Kitchen Confidence: Practical Tips for Cooking with Intuition | Julie Yoon | Skillshare

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Kitchen Confidence: Practical Tips for Cooking with Intuition

teacher avatar Julie Yoon, Kitchen Coach

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Cooking with Intuition?


    • 3.

      Why Cook with Intuition?


    • 4.

      My Culinary Journey


    • 5.

      Cover Your Kitchen Basics


    • 6.

      Make Food Taste Better


    • 7.

      Take Inventory of Your Pantry


    • 8.

      Shop Smartly


    • 9.

      Sauce is Boss


    • 10.

      Recipe vs. No Recipe?


    • 11.

      Fix Your Mistakes


    • 12.

      Project Supplies


    • 13.

      Cook with Me


    • 14.

      Your Project


    • 15.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

This class is your entry point to mastering how to cook with intuition, so you don't always have to rely on recipes. If you ever wanted to open up your fridge, pull out "this and that," and whip up a healthy and delicious meal on the fly, this class is for you!

Cooking with intuition might sound like a daunting idea, but there are practical ways to get there. In this class, you will learn to:

  • cook from a recipe first
  • keep a well-stocked pantry
  • shop smartly
  • make food taste better
  • push yourself creatively
  • fix your mistakes
  • learn to cook without a recipe

We'll start with the foundations you need to set yourself up for success, and then it's up to you to practice what you learned at home. Cooking with intuition is a journey, so it will take time to truly understand how to do it well. Start with these tips and then enjoy the tasty adventure! See you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Julie Yoon

Kitchen Coach


Hey there! I'm Julie, a trained chef who's passionate about helping home cooks gain confidence in the kitchen. I'm a kitchen coach on YouTube and now a teacher on Skillshare! I'm all about teaching real life skills when it comes to cooking, and helping you feel like a boss in your kitchen. There's always room to grow and new skills to discover, so let's get started on this journey together! Welcome to our "Yooniverse!"



