast as Samin suggested.

  • Chicken and garlic soup

    • LittleTex on September 23, 2020

      I found this soup to be amazing. It lifted my spirits on a dark winter's evening, it cured what ailed me. Don't leave out the parmesan rind; you can fish it out and chop it when it cools, and add it back in. Highly recommended.

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      Pretty decent. I liked it better than my wife did.

  • Autumn panzanella (roasted squash, sage, and hazelnut)

    • LittleTex on September 23, 2020

      A process-oriented, multi-component recipe with delicious results. Well worth making. I reduced the amount of macerated red onion to just a sprinkle (I have a hard time with raw onion); also used less bread than called for. Very hearty, could almost make a meal by itself.

    • anya_sf on December 22, 2020

      I made sort of a cross between this and the Winter panzanella, using roasted squash, roasted red onion (not raw), hazelnuts, arugula (no one likes kale), and roquefort cheese (no sage). It was delicious. The croutons that sat longer were better, as the other ones were fairly crunchy. Next time I will try regular vinaigrette instead of browned butter, as I think it might coat everything more evenly.

    • Beebopalulu on December 03, 2019

      Very nice flavours. Used swiss chard instead of kale due to availability.

  • Brown butter vinaigrette

    • LittleTex on September 23, 2020

      Delicious and a gorgeous color. Who would have thought to use butter in a vinaigrette.

    • anya_sf on December 22, 2020

      Interesting and good. Not sure I like it better than oil-based vinaigrette, but it was tasty in panzanella where the croutons soaked up some of the butter.

    • lindseyshannon34 on June 14, 2020

      This was interesting. Made it with strawberry salad, macerated red onions and toasted hazelnuts. Would make again

  • Asian slaw

    • Lepa on April 18, 2018

      We liked the gingery taste of this slaw but I think it would benefit from a bit of fat- maybe some sesame oil? Also, I used purple cabbage and I'm not convinced the salting was necessary or improved the taste/texture of this slaw.

    • Skamper on January 02, 2021

      This is very good. I made just enough for 2 and eyeballs the amounts.

  • Avocado, beet, and citrus salad

    • rosten on September 07, 2017

      Great instructions on prepping each part of salad independently. Lots of possible variations. I was surprised at how much better this very simple salad could get using her careful instructions.

  • Indian-spiced fried chicken

    • puddlemere on January 06, 2019

      This turned out amazing--I'm kind of obsessed with the Indian spice/mango chutney glaze combo. We used deboned chicken thighs.

  • (Shell)fish: pasta with clams (Pasta alle vongole)

    • metacritic on September 04, 2020

      This dish sings. I adore this cookbook and so far this is the standout recipe (alongside it's variation with sausage). Serve this dish and those with you will sigh, with contentment but also a sense of discontent, knowing they have never encountered its equal. I don't believe that the dishes I've had on the Amalfi coast quite approach this level, though I can't wait to try this with real Sorrentine lemons.

  • Tahini dressing

    • metacritic on November 10, 2020

      We loved this on arugula. A rich, creaming, and filling dressing. This would be especially good on grilled veggies or with cucumbers and more substantial vegetables added to greens.

  • Classic apple pie

    • metacritic on December 24, 2020

      The platonic ideal of pie. The crust is superb. Follow every step and you will find Nirvana.

  • Caramel cream

    • metacritic on December 24, 2020

      This is ridiculously good. I couldn't imagine the recipe would work and I couldn't imagine this book would fail. I was half right. The caramel stayed soft and molten even after cooling and the whipped cream obtained soft peaks. I can't imagine what dessert I craved that this wouldn't improve.

  • Green goddess dressing

    • inflytur on August 11, 2021

      I like the addition of avocado. Unless you are using it immediately, add some citric acid to keep the green color for a couple of days. Would that I could find chervil. I used parsley, but less of it.

    • Frenchfoodie on July 22, 2018

      Tasty though I found it a little acidic, next time I’d hold back on the vinegar and add only after tasting.

  • Cardamom panna cotta

    • inflytur on September 15, 2020

      A lovely panna cotta with the bright flavor Of buttermilk. I used white cardamom which gave a subtle flavor. It was a bit softer than I prefer. Next time I’ll try adding an additional ¼ tsp of gelatin.

