Serves 4

Smoked fish has saved me on more than one, more than two, more than twenty occasions—it’s just that fast and easy to build a meal around. Think of using it anywhere you’d use jarred tuna: in a salad, in a sandwich, in cold pasta, or simply flaked and eaten with crackers.

Here the smoked fish is the star of a satisfying rice bowl, which is rounded out with some quick pickles and, of course, a 7-minute egg. Since smoked fish is usually pretty salty, the rest of this bowl is kept lightly seasoned.


  • 4 Perfect 7-Minute Eggs (recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced cucumber
  • 2 cups nextover’d basmati rice (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces smoked trout or smoked salmon fillet, flaked into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Freshly ground black pepper

by David Tamarkin


If your eggs have been in the fridge, put them in a large bowl of lukewarm water and let them come to room temperature while you assemble the rest of the bowl (change out the water if it gets too cold). Dry the eggs with a clean kitchen towel and slice them in half.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and sugar. Add the cucumber slices, toss to coat, and let sit for 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, to reheat the rice, pour ¼ cup water into a small saucepan and set it over low heat. Add the rice, breaking up any clumps with a fork, and cover. Let the rice steam until it’s warm and fluffy again, about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit until you’re ready to assemble the bowls.

Drain the cucumbers, reserving the pickling liquid. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pickling liquid, sour cream, dill, and salt to taste.

Divide the rice among four shallow bowls, then follow suit with the egg halves, cucumbers, smoked fish, and red onion. Season the egg halves with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle some of the dill sauce on top of each bowl, or serve on the side.

Perfect 7-Minute Eggs
Makes up to a dozen eggs

There is no food more convenient than a hard-boiled egg. Having cooked eggs in the fridge means that egg sandwiches, niçoise salads, egg curries, and perfect little egg snacks (cut egg in half, spackle with mayo, sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes) are all available to you, right now, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. During COOK90 I often eat eggs at multiple meals, which isn’t necessarily commendable, but the things are always there, so I take advantage of them.

If you’re going to make one egg, you may as well make six, or ten, or twelve. As for how to make them, I’m very opinionated. I demand a lot of control over my eggs, and the best way to exert that control is to bring a big pot of water to a full boil, lower the eggs  into it, and immediately set a timer. When time’s up, quickly move the eggs into an ice  bath or under cold running water.

Peeling the eggs is a pain, but you can make it easier. First, start with older eggs if you can; eggs that have hung out in the fridge for a week peel more easily than ones you just bought. Second, start with cold eggs.  (I don’t have scientific back-up for this, it just works better for me.) Third, peel the eggs under water—the water gets under the membrane and makes it easier to slip the shell off, dry the egg, and get it onto a piece of toast.


  • 1 to 12 cold eggs, preferably a week or so old


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (If you’re making only one or two eggs, a smaller pot is fine.) Use a big spoon or ladle to gently lower the cold eggs into the boiling water, being careful not to drop the eggs into the pot, in which case they may crack. Lower the heat a little so that the eggs aren’t bouncing around, then set a timer. I cook my eggs for 7 minutes, which turns out eggs with bright yellow yolks that are still a little runny. For bright, fudgy (that is, not runny) yolks, cook the eggs for 8 minutes. For classic pale yellow, fully cooked yolks, cook the eggs for 10 to12 minutes.

Transfer the eggs to a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Alternatively, pour the hot water out of the pan and run cold water from the faucet over the eggs. Tap the eggs against the bowl or pot to crack the shells, then start peeling them, keeping them submerged in water. (If the ice water is too cold for you, pour it out and replace with tepid water.) Peeled eggs will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for about a week. Unpeeled eggs keep a few days longer.

A Big Pot of Rice
Makes 6 cups

Show me a tiny pot of rice, and I’ll show you something that makes absolutely no sense. Rice rewarms beautifully, goes great with eggs  in the morning, can be fried with leftover vegetables or turned into rice bowls, and when simmered gently with milk, sugar, and a cinnamon stick, it can even be dessert. So always, always make more rice than you think you need; often, even that won’t be enough.


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Rinse the rice in several changes of cold water, agitating the rice with your hands each time, until the water no longer appears at all cloudy. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, 2 1/2 cups water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then give the rice one solid stir. Lower the heat so that the rice is at a bare simmer and cover the pot. Let the rice cook like this for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the rice undisturbed (still covered) for 10 minutes more. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Excerpted from Cook90 Copyright © 2018 by David Tamarkin, photographs by Chelsea Kyle. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.