"When cooking at home, I really believe that simplicity is key," says Chang, who partnered with American Express to teach a virtual cooking class for their first-ever "Membership Week" from June 14-18

By Shay Spence and Maria Pasquini
June 04, 2021 01:33 PM
david chang
David Chang
| Credit: Andrew Bezek

It may surprise you, but David Chang is a big fan of using the microwave for fast, quality food.

Although the Ugly Delicious star and founder of the Momofuku restaurant empire has plenty of techniques up his sleeve, in recent months he hasn't been shy about sharing some of his best recipes that incorporate the household appliance. 

"When cooking at home, I really believe that simplicity is key," Chang, 43, tells PEOPLE. "The microwave is really future technology, and I love how simple and healthy microwave cooking can be."

He will demonstrate the technique — along with many others — during an upcoming virtual cooking class with American Express.

As part of their first-ever "Membership Week" from June 14-18, Chang and author Chris Ying will lead the class, where they'll walk participants through how to make some of Chang's favorite dishes from his Majordōmo and Bāng Bar restaurants. (There will also be a virtual performance by SZA and more benefits for cardholders during Membership Week.)

Want a sneak peek? One recent video posted on Chang's Instagram documented a quick — and virtually mess-free — way to make mashed potatoes using the microwave. 

"Cooking potatoes in the microwave isn't just faster since I don't have to wait for a pot of water to boil, but the potatoes are actually more delicious since they don't lose any flavor to the water," he tells PEOPLE. "Once the potatoes are cooked, it's easy to mash them and season to my liking."

Although Chang is a "longtime fan of the microwave," recently he's found himself utilizing it more often.

"My passion for microwave cooking only continues to grow," adds the chef. "It's been fun sharing recipes and techniques with others through social media, and, soon, as part of one of the culinary experiences with Momofuku exclusively for American Express Card Members."

Chang also recently launched Anyday, a new line of microwave cookware. "The Anyday Dish was designed specifically for microwave cooking and is now indispensable in my kitchen," he says.

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Of course, mashed potatoes aren't the only dish Chang likes to make in the microwave.  

"One of my favorite things to cook in the microwave is vegetables - from steaming broccoli to making mashed potatoes, cooking vegetables in the microwave is not only fast but is also healthier because it preserves nutrients and doesn't require any oils," he says.

Another family-favorite dish he likes to make is soy-marinated salmon and rice, topped with nori and sesame seeds. "It's easy and quick to put together and, most importantly, is healthy and delicious," he adds. 

As for other underutilized tools, Chang — who is currently expecting his second baby with wife Grace — says that there are a few staples that every home cook should have.  

"It's important to have a few quality pots and pans (including a wok and dutch oven) and a strong cutting board,' he says.

There are a limited number of exclusive tickets to Chang's virtual dining class with American Express. For more info stay tuned to their social channels, and visit the Membership Week page here.