What to Cook This Week

Dooymaaj salad, cheesy kimchi noodles and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. I love Kay Chun’s tofu and cabbage stir-fry with basil (above), a subtle recipe with a nice mustardy kick. But what I want for dinner is a punchy, freestyled variation on that dish with bacon in place of the basil, and a sauce of oyster and soy sauces, water, cornstarch and a sprinkle of sugar.

It’s what we here call a no-recipe recipe, a kind of prompt rather than a precise list of instructions. This one is based on my memories of a dish served at a nondescript Chinese restaurant in the garment district of Manhattan — the restaurant’s best dish, the only thing there worth ordering.

How to make it? Stir the sauce together in a small bowl with enough water to dissolve the cornstarch, and enough of the oyster and soy sauces to make it delicious. A little sugar provides balance. Stir-fry some diced bacon in a wok and set it aside; stir-fry cubed tofu in the bacon fat and set aside; then stir-fry sliced cabbage until it just begins to soften. Splash it with rice wine or a tablespoon of water, and add the sauce, the cooked bacon and tofu; stir everything to combine. Serve with white rice and chile crisp.

Or just make Kay’s recipe instead. It’s fantastic.

And with Sunday squared away, we can move on to the rest of the week …


Naz Deravian came up with this recipe for dooymaaj salad, a homage to a beloved Iranian afternoon snack. It’s a zesty bread salad best made with crisp lavash, under a tangy buttermilk dressing and loads of herbs. Nice!


Lara Lee’s recipe for cheesy kimchi noodles is a fantastic way to use up any dusty packets of instant ramen that may be in your pantry. (Save the spice packets for use on popcorn.) Top with fried eggs and eat right away.


I wrote this recipe for steak mock frites because steak frites is one of the great meals of all time, but making the frites is not weeknight work. Mock frites are. (I serve the finished dish with maître d’hôtel butter, but you may prefer béarnaise sauce.)


Melissa Clark is one of our most accomplished make-what-you-have-on-hand cooks, and this recipe for pasta with tuna, capers and scallions proves it plain. “Great recipe, easily adapted,” wrote one of our subscribers, “and most importantly, it follows Marcella Hazan’s timeless advice to not cook the canned tuna … Makes a world of difference.”


And then you can head into the weekend with Kay Chun’s recipe for chicken birria, which comes together in under an hour. Eat as a stew, or shred the meat for tacos — or a version of quesabirria. So good!

There are thousands more recipes to cook this week awaiting you on New York Times Cooking, and additional inspiration on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Of course, you need a subscription to get the recipes. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t yet, would you please subscribe today? For a limited time, you’ll get 50 percent off your first year. Thanks.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with crepes or maduros, but I’m unreasonably excited to get started on “Toad,” a previously unpublished novel by Katherine Dunn, who died in 2016.

In case you missed it, here’s Willy Staley in The New York Times Magazine with “The Try Guys and the Prison of Online Fame.”

I’d like to jet to Paris, see this show “Things,” on the history of the still life, at the Louvre, then have dinner at Le Coq & Fils. Poulet de Bresse!

Finally, long story, but here’s Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood covering the Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You” in 1968, and that’s what you ought to be listening to all week long. Enjoy that, and I’ll be back on Friday.

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