Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tabbouleh Sogomonian

Tabbouleh is another one of those popular recipes for which I’ve received hundreds of food wishes for, and yet inexplicably I’ve still not posted one. Why not? I have no idea. I’m as mystified as anyone. In the meantime, I wanted to share this fine version from friend of the blog Robert Sogomonian (aka @psyrixx). You can check out his original post here. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

man, what a sharp knife...great video but not as stellar as Über Chef John...

Unknown said...

Hey there, I just stopped by to say you won the Liebster Award, check out my post on it:

Anonymous said...

Well done chef! Nice recipe. I like that you did not cut corners and took your time to chop the ingredients finely. I am Lebanese and we normally do not put cucumber in the Tabboule otherwise your recipe is quite authentic. I do squeeze any water out of the Bulgur before adding it to the salad. Armenians add some cayenne pepper to the salad and it actually adds a nice zing. In any case, your video made me hungry for some Tabboule!!! Thank you.

Psyrixx said...

Some people also add mint leaves to their tabbouleh... something that I do not think belongs! But it does add a nice fresh flavor that many people enjoy.

I know my camera/narration skills aren't as awesome as Chef John's, but this was only my second attempt at a cooking video! I have also never taken a culinary class so it isn't really fair to call me a Chef as I haven't earned the title.

My teachers are Gordon Ramsay (seriously, he's who got me interested in cooking high quality food... his non-Hell's Kitchen shows are very informative and fun), Alton Brown from Good Eats (love learning the science and history behind the food) and Chef John. They're my three culinary inspirations.

Ramsay tends to be a bit much for every day cooking, a lot of his recipes have a lot of separate steps (but MAN the food is good), Alton Brown's food is usually fairly basic, and Chef John's recipes are (in my opinion) the best of both worlds. A bit of flair, a ton of flavor and they don't break the bank. Perfect for every day cooking. :)

I kind of wanted to give something back with the tabbouleh video as I know a lot of people love it but don't necessarily know how to make it.

ashtx said...

PLEASE DO MORE OF THESE. Just went to your blog to see what other recipes you had and am crushed you don't do this regularly. Can totally tell you're a fan of Chef John and Alton, from the excellent narrating to the attention to detail. Learned so much more from this than most other cooking vids (present company excluded obvs). More plz!

The Mollusk Queen said...

Very helpful with the specifics of chopping, especially the parsley. Nice easy-going style too!

Anonymous said... need to seriously think of attending culinary definitely have the talent, the passion and joy when you prepare a culinary dish....your video was very well presented, instructional as well...please expand your base of videos recipes...there is always room for more inspirational videos and recipes from culinary enthusiast...I loveÜber Chef John's vides, has taught me much as well as other contributors...continue on with your given talent, Psyrixx...

Anonymous said...

I like the Video and the dish, it makes me hungry.

But your cooking style doesn't fit to me: Why cut everying out, and throw it away? You turn 100% edible food into a 50% dish!

Like cutting all the seeds out; leaving half of them would also taste great, but leave much more food.
Why throwing away half of the spring onions? I think their color goes well with the parsley!

Psyrixx said...

De-seeding the tomatoes is a good way to keep most of the excess juice out of the tabbouleh... the seeds and clear gooey inside part don't really have much flavor and make it more difficult to dice the tomatoes nice and fine for a tabbouleh. Also they add to the potential sogginess of the dish: after a day or two a lot of the juices drain out of the vegetables and sit in the bottom of the serving bowl. If you don't remove the seeds and gooey innards, your tabbouleh could end up turning into a very unappetizing soup rather than staying a nice crisp salad.

That being said, I sometimes save the tomato inner flesh and seeds to use them in vegetable or chicken stock! My wife also loves to eat them lightly salted and peppered as another light and very healthy snack.

As for the spring onions, watch again as I didn't throw any part of them away. I separate the green stems from the white bottoms solely to make it easier to subsequently dice everything nice and fine. It keeps all of the pieces nice and straight, and makes them easier to cut. Furthermore, if you have ever tried cutting a spring onion that has three or four green stalks extending out of the white, you'll understand how hard it would be trying to cut those all in half or into quarters while still keeping the onion together nicely enough to get a good consistent dice out of it.

In any case, you're more than welcome to dice up the tomatoes and green onions however you want!

Sometimes if I'm in a real big hurry I soak the bulgur, roughly dice everything into fairly large chunks (only removing the stem from the tomatoes), throw it together into a large bowl with some roughly chopped (or torn, if you're a purist) Romaine lettuce leaves, dress it exactly the way the video shows and call it tabbalad instead of tabbouleh!

All of the flavor of tabbouleh with a quarter of the work, and it turns out much more like a conventional garden salad. :)

If I'm missing anything that Chef John would like to add, and/or if I'm wrong in any of my technique or explanation I hope he jumps in with his two cents because I'm just speaking from my own experience and what I've seen from Gordon, Alton or Chef John!

I have no formal culinary training whatsoever.

Psyrixx said...

In fact, the closest I've ever been to a professional kitchen was at my Bachelor party when my groomsmen talked to a very highly rated restaurant near where I lived (called the Peasant and the Pear, one of my favorite places to go for dinner in the East Bay) and arranged to have me cook lunch for them in the restaurant's professional kitchen. I even got a Chef's jacket from the restaurant with my name embroidered on it!

That was a TON of fun and probably the best thing they could have done for me.

Photos from that.

My mom and sister also were kind enough to sign me up for BeniHana's "Be the Chef" experience as a Christmas present, and that was also a ton of fun. The manager was amazed that I actually took care of the entire dinner service -- he said most people who do it will make the fried rice then sit down and let the actual BeniHana chef finish the rest! I was having a blast so why would I let him have all of the fun?

Then again, I don't cook for a living and I hear that's a lot less fun.

Some photos from that as well.
And a video! (Alton Brown reference at the end)

With regards to taking culinary classes, I just moved to Statesboro, GA from the San Francisco Bay Area (near-ish where Chef John lives) within the past three months and I've been mulling over taking some culinary classes for a while now to solidify the basics, so I might see if the local college (Georgia Southern University) offers any next semester but I don't think I'm going to find any culinary institutes out here so for the time being I'll just have to keep following FoodWishes, re-runs of Good Eats and all of Gordon Ramsay's shows that I can find and improve my skills that way!

I love food and I love cooking, and I am incredibly happy that there are people like Chef John who make it super accessible to everyone.

Chef John said...

This is great! i'm gonna take the rest of the day off. ;)

Anonymous said...

No substitutions please.

Michelle said...

I am so happy to see this. Im Colombian, and we have a lot of arab immigrants so a ton of middle eastern restaurants and this is probably one of my most favorite salads. Will do this next time i visit the grocery store for some parsley!!!

Pantalone said...

Excellent demo!