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Common Dishes You'd Never Make at Home

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Just now, Anthony Bonner said:

A wok is a truly great deep fryer. Enough width to contain the splatter. 

Exactly.  And the old tip, from some decades old Chinese cook book I own - save and reuse the oil (provided you haven't fried fish) a few times - each time reheating it with a scallion and a hunk of ginger in there.

2 minutes ago, Anthony Bonner said:

Yes. Tho 'burban life has started me walking back down this path a bit.

Extra space. Fewer bakeries within walking distance!

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No you don't. As you occasionally use a skillet, a Dutch oven or wok are perfectly fine for deep frying.

12 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Phillie cheesesteaks don't really count, cuz it's hard to get steak sliced that thinly.  (I'll bet no one in Japan makes Erotic Beef at home -- and I'll be the first to admit that

In Japan you can easily buy steak sliced that thin (it's almost the default for steak cuts, and I'm sure Japan Premium Beef would do it for you) and make your beef as erotic as you'd like. 

Nobody makes nigiri at home even though it needs no special equipment - of course you'll find countless American blog entries on how to make it at home, but you just don't do that because you can't get anywhere near decent results plus it's a super annoying way to eat. Of course rolls, pressed sushi, sashimi, etc. are home foods.

I think there's some misdirection here because "special equipment" and "skill" are taken to be nyc centric and likewise the choice of easily available but usually not great foods. Every slavic person is born knowing how to grind, stuff, and smoke their sausages so "making chicago hot dogs at home" would obviously include making the franks. Every Japanese person only ever has very thinly sliced steak, etc. Your BEC is an Israeli's falafel, and so on.

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3 hours ago, small h said:

The stuff I like but rarely make at home either has a lot of ingredients, like bouillabaisse or nachos, or greases up the kitchen, like French fries.

I’ve certainly done home nachos. Fries are a good example; peel and slice, all that oil, double cooking, and is the end result much better than what I could pick up for next to nothing? 

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2 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

I don't want to step on the discussion, but if you read my initial post I eliminated deep-fried things on the ground that you need special equipment to cook them (you don't need an air fryer:   it could just be a built-in deep fryer -- but how many of us have space for that?).

I deep fry in a skillet sometimes, cuz sometimes you gotta  -- and as you know, it is not pretty.

When I deep fry I just use any old deep pan.

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5 minutes ago, Wilfrid said:

I’ve certainly done home nachos.

Same, but if I want them the way I want them, I need to make guac and salsa, and I need to have pickled jalapenos and sliced black olives and jack and cheddar cheese, and maybe some vegetarian chili, also. So that's a lot of prep (and grocery shopping) for something I'm gonna inhale in about 4 seconds.

ETA: Oh, and sour cream, duh.

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@Orik — OF COURSE this discussion was intended to be U.S.-centric.

Indeed, I think your observation provides part of my answer.   There  must be plenty of “foreign” dishes popular in the U.S. that are commonly cooked at home in their country of origin but require techniques not widely held here. 

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So we have:

- deep fried items

- dishes with a (pointlessly) large number of ingredients (and going back to fried items - when people say they make nachos are they frying the chips?)

- charcuterie isn't even imagined as an option 

- Not a full dish but I think people also don't really make sauerkraut, salt pickles, etc. even post noma.

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