    • anya_sf on March 06, 2021

      Good cardamom flavor with a brightness from the buttermilk. My panna cottas turned out plenty firm enough to unmold cleanly.

  • Pasta with sausage and broccoli

    • averythingcooks on March 03, 2021

      This was a great inspiration for a "fridge clean out" dinner for 2! I cut the aromatics in 1/2, used the last of the broccoli (around 9 oz) & the meat from 2 medium heat sausages. The last handful of grape tomatoes also went into the pan with the broccoli. The end of some Boursin went in with the pasta water & parm to form the creamy sauce and since we like more "stuff" than pasta, I used around 4 oz of farfalle. Lastly, I made Thug Kitchen's crunchy panko pasta topping and we both agreed - this a definite repeat.

  • Tomato vinaigrette

    • bwhip on September 07, 2017

      Used this on a Caprese Salad last night, and it was delightful.

    • amandah2021 on October 10, 2021

      Great with a salad of butter lettuce, Parmesan, and avocado.

  • Smooth: silky sweet corn soup

    • bwhip on August 06, 2017

      Very simple, extremely delicious! A family friend gave us a bunch of fresh corn, and this was a fantastic way to use a bunch of it.

    • anya_sf on July 05, 2020

      Really nice, light, fresh flavor. I scaled the recipe down for 3 ears of corn, serving 3 for lunch. Topped it with a fresh salsa made with tomato, avocado, green onion, mint, and lime.

    • excurvatus on July 26, 2019

      This recipe made me want to make all soup like this - it's incredibly simple, and allows the ingredients to truly shine.

  • Lori's chocolate midnight cake

    • bwhip on July 03, 2017

      Excellent cake. Great chocolate flavor, and a nice, light crumb from the oil. The vanilla whipped cream was the perfect light counterbalance. Recipe calls for hot water or coffee, we used coffee as I've always found it's great for chocolate cake flavor.

  • Torn croutons

    • anya_sf on December 22, 2020

      I appreciated the instructions on how to create torn croutons (you don't have to tear everything). The croutons were quite crisp after 16 minutes.

  • Mexican-ish herb salsa

    • amandabeck on January 15, 2018

      Delicious! I used pickled jalapenos because it is impossible to get fresh ones where I live-- still turned out wonderful! Added some chopped cabbage as well for a nice crunch. Would have doubled or tripled the recipe if I knew it was going to be so delicious.

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      Good easy; a nice accompaniment for tacos.

    • Ro_ on October 27, 2019

      I think I may have somehow got the proportions wrong, as I found this to be more liquid than I was expecting. The taste was very good though. I can't get jalapeno peppers here, so I used a regular red chilli pepper. I served this with tacos made from the Braised Chilli Pork recipe, the fresh flavours of the salsa complimented the meat very well. I'd be tempted to add finely diced tomato if I made this salsa again.

  • Crispiest spatchcocked chicken

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      Super crispy; quite good

  • Tuna confit

    • Dannausc on May 23, 2019

      Good and easy.

  • Herbed yogurt

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      It was missing a little something/needed some acid, so I sprinkled in some sumac which did the trick.

    • pattyatbryce on March 06, 2019

      This + Persianish Rice + Slow Roasted Salmon = Terrific meal. Easy sauce and adaptable.

  • Mexi-slaw

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      Good, easy; a nice accompaniment for tacos.

    • aisy on May 06, 2021

      I now know this basic formula well enough to adapt it and go without the recipe. I love the salting cabbage method. I add more lime juice than vinegar now and plenty of extra veggies--whatever's in the fridge.

  • Japanese sesame seed dressing (Goma-ae)

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      Good, but the tahini was a little overpowering.

  • Lemon vinaigrette

    • Tweedles81 on March 02, 2019

      Another great vinaigrette recipe from Samin! I made this to go with a spinach, avocado, and mango salad. I would have made her lime vinaigrette (incredible) but was out of limes and tried this instead. I was very happy with it and will make it again. I think it would go especially well with Italian salads and meals.