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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Are you afraid to cook without a recipe? Or want to start trusting your gut more when it comes to cooking? Have you ever wanted to open your fridge, pull out this than that, and be able to whip up a healthy and delicious meal confidently? That's what it means to cook with intuition. Hi, I'm Julie, a trained chef who's passionate about helping beginner cooks gain confidence in the kitchen. I'm a kitchen coach on YouTube, and now a teacher right here on Skillshare. Cooking with intuition might sound like a nebulous concept, but there are practical ways to get there. In this class, I'll first talk about the foundations you need to set yourself up for success, which includes shopping smartly. Then we'll learn how to start with a recipe, and then veer off of it to make it your own by utilizing the things you have on hand. You will even be able to embrace your mistakes because I'll show you how to troubleshoot your cooking when something goes wrong. Whether you're just starting out or simply wish that she could cook without always relying on a recipe, this class is for you. My hope is that you will walk away from this class, excited to step into your own kitchen with a new mindset. Trusting your intuition in the kitchen is a journey and it takes practice. But once you master it, it becomes an invaluable life-skill and makes cooking way more enjoyable. Let's get started together. I'll see you in class. 2. What is Cooking with Intuition?: Cooking with intuition means that you know how to think quickly on your feet and make the most of the availability of ingredients that you have on hand. It's okay to follow recipes and in fact, in the beginning, I actually recommend it. But think about how your grandmother would have cooked. She would have cooked simply by smell, look, taste, and feel. This might seem out of reach, especially if you're a beginner cook but the key is that this confidence develops over time, especially with the more cooking that you do. The good news is that you're already doing it. You might look intuitively at the top of a cake or bread to see if it's browning, that gives you an indication of when it's ready to come out of the oven. We know the smell of something that's about to burn and you start running to check on it or you might omit the spice of a recipe to cater it towards kids. You're already observing, adjusting, and using common sense. All we have to do now is hone in on those skills. Now, let's talk about the why. 3. Why Cook with Intuition?: Why should you cook with intuition? Using the foods that are already in your fridge, freezer, and pantry means that you can cut down on food waste and actually save money. You could even use leftovers to inspire other recipes, cutting down your food waste even further. This also saves time, so you don't have to keep making trips to the grocery store. More recipe success. Cooking with intuition helps you when you're cooking a recipe for the very first time. No matter how a recipe is written, you always want to use your common sense. Even if a recipe says to cook something for five minutes, but you can clearly see it getting overcooked, maybe you'll stop cooking it at four minutes. Maybe you need to add a little oil to the pan because it's getting dry. Maybe your sauce is getting too thick, and you need to add a splash of water to thin it out. The more experience you have with cooking, the easier this type of intuition will come to you. It's more fun. When you cook with your gut and feel, you give yourself the freedom to have more fun. You're not striving for perfection, but instead, you're aiming to create a meal that you actually like the taste of. Even when you read cookbooks, you'll see that the best recipes often come from mistakes and resourcefulness. Allowing myself the freedom to be creative in my cooking has made my time in the kitchen way more fun and interesting. In fact, my family never knows what they're going to eat, every meal, which I think that's fun too. They'll just know that it's going to be good. With every cooking experience, I make mental notes of what tastes good together, and I use that for the next time. In my next video, I'll talk about my culinary journey and how I built my cooking intuition over time. 4. My Culinary Journey: I started out working as a fashion designer in New York City, until I traded in that fancy lifestyle to work behind a cupcake counter of a famous New York bakery, while I attended Culinary school at nights. Eventually, I got promoted to nighttime baker. It wasn't glamorous, and it was definitely hard work. But I'm really glad I went through both of those experience so that I could gain basic skills and knowledge, as well as a mindset of a chef. It was during this time that I became fearless. After graduation, I went on to work as a food stylist in New York City, working behind the scenes of cooking shows and magazines. I even got to work with celebrity chefs like Rachael Ray and Lidia Bastianich. With every assignment and project, I had to work with cooking ingredients and techniques that were new to me. With that experience under my belt, I got married and moved to California where I started my food blog, as well as my own catering business. This eventually turned into private cooking lessons. In California, we lived across the street from this Saturday farmers market, so I was constantly perusing and getting inspired by whatever ingredients were there. That coupled with the fact that we were living on a tighter budget, made me more scrappy and willing to play around with whatever was on hand. Then my husband, Joe and I moved to Chicago, where we jumpstarted our YouTube channel together, where I now teach about kitchen confidence. We even did a short stint of something called, underground supper club, where we joined forces with another chef friend, and the kitchen was our playground. We got to experiment with different flavor profiles and cooking techniques, for new diners every week. Then I became a mom, to our little boy Lincoln, and he is my toughest food critic. He definitely keeps me on my toes, and I'm constantly having to cook quickly, use what I have, and adjust recipes so that we can all enjoy the meal together. With every culinary job and life experience, it has helped me to stretch my mind, and even bend the rules of cooking. It's all about what tastes good to you and that's honestly how I cook everyday in my home. That's how I built my cooking intuition over time. Now let's talk about the importance of knowing your kitchen basics. 