I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Monday, October 3, 2011


What is as simple as making hard boiled eggs? Answer: cooking a piece of steak.

Well, not quite simple, you would say and you would be right.

Boiling eggs (and peeling them nicely) might seem simple but there are certain "rules" that if you follow, you will never fail. How about making soft boiled eggs (my preferred way of eating an egg)? Ah, that takes practice.  On that note, I used to have a roommate who cooked hard boil eggs overnight in low heat. I can understand the "theory" but I don't understand the practicality.

I digress. This post is about Steak.

There are a few simple rules to cooking a good piece of steak. I am by no means an expert, I am still learning and still make mistakes.

Rule 1: Meat. Choose a piece of steak that has an even thickness all around to ensure even doneness. I like meat with some fat.

Rule 2: Let the meat warm to room temperature before cooking

Rules 3: Lightly season with salt and pepper. Of course fresh ground pepper is the best

Rule 4: On medium heat setting, heat a big dollop of butter (not margarine, not "i can't believe this is not butter" nonsense) onto a saute pan. Think too much butter is unhealthy? May I suggest the more the better for this dish?  (evil grin)

Rule 5: Sear the meat. Do not even consider moving it or touching it. Let it cook.

Rule 6: Cooking time

Now come the difficult part. How long do you cook the steak for? For that, i will draw your attention to www.howtocooksteak.com  (yes, i am not kidding, the site exist)

"Steaks that are boneless and are about 1/2″ to 1″ thick should be cooked for 8 – 14 minutes for medium rare.  Medium steaks should be cooked for approximately 12 – 18 minutes.  Turn them only once. For medium rare steak that contain bone and are about 1/2″ to 1″ thick, cooking time is about 7 – 14 minutes. For a medium steak, cook for around 11 – 18 minutes."

Rule 7: Rest the steak. Put the steak on a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside for 5 minutes. There is science behind this. Go read up if you are interested.

Rule 8: Don't be shy to season it more as you eat.

On a side note: When i was in France, i visited a French steak restaurant recommended by Anthony Bourdain. The steaks in that restaurant are cooked unseasoned. Each table has a bowl of salt and a pepper grinder. This was how the guys next to me ate their steaks: "slice steak, sprinkle salt, grind pepper, eat, repeat". I am not sure if this is the French way or "their way".

Butter is friend, butter is friend, butter is friend

Slightly undercooked steak. Delicious nonetheless


  1. Now I want steak!! Butter is a good friend! A way better friend than margarine or spreads :)

  2. Im still waiting on our ribeye candlelight dinner ;)