You may lay your hands on the best of recipes and cook something with utmost precision; you cannot call it a success unless it is seasoned properly. And when we talk particularly about seasoning, salt stands out as the key source of flavouring. Salt gives flavour, depth, dimension, and character to food, and it is, undisputedly, the hero of the seasoning world. While we all see salt primarily as a flavouring agent, its role in cooking goes far and beyond. You’ll be surprised to know that salt not only enhances the flavour profile of food but may also play a big role in shaping its texture, pliability, and fragrance!