5. Cover Your Kitchen Basics: Learn your cooking methods. If you don't have the basic cooking skills of how to boil, braise, grill, fry, saute, then consider taking a cooking class, even virtually, or watch some cooking shows on TV or online and take notes. Read cookbooks and recipes, and study them. Pay attention to all the tips, techniques, and terminologies, and then practice them yourself. By studying and understanding cooking methods, you'll begin to realize how foods and flavors develop under different conditions and temperatures. For example, poaching requires a gentle, stable, liquid cooking environment with relatively low temperatures, while sauteing and frying are complete opposite techniques, and they require high cooking temperatures. Once you're familiar with each cooking technique, you'll start to intuitively know which ones to use, for which types of food, to get the results that you want. You got to know some knife skills. Knife skills are probably the most important skills that you need to survive in cooking. I would say that knife skills are life skills. When I first entered culinary school, I didn't even know how to do the basic cuts, but once I learned them, I had to take it a step further. I was a poor culinary student living in Manhattan, and all I could afford was a big bag of potatoes. I would go home after learning the techniques in class, and I would practice on the potatoes until I got it down. There are a lot of different types of cuts. Some are fancy, and you don't need to know them all. I would say the ones you need to really focus on are how to slice, dice, mince, and julienne. Remember carry-over cooking and resting. It's important to remember that even after you removed your food from direct heat, its internal temperature will continue to rise for a short period of time, and that's called carry-over cooking. This is when somethings can get accidentally overcooked. This is why resting is important. You take it off the heat, and you just put on your cutting board, and you just let it rest for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute. That's why for veggies, you can see many cooks stopping the cooking process by shocking it or plunging it into a bowl of ice water. This will stop it from turning more mushy. It'll just stop it in its tracks and preserve the crispness that it has when you first take it out of the water. A few tools that I recommend to get maximum success is an instant read digital thermometer, an oven thermometer, and a food scale. These things will definitely take the guesswork out of your cooking because you'll know that everything is accurate. This will also help you to follow recipes without wondering. Now that we have our basics covered, let's move onto practical ways to make our food taste better. 6. Make Food Taste Better: Making food taste good is an intuitive skill, but there are practical pro tips to help you out. Cook with the five taste qualities: salt, sugar, sour, bitter, and umami. Use these as tools to guide you in your cooking and trust your taste buds. Respect how salt brings up flavors in food. So proper seasoning is really important. I spent a whole semester in culinary school where the instructor was drilling us on how to season properly. He would taste each and every one of our dishes and usually report back with "Needs more seasoning", which meant it lacked salt. It took a long time for me to get that down. Understand the Maillard reaction. One of the most important flavor-producing reactions in cooking is the Maillard reaction or the browning reaction. But the important thing to remember about the Maillard reaction isn't necessarily about the color, but the flavor that it produces. So really it should be called the flavor reaction. Just remember that browning equals flavor and you want to get to that at some point of your cooking, whether it's the very beginning or even at the end. If it's in the beginning, it's like when you pan sear a steak and you get that nice fondue or that crust, or if it's at the end, it's like when you toast a top of breadcrumbs on top of your mac and cheese. There are two key factors to produce the Maillard reaction, which is dryness and temperature. So you have to make sure that the surface of what you're trying to brown is dry, so that's why sometimes you have to pat it dry with a paper towel. Then also temperature. It needs to be hot enough. That's why it's important to preheat a pan, is those kinds of things you have to keep in mind when you start cooking. Knowing and understanding these things will help you to cook intuitively. You have to understand the importance of umami because that is like a cheat sheet way to get the flavor that you want in foods. It's really necessary to keep some of those ingredients on hand in your pantry. Umami is that savory, deep flavor or what the French call the [inaudible] or the "I don't know what" flavor. It's like salty but more than salty. There's almost a fermented, deep, earthy, meaty flavor to it, sometimes even funky. Sometimes it's found in fermented foods like fish sauce or miso paste. It can also come from anchovies, aged cheese, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and tomato paste. In fact, one of my favorite cheat ingredients to use when cooking is better than bouillon, because it has that same like deep salty yet a little bit earthy, meaty taste to it. I usually add it to things when it's lacking a little bit of flavor, like even taco meat, sauces, or soups. It really gives that dish a restaurant-quality taste. It's when you're lacking that little bit of something, you don't know what it is, look for something with umami. The cool thing about these ingredients is that it adds that incredible, savory flavor without really imparting its own flavor into the dish. Even if you use fish sauce, well, a little goes a long way and that's the case for most of these ingredients. It won't have necessarily a fishy taste to it. Same thing with anchovies when you melted away into a pan sauce. In fact, I found out that there's this Brussels sprouts dish that I really like from a certain restaurant, and the secret ingredient is fish sauce. Like who would have thought. It's the same thing with Korean fermented bean paste or doenjang. I actually sneak that in into a marinade when I'm marinating pork for a Korean royal pork, and it doesn't taste like bean paste or anything fermented, it just taste really earthy and savory at the end. Lastly, just think to yourself, what is this dish lacking? Could it really benefit with a splash of acid? Most likely the answer will be yes, because acid can really brighten up most foods. So especially for like, slow-braised, low simmering soups, stews, things like that, things that had been cooking for a long time, even if you add just the tiniest hint of vinegar or lemon juice at the end, it really changes the flavor profile. Now that we have these tips in mind, it's time to take inventory of your pantry. 7. Take Inventory of Your Pantry: Just like an artist needs various paints, brushes, and canvas to create their masterpiece, likewise, you're going to need assorted vinegars, salts, oils, seasonings to create your own artistic expression. What do you have to work with? What's already in your pantry will tell you a lot about you and what cooking style you naturally prefer. For instance, do you have a lot of Asian ingredients? Italian? Mexican? Do you tend to be low carb and don't have a lot of grains? Really study yourself and your pantry. Look through your spices, which ones do you tend to use up the most? By looking through what you already have, you can get some ideas doing. Sometimes I even forget that there's something in my pantry, and when I finally discover it, it sparks something new. That's what happened when I discovered I had some rice paper leftover from a catering job. That's what inspired me to come up with recipes like salmon wrapped in rice paper and shrimp and avocado summer rolls. Stock up on some staple pantry items. A few of them can include obviously kosher salt and black pepper, olive oil, and a neutral cooking oil like canola or vegetable. Do you have a variety of vinegars such as balsamic, red wine, white wine, rice wine, apple cider? Choose about seven or eight spices that you really like. I don't necessarily prefer huge spice racks with all the spices, because after a while, you'll know which ones you actually use and which ones you don't. Once again, umami ingredients are key. That's like your soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dried mushrooms, tomato paste. Depending on your diet and preference, keep a selection of noodles, pastas, grains, dried beans, lentils. Think about canned items like tomatoes, beans, and chicken stock. Did you take a look at your condiments? Condiments that you actually enjoy having to like, say, make yourself a sandwich. That includes your mayo, Dijon Mustard, Sriracha sauce, honey, nut butters, jams. All of these are common ingredients useful for making sauces, dips, spreads, and dressings. Make a list of what you already have and then another list of what you might still need. Take a picture of your pantry list or even your top five favorite pantry items and post it in the class projects. For a list of my favorite basic pantry staples, download the class resources. Now that you got your list ready to go, it's time to go shopping. 