  • Classic egg drop soup

    • patioweather on April 22, 2018

      Couldn't be easier but everyone really enjoyed this. I don't think the cornstarch really contributed that much so it could be omitted.

  • Steamy sauté: garlicky green beans

    • Ro_ on October 29, 2019

      A basic recipe for steamed grean beens with a little bit of garlic, but it works well and is worth repeating. Gave a nice fresh texture and taste.

  • Persian herb and cucumber yogurt

    • purrviciouz on September 21, 2020

      I could eat this by the spoonful. While a nice accompaniment to a savory dish, it's delicious on its own as well.

  • Basic pesto

    • purrviciouz on August 14, 2020

      This is my favorite basic pesto method so far. It's a great combination of the slow vs. modern way to make it and produces great flavor. I love to put it on cold pasta salad or in scrambled eggs.

  • Summer panzanella (tomato, basil, and cucumber)

    • Jviney on August 21, 2021

      This was fine, I didn't feel it was outstanding. My balsamic vinegar wasn't quite up to snuff and that may have made a difference. Perfectly serviceable but not a showstopper.

  • Lime vinaigrette

    • hbakke on May 01, 2019

      I used the juice of one whole lime as the ratio of oil to lime juice was not to my liking. After adding another clove of garlic, more lime juice, and additional salt I think this vinaigrette turned out well.

  • Shaved carrot salad with ginger and lime

    • excurvatus on July 26, 2019

      This is such a delicious salad. It has amazing zing, along with a little heat, and sweetness. It's perfectly balanced and kept pretty well in the fridge for a few days.

  • Persian Shirazi salad

    • excurvatus on July 26, 2019

      The prep for this isn't minimal, but it's so worth it. what a way to take delight in tomatoes and herbs.

  • Sausage ragù

  • Steamy sauté: Indian green beans

    • MAF on March 22, 2021

      Delicious, crispy, crunchy, great with curry.

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Reviews about this book

  • Kitchn

    ...through simple illustrations and warm recipes she reveals how to balance salt, fat, acid, and heat — because once someone understands those fundamentals, they’re going to cook everything better.

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    8 Cooks on Why “Salt Fat Acid Heat” Is Such a Special, Unlikely Hit

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    Picked for the first Kitchn Cookbook Club.

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    I love to cook, but I’m not big into recipes all the time unless I’m baking. Her book gives me the freedom to taste and test and have fun. It’s a must in the kitchen.

    Full review
  • Stonesoup

    Always good to revisit the basics and Samin is an excellent guide. So much to learn! There aren’t any photos though so if you like your images this might not be the best book for you.

    Full review
  • Kitchn in-the-know show's originating text, full of wise advice for learning the intuitive elements of cooking.

    Full review
  • Kitchn by Faith Durand

    This award-winning cookbook is becoming a must-watch new Netflix show.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Nosrat takes on a completely different mission, which is, in the span of one volume, to provide a universal culinary education.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Samin offers a simple, straightforward, often funny, totally complete education in food and cooking. She presents these lessons in a manner that is easy to digest...

    Full review
  • Eat the Love

    Samin’s book not only breaks down the mystique of cooking food, but also shows you that you can make fantastic food from some of the most basic ingredients.

    Full review
  • Simply Recipes edifying and engaging—you have a cooking teacher in the room with you who goes deep into the details. And as we all know, that’s where the devil resides, especially in cooking.

    Full review
  • Food52

    What Food52 members are saying about this book.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Picked for Food52's September 2017 Cookbook Club.

    Full review
  • Joy the Baker

    Simplicity and knowledge and beautiful drawings. This book is approachable and inspiring and lays a strong, strong foundation.

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...we’re really excited about the’s full of ...I can’t believe I never thought of that prioritizes a love of learning as much as a love of cooking.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1476753830
  • ISBN 13 9781476753836
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Apr 04 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 464
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster

Publishers Text

James Beard Award Winner - General 2018

A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.

In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes—and dozens of variations—to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs.

Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will be your compass in the kitchen. Destined to be a classic, it just might be the last cookbook you’ll ever need.

With a foreword by Michael Pollan.

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