The One Ingredient David Chang Never Adds To Potato Gratin

On TikTok, in what Chef David Chang names the "fastest potato gratin recipe out there," he methodically peels potatoes to prepare them for the dish he is about to make. Instead of baking the entire recipe in an oven, however, Chang shortcuts his way through preparations with a microwave. What Chang also circumnavigates is a particular addition that most other chefs would include in a standard gratin recipe: cheese.

To make his shortcut potato gratin, Chang mixes equal parts cream and milk, then sprinkles Momofuku's savory salt into the mixture to whisk. Next, Chang adds a tablespoon of potato starch (corn starch can also be used, he says) to thicken the ingredients. In case any chef is confused by Chang's neglect of cheese, he reiterates that cheese is not going into this recipe or anywhere near his gratin. Chang insists the dish is rich and luxurious enough without needing to sprinkle in extra cheese. Surprising, maybe. Worth a try? Absolutely.

Rich and creamy, without the cheese

While you can certainly add cheese to the gratin you make at home, Chang demonstrates that it isn't necessary. After adding thyme and rosemary to his dish (Chang does admit that he has forgotten to add garlic), the creamy bowl of potatoes becomes thick and creamy in the microwave. To give the final recipe that tantalizingly crispy golden layer, Chang finishes the dish in the oven.

A more conventional potatoes au grain recipe would call for at least an hour of prep and cooking time — and plenty of cheese. Yet Chang shows that it is possible to whip up a creamy, mouth-watering recipe in under 30 minutes without using any cheese. Cheese lovers may balk at the suggestion, but Chang's cheese-free gratin may become the star of your next meal. Served alongside your preferred choice of protein, these creamy potatoes can easily round out a meal — and leave guests asking for second servings.