8. Shop Smartly: As a review, before you go shopping, go through your pantry and write down a list of all the things you have and the things that you might still need. Do the same as you rummage through your freezer and your fridge, and then you can shop a little smarter without A: buying duplicates of things or B: being so lost with the stimuli of what's going on in the market that you forget what you actually need, and trust me going off course of your mental list happens to the best of us, so it is practical to write it down either on a piece of paper or even using a phone app. I'm telling you, one time I needed kosher salt and forgot to buy it three times because I didn't write it down. Cooking with intuition often means that you will shop in season, is going to be the most abundant, flavorful, possibly locally produced and even cheaper. That's like corn here in Illinois in the summertime. It's so amazingly crisp and sweet that you don't do anything to it. You don't even have to add butter or salt, and that's what inspired me to make my corn and sausage chowder. I knew the soup would come out good just because I was starting out with good ingredients. If you can, head over to your local farmers' markets. I did that a lot when I lived in California, but here I haven't really been able to do that, so if you can't just peruse through your produce aisles. These days most grocery stores are really good about even just putting out a local produce, so they're organic, they're from local farms, they're really fresh, so peruse and get inspired at what sticks out to you. What's the most abundant and available? What looks the freshest? Let that shape your meals and the recipes you will use, not the other way around. Start with one ingredient, say zucchini for an example. What would go well with it? Is it tomatoes? What else is at its peak? That's how I came up with my summer veggies spaghetti. I was using two ingredients at the peak of their freshness at the time, and all I had to do was add just a couple more things, and it turned out amazing. Another method is to look at your list of pantry items and see what else inspires you based off of that. For instance, I knew that I had rice noodles, so when I went shopping, I was like, "Okay, I'm going to pick up some bean sprouts and limes" because I know that I could either make an easy pad thai with that or even a pho. When buying an ingredient ask yourself, how will I cook with this? What will it turn into? Is it going to be a soup, a stir-fry, a side dish for an easy grilled steak? What do I enjoy eating, and want to try with this ingredient? What are your go-to items? It's okay to buy the same ingredients over and over again if that's what you're comfortable with. For instance, I always pick up eggs, and whenever I'm running out, I grab more. The irony is I actually ran out of eggs right now at the time of filming this. I got my eggs, but I know that whenever I'm feeling tired, I had a busy day, I can just grab an egg, put it over some rice, noodles, bread, turn it into an omelet, poach it, and it turns into a really nice simple meal. I also usually grab onions, garlic, lemon, avocados, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes. It's really amazing what you can do with just those simple ingredients. At the same time, be okay and push yourself to stray away from your go-to items. That's how you keep your cooking playful and fun, and you may even discover that it's going in a completely different direction, and then that becomes your new favorite dish. Take a selfie at the grocery store holding up an unexpected item that you don't normally use but you want to try to experiment with, post it in the class projects so that I could see what you're going to use, and then let me know your thought process of how you might incorporate it into one of your dishes. I'd love to see how fun and creative you get. Now that we have our ingredients covered, let's talk about my favorite ways to cook with intuition which is to remember that sauce is boss. 9. Sauce is Boss: I truly believe that any dish can be saved by the sauce. It can transform a completely boring piece of chicken into something edible and amazing if you just have a good sauce. In my chicken with tomatoes and dill recipe, I mix simple pantry ingredients together to make a marinade for the chicken, which also is used as the sauce to top the tomatoes, which goes on top with the chicken at the end. It turns everything to a really flavorful, bright dish when it really is just chicken and tomatoes. Oftentimes, I notice that dishes lack a little bit of moisture. So if you can add a pan sauce, gravy, or vinaigrette, it can transform and change everything. In fact, when I'm not sure what to make for dinner, I often lean on the sauce first. I do this by knowing certain sauces in my head or I look it up online if I'm not sure and then I base it off of that, what can make with the sauce? I do that with a Gochujang vinaigrette that I make. I usually use it for a dipping sauce for frozen pot stickers but it also doubles a beef and barley grain bowl. I'm actually going to show you how to make this Gochujang vinaigrette later when you cook with me, this is the beauty of a good sauce. It should be versatile and useful in various applications. I attended a French culinary school and I was taught how to master classic sauces such as Bechamel, Hollandaise, gastrique, beurre blanc. I had no idea how far that these basic sauces would take me when I was developing my own sauces and using it in my everyday cooking. Once you know how to make some flavorful sauces such as chimichuri, marinara, balsamic glaze, and pesto, your cooking skills will instantly be next level. It can transform a simple piece of grilled chicken, steak or fish. If you study up and learn how to make a few simple sauces, they will become second nature to you and you won't even need a recipe anymore. That's how it is when I make a vinaigrette, I always know that it's one part vinegar to three parts oil, add a little bit of salt and pepper and whatever seasonings. For me, that includes adding some garlic or some honey and herbs. In the fall time when spaghetti squash is in season, I like to have it, simply roast it in the oven and then top it with an easy meat sauce. It's like an easier version of a bolognese sauce but then you can use that sauce for other things. You can just put it on top of pasta or even turn it into a ziti bake, throw it into your lasagna. Once you know how to make that one sauce, all you need are different vehicles to hold that sauce and that's how you diversify your cooking. If you're stuck in a recipe rut or just don't know where to start cooking, think first that sauce is boss and then let the creative juices start flowing. Go through your pantry, look through your fridge, and figure out what can I put with the sauce. If you know how to make just a few different sauces, your creativity is endless. Now that we have that covered, let's talk about the importance of following a recipe. 10. Recipe vs. No Recipe?: It sounds counter intuitive to start cooking with a recipe, but in order to learn how to cook without recipes you first need to cook with recipes. Having guidelines for a dish that you love creates a framework upon which you can then build upon and then make it your own. If you know how to follow instructions, you know how to follow a recipe. You have to learn the science of measurements. Once you start measuring a lot with recipes you'll start to actually know what measurements look like. Like how much is a scant palm full. What is a tablespoon versus a teaspoon? It's come to the point where now usually when I measure it out it's pretty accurate just by eye. That's when you can start eyeballing measurements and start using pinches, dashes, palm fulls, swirls of a pan, but especially if you're just getting started you want to follow the recipe exactly with actual measuring spoons and cups, and follow it so that you know that you're going to get accurate results. If you veer off of it before you give it a fighting chance you don't even know what that recipe is good or not to begin with. Then once you get the results that you want you can start to play around with it like, I feel like two cloves of garlic is too little it didn't do anything for me, I'm going to double it. There wasn't enough sauce, I'm going to double that. It was too hot for me, I'm going to omit the heat. Use substitutions. When you veer off of recipes challenge yourself, what can I use instead of this? Don't be completely discouraged if you don't have every single thing a recipe calls for. Unless it's really important, you can tell if it's super-important to a recipe and then you know you just have to try that recipe at a later date, but otherwise, thankfully because of the Internet, you can easily look up substitutions for items you don't have or items you don't want to use. For instance, some people don't like using wine when they cook, there are substitutions for that. How to push yourself creatively. You start out small. Every time you make a tweak do it incrementally. The next time you make a recipe you've tried before don't make it exactly the way you've done it the first time, make one minor tweak. Maybe it's adding something that you didn't add before or omitting something that you didn't want in there. Start off small like that and then pretty soon you can start swapping out some major ingredients like even the type of protein that you use. An example of starting small would be maybe adding spicy peppers instead of regular bell peppers, or adding sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. You start out small and simply and then you get gradually more courageous. Pretty soon you'll be able to whip up fresh meals on the fly. Now, let's discuss what happens when you make a mistake. 11. Fix Your Mistakes: Cooking with your intuition is one big fun, messy experiment. Sometimes things go really well together and it's an aha moment, and other times it's just okay. But no matter what, at the best, you'll gain something that you've never thought of before and it'll become like a cool new dish and at the very worst, you'll learn from your mistakes and that in itself is a valuable life lesson. Adapt and be creative. For instance, if your cake won't release from the pan properly, then just scoop it out, crumble it up, put it into little parfait dishes, top it with some berries and cream and call it a day. Now you got yourself a new desert. Keep in mind what I'm about to share next is not a comprehensive list of all the mistakes you can make in the kitchen, but I've listed out some of the more common ones. But I'd also love to hear in a discussion section what problems you're having. Maybe we can walk through them together. Here's some ways to troubleshoot some common mistakes. Problem 1, you added too much salt. Try adding an unsalted low sodium broth or even water to thin it out and to dilute it, and sometimes if that's not possible, you can also try adding some an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. Keep in mind that this won't completely take away the salt, it will only mask it. The same thing happens when you add sweetness. Sweetness sometimes counteracts that salty bite. If you add some honey or sugar that might tame it down a bit. There's also a myth, that throwing in chunks of potatoes will absorb the salt that hasn't been proven to be necessarily true, but what would help is to add more of the other ingredients. For instance, if it's some vegetables or some meat, it might help to actually salt it first in another pan or pot to catch it up to the rest of the ingredients and then add it. Problem 2, your dish is too spicy. When your food tastes slightly too spicy, you can usually counteract it with some dairy product. That could be yogurt, cream, milk, butter, cheese and that's why sometimes when the Chile is very spicy, it's oftentimes served with a side of sour cream and cheese because it neutralizes that. Just when it's too salty, sweetness adds that little helping hand when that's to spicy. If the dish allows, you can balance it out with some fruits, jams, honeys, sugar, and if you're making something creamy, then add that sour cream, regular cream, yogurt, things like that to offset the spiciness. Problem 3, you cut into your chicken and it's still raw in the middle. The fix is obviously to keep cooking it, but the way you cook it matters. You can't just continue cooking the way it is because since it's been cut, the juices have now been released. It's going to turn dry. Get the cut side down into the pan and continue cooking it and remember, that sauce is boss. If it is overly dry, put a little bit of sauce of some kind on top of it, or you can even put chicken broth on it. I oftentimes do this even with my thanksgiving turkey. If it comes out a little dry, I cut it up, put it into a casserole dish and put some hot broth on top of it to revive it and that's why turkey is sometimes served with gravy. Next time to avoid this, always check with an instant read digital thermometer as opposed to cutting it open. For chicken, the thickest part should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Speaking of chicken, problem 4, what if you have dry chicken? Simple, just like my previous tip, sauce is boss, but you can also smother it in cheese or put a little bit of vinegar on it. Just to bring a little of the moisture back. I mean, maybe won't bring the moisture completely back, but it will have a better mouthfeel, which will make it more palatable and enjoyable for whoever's eating it, including yourself. Problem 5, undercooked meat. This is referring to large roast, or thick cut steaks, or chops. The fix is, if it's undercooked, you have to keep on cooking it. But what if you don't have time? What if everyone's waiting at the table? If it's a large roast, cut it down into smaller pieces or slices, and then continue to cook it in the oven because it'll be faster. The same goes for a large cut steak or double cut pork chop and remember, next time use an instant read thermometer and that way you don't have to guess. Problem 6, you burnt the bottom of your pot. If you're still cooking your food, immediately transfer it to another pot and then continue cooking it. The burnt taste shouldn't be on there as strong anymore and for your burnt pot, put some vinegar and baking soda in there and give it a little bit of scrape, or you can do a glaze it with some water on low and is let it come off. But next time, use a heavy bottom pot. I loved my Lucas a Dutch oven and you can always just stir it more constantly and lower your temperature. Number 7, the cookies are burned. Here's the fix. If it's just the bottom of your cookies that are burned, then just use a micro plane or a crater like a rasp, great off the brink parts and then get the two cookies and sandwich them with some ice cream, butter cream frosting, things like that, so that you can just add a little bit of moisture back into the cookies. Now you've got yourself a creative and leveled up dessert. Turn your sad mistakes into great opportunities. Problem 8, soggy veggies. If you overcook your veggies by mistake, for instance, you're boiling them. If you're boiling them, first of all, just shock them right away to stop them from getting more soggy. But if not, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and unprop it under the broiler to add a little bit of crispness. You can also do this with some panko bread crumbs. Sometimes I get a little bit of panko bread crumbs with olive oil and heat it up in a pan tickets toasty, then you just sprinkle it on. You're not saving the vegetable per se, but you're adding some crunch that it's missing. If it's gone like too far, then you can just mix it up into a food processor, blend it, turn it into a soup, turn it into something like a broccoli cream soup and you can still save it and not throw away your ingredients. Problem 9, you forgot an ingredient. This happens sometimes, even for me, the best way to prevent that is to practice using MISE En Place plus or making all your prep work and putting it up before you start the cooking process. That way you'd know as you read through the recipe that you won't forget anything. But say you did forget it, usually it's an easy fix. If it's a spice you forgot to add or a vegetable, you can always heat it up or cook it up in a separate pot or pan and then add it in when you feel you can, you can do this even when you forgot to toast spices. Sometimes just post a toast to your spices at the beginning of a recipe you completely forgot, just toast it up in oil in another pan and then just add it in later. Ultimately, you start paying attention to details. Write down all the things that you did wrong like your mistakes, because those notes are going to be what you learn from more than doing it right. When you do something right, it doesn't necessarily retain. If you do something wrong, you are, remember never to do it again and you'll also figure out why did this not work out? What went wrong? For instance, for me, I had a hard time making caramel one time and I realized over and over again it wasn't working, it was seizing. It was because and I realized I wasn't using a heavy bottomed pot. The pot mattered and because of that mistake, I will never forget that and I will always use a heavy bottom pot. Now let's dive into the supplies you'll need to get your class projects started. 12. Project Supplies: Cooking with intuition means that you need to start with the right kitchen tools. Before we get started, here are some of the supplies you'll need for your class project. As long as you have a sharp eight inch chef's knife, you can tackle almost any cooking task in the kitchen. This one is inexpensive, reliable, and easy to handle because it's lightweight. For a list of more of the knives I recommend, especially for a beginner cook, check out the resources. A cutting board. Make sure you're cutting board is nice and large. The one that I'm using happens to have grooves to catch juice, which is useful when carving, and it also has grips, so that doesn't slide around. I like to use plastic for every day so that it's easy and lightweight. It's also dishwasher safe and durable. A pan with the lid. I either use non-stick or cast iron for these kinds of recipes. A non-stick happens to be my everyday pan. Cast iron usually creates a better sear. Make sure that you have a lid because we're going to be steaming broccoli with it using a lid. A silicone whisk is easy to use and won't scratch up your pan, especially when using non-stick. An 11 inch is a standard size and that's the one that I'll be using to make my sauce. I use my glass mixing bowls nearly every day. I use them for mise en place, for holding spices, and mixing sauces. We're going to be using them today. Heat proof silicone spatulas are my all-time favorite kitchen tool. I use them for mixing, scraping, stirring. This one happens to be seamless so that all the water doesn't get into the cracks and I also like it because it's safe for my non-stick pans. It won't scratch it up. Silicone tipped tongs are useful, especially if you're using non-stick pans. We're going to use tongs to flip your chicken and toss it in the sauce. You're also going to need a microplane or a fine grater. This is optional, but it's useful for grating things like ginger and garlic, especially when throwing it into a sauce. A glass measuring cup is useful for wet ingredients and a dry measuring cup is useful to measure out all the dry ingredients like sugar. The ones that I use happen to be magnetic and stacking, so they nest inside each other and they don't get lost in your drawer. I also like to use these stainless steel nesting and magnetic stacking measuring spoons. You definitely need to make sure you have measuring spoons when you start so that you get the right amounts of ingredients. I love that they're magnetic and stacky and stay together so they won't get lost in your drawer, but you don't have to detach them from a ring or something. Also, they're double ended so that you can use the narrow ends to easily dip into spice jars. For a complete list of all the tools I recommend for beginner cooks to help you get started in general, you can check that out in the class downloads. Now I'm going to be making a chicken teriyaki, which is my own recipe. But the goal of this class is to veer away from having to use recipes, so I'm going to do a twist on that in the next video. But what I'm sharing with you right now is what's needed for the original recipe. Three to four boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast, if you prefer, about 12 to 15 ounces total, eight ounces broccoli florets, a 1/4 cup of water, one teaspoon vegetable oil, salt and pepper, one scallion sliced on a bias, toasted sesame seeds for garnish, which is optional. For the teriyaki sauce, two tablespoons soy sauce, four tablespoons sugar, one tablespoon mirin or sweet sherry, two garlic cloves minced, one teaspoon grated ginger, a 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and a 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Once you've gathered your supplies, go grab them and come on, cook with me. 13. Cook with Me: Now that you're equipped with some practical tips and you've grabbed your supplies, it's time to cook together using a recipe. This is my easy chicken teriyaki recipe that has been my old faithful. It has spared me many nights of, what am I going to make for dinner. But if you're not a chicken eater, consider using this recipe for a simple pan seared salmon or even fried tofu instead. In the original recipe, I served the chicken with steamed broccoli and aside of white rice. Today, I think I'm going to be turning it into a rice bowl. I'm going to keep some of the things the same. I intentionally did buy broccoli just to show you. Now because I rummaged through my own fridge and figured out that I'm going to make a rice bowl. I have pulled out some Persian cucumbers, these little baby cucumbers. I'm just going to slice those up first. Cutting it into half moons, make sure you curl back your fingertips. One way I love to work is with mise en place, which is everything in its place. You do all your prep work first, you put it into little bowls, you put on a plate. I found a half piece of red onion. I love red onion on rice bowls and adds a nice little spicy pop. I'm just going use a quarter. My original recipe called for one scallion slice on the bias. But for me, I like to have a little extra so I'm going to go for two. Another practical tip, work with a garbage bowl that we keep all your little scraps in here. You don't have to keep running to the garbage. For my original recipe, it says to use two cloves of garlic for the sauce. Now, if you're a garlic lover, feel free to bump that up. We're just going to mince up this garlic. Those of you who know me on YouTube know that this is my least favorite task. The best way to peel ginger is to use a thin spoon and it gives you the least amount of waste. Now, what if you wanted to omit ginger because you just don't have it, you don't like it? That's fine, you could totally do that. Ginger just adds a nice depth and warmth and I am going to grate this on a micro plane. I'm going to just do it right into the bowl. With that in mind, I'm just going to throw my minced garlic in there too. The reason that I'm grating this ginger is because I don't want to bite into a big chunk of ginger. It's a little spicy for me. Now I need about one teaspoon. By now, I can measure a teaspoon by eye. But if not, grate it onto your board first and then scoop it actually into your teaspoon measurement and then put it in. To this sauce bowl, I'm going to add in the main ingredients, which is soy sauce and sugar. With teriyaki sauce, the sugar has to be more than the salt. Like I said before, I'm using soy sauce, which is an umami ingredient. I have four tablespoons of sugar to two tablespoons of soy sauce. I have one tablespoon of mirin. This is a sweet cooking rice seasoning. I have a quarter teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and I put this in everything. If you're going to make this for kids, which I do for Lincoln, sometimes I omit this. Then lastly, a quarter teaspoon of cornstarch. This is what will thicken it up. With cornstarch, you want to add it straight into your liquids that are cold. Just whisk it up until it's incorporated, you will have to whisk it once more once we're over by the stove. This is a small amount. If you feel like it's too small for your portion, you can double it. I saw this arugula at the grocery store. Arugula is so nice because it already has this really unique peppery bite to it. I think it'll go really well. Also cooking in my rice cooker, I have some jasmine rice. For this recipe I highly recommend using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. It's juicer, it's less likely to be overcooked, it has a richness in flavor. But what if you're in a pickle and you don't have chicken thighs, you do have chicken breasts. I purposely got some chicken breasts and I'll show you what I'll do. Since you need about 12-15 ounces and chicken breasts tend to be bigger than chicken thighs. I'm actually going to weigh it on my kitchen scale. That's like 15 ounces. The reason it's important is because of the amount of sauce that I made. If you doubled your sauce, then you'll have enough to go around and you can use more. In my recipe, I say to trim the boneless, skinless chicken thighs of the fat because on thighs there's usually a lot of fat. You don't need all that excess fat. For chicken breasts, it's almost the opposite problem. Like it's usually way too lean. I'm going to trim it down a little bit to make it more even in cooking. What I just did right now was I took off the little tenderloin that just was dangling around. You have two choices. You can either butterfly the chicken, like this, cutting it open like a book so that it just cooks evenly. Or what I'm going to do is get a meat hammer and just pound it. I'm going to get some plastic wrap and just where the thickest part is, just lightly give it a pound. I'm not doing this to tenderize it, I'm just doing it to make it a little bit flatter and even in thickness all around so that when it cooks, the whole thing can be cooked through without the chance of it being overcooked. If it makes you feel any better, I'm actually doing this on the fly. I didn't know that I'd be doing this. I'm just adapting and going along with it. If you remember my tip about how important it is to achieve browning, because browning equals flavor. I'm going to go ahead and tap this with some paper towels. Then we're going to season both sides with salt and pepper. Then I'll meet you at the stove. I know that from my rice bowls, I love to add fried eggs. I love adding eggs to rice bowls because the yolk when it's still a little bit runny, it also adds another layer of umami and mouthfeel. I'm just going to wipe out my pan really quickly. Next, I have my eight ounces of broccoli florets. Throw that into your dry pan, add a quarter cup of water, and then put the lid on it to steam it. I'm going to time it for about two minutes, that it's about crisp tender. Let's check on it. Look at that vibrant green. I'm just going to season a little bit with salt and pepper. If you wanted to, you could put a pat of butter or you could drizzle it with some olive oil. But I'm going to add a little bit of another sauce on top of my rice bowls, which I'll show you later. This is good enough for me. Just wipe out your pan again. Then we're going to use one teaspoon of vegetable oil. It could be canola or any high smoking point neutral oil. Your heat is on about medium-high. A cast iron or a stainless steel pan will probably give you a better browning reaction, but it still does its job in this non-stick. What you're listening for is that sizzle, that's going to create that nice sear. Make sure you don't overcrowd your pan. If it's overcrowded, it will steam instead of searing. For chicken thighs, I like to sear it for about 6-7 minutes on the first side, flip it, and then sear it for about 5-6 minutes. But for chicken breasts, it does take less time, plus since we've pounded them, they're thinner. I'm going to go for about three minutes, cutting it way down, taking a peek, and checking on it. It's been about three minutes. I'm going to give it a sneak peek. Look at that. That's good browning for a non-stick skillet. Look at that little tenderloin, so cute. Look at this one, look at that crust. I'm going to go for about three minutes again. I felt that was good. I went ahead and took this little chicken tenderloin off because it was smaller, so I felt like it was already done. Now, it's been another three minutes. Again, this will all depend on the thickness and the size of your chicken breasts. I'll take it off, and then I'll probably take the temperature of it. I've got my handy instant-read digital thermometer. If you can see, the temperature actually rose up a little bit and now it's starting to fall back down. To me, this is indicating that the chicken isn't done yet. So without having to cut it through, I can put it back on the pan for little bit. Wow, look at that crust. That's where all the flavor is. I'm going to let it rest. As you can see, even just by a little bit of resting, the chicken juice started to come out of it. If you cut into this right away, all that goodness will escape. I'm just going to cover it, not too tightly, I'm just going to tent it. Then in the same pan, you can see all the gorgeous flavor. I'm just going to mix this up one more time. I'm going to turn down the heat a little bit because I don't want this to get too thick and burnt, and too sticky, so use your intuition. You're going to toss this chicken, this gorgeous brown chicken back into the pan with all that nice chicken juice. If you feel like your sauce is getting too thick too fast, first of all, lower your heat. Second of all, add a splash of water or chicken broth, and then you just toss your chicken in this hot sauce a few times, and that's it. I'm going to put it back onto this plate to rest even some more. Don't worry about all of this sauce. We'll take it off the heat and it's going to be used to drizzle over the chicken at the end. You guys all know by now that I think sauce is boss. So I'm going to teach you a Gochujang vinaigrette. Gochujang is a Korean fermented chili paste. It's not just peppers, like spicy, but it also has some other, like a little hint of sweetness, some saltiness. So we're going to start out with one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of sesame oil. This is toasted sesame oil. I have a huge gasoline jug of it. I'm going to add one tablespoon of olive oil. This is a sauce that I'd made specifically for someone who was looking for a Gochujang sauce that wasn't too spicy. I feel like this olive oil really helps to neutralize all the spiciness. We're going to add in two tablespoons of rice vinegar. If you don't have rice vinegar, you can try substituting with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. One, two. You can always add citrus too. Two tablespoons of soy sauce. This isn't low sodium. But if you have issues with sodium, you could always use that too. Even more umami, and of course, Gochujang, so we have two tablespoons of that. There's a little bit of oil on your spoon, so it should be able to come out a little easier. If you're a spicy lover, add more. If you don't like so much heat, just add one tablespoon, and then two cloves of garlic grated on a micro plane. Watch out for your manicure. Once again, the reason that we're grating as opposed to mincing is because I don't want huge chunks of garlic in the sauce because it's going to be eaten raw. This sauce, I put it on everything; a lot of barley, grain bowls, rice bowls, and then it becomes a very drizzling thin sauce. How I like to do it is put the rice on the side. You could put it in the middle, put all over, it's up to you. The point is to eat it all mixed together like the Korean bibimbap, which means mixed rice. I'm going to use some peppery arugula. I just feel like the arugula would be really nice and spicy against the sweet chicken teriyaki. Put some of that steamed broccoli on the side too. Then we have all our other things that we prepped beforehand. I like the red onion, not only for the little bite, but also because of the color. These kinds of rice bowls are a great way to use up any bibimbaps left in your fridge. I'm going to slice up my chicken teriyaki. By now, it had time to rest. I'm curious to see how this will come out. I don't normally use chicken breasts. It's up to you if you want to dice up your chicken because that'd be properly more practical, easier to eat that way. But I just like the look of the fanned-out slices. Don't forget that sauce in the pan. Mine got a little bit thick, which is fine. That's what happens. That's why we got to keep an eye on it. I just added a little splash of water, and I'm just going to incorporate it. Nice little golden egg on top of the rice. Some sesame seeds, scallions, and we're going to add a little bit of that Gochujang vinaigrette over the greens. I don't know about you, but I'm super hungry. This looks really good. I'm going to taste it. Oh yeah, that runny yolk. Guys, this is so good. Chicken's not overcooked. It's really good with the jasmine rice. That spicy sauce with the sweet teriyaki sauce, the peppery arugula, the runny yolk, everything is so perfect together. Now that we've cooked together, I'll meet you in the next video so we can discuss your class project. 14. Your Project: There are a few project prompts to choose from. Do one or do them all. For your class project, I want you to make the same chicken teriyaki we made together and take a picture of it to post on the class projects. Either make it exactly the way that I have it in the recipe, or just like me, do your own little riff on it using the ingredients that you have on hand. How to make it your own, think about how you normally like to eat. Do you naturally like to eat low-carb? Do you like green balls? Do you like noodles? In fact, I would love to see how creative you get and your thought process behind creating that dish. But if it's too risky for you right away, I understand, just make the recipe as is. Because if you're a beginner cook, you have to know the basics first, and if you can follow a recipe, so follow the recipe as is and post that too. Second option is take a selfie of that "new to you" ingredient you found at the grocery store. The bonus is if it's a seasonal ingredient. Remember to take a picture and let me know how you plan to use it. Option 3, take a picture of your top five favorite pantry ingredients and let me know why you like them so much and how you usually like to use them. Lastly, level up. Go rogue and make your own creation. You don't have to follow the chicken teriyaki recipe at all. Go dig and rummage through your freezer, pantry, and refrigerator and come up with a concoction of your own. Take a picture of that masterpiece and let me know your thought process behind it and how you came to create this thing. Also, when you're explaining your thought process, let me know if you used any of the practical tips we went over in the class to help you come to this conclusion. Here's how to upload your project. First of all, makes sure you're on your desktop. At the time of this filming, you can't really use your phone or your app to upload a class project, you have to be on your desktop. Just go to your Project and Resources tab, click and upload your project. Congrats. You just uploaded your class project. Now, let's end with some final thoughts. 15. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You've finished this class and now you're on your way to your cooking adventure in the kitchen. Remember, cooking with intuition is a journey and it will take time and practice. It's a life skill, focus on the practical tips that you learned in this class, like taking inventory of your pantry, shopping smartly, cooking in season, and always starting with a recipe first before you know how to veer off of it. Also, make sure that you invest in the proper cooking tools that you need. Make sure that you follow a recipe enough times until you feel comfortable enough with it to start making tweaks. Eventually, it'll become your own. Then from there, you can veer off of it and not even need it any longer. If you're a beginner cook and still need to hone up on your cooking skills, remember to seek out other tutorials and videos online to help you get there, read cookbooks, study recipes, and if there are any skills that you would love to learn from me, leave it in the discussions, maybe that will become a future class. As a review, some of the smaller prompts were: take a selfie of you holding a [inaudible] ingredient, take a picture of your favorite pantry ingredients. Just do something to get you started and motivated. Of course, your class project includes recreating the recipe that we made together, either exactly how it is until you gain confidence or going right at it and making it your own. Be sure to explain your thought process behind it, and even if it's a flop, post that too, I love to see mistakes. That's how we learn. Remember to check back into this class every now and then and update me on your progress, and also if your cooking intuition has improved. I'd love to stay connected through social media and follow along with your journey. For this class, I'll be using the hashtag, #CookWithChefJulieYoon, so I can see your creations. If you enjoyed this class, do me a solid, leave a comment and a review. I'd love to hear back from you. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you next time. Bye. Happy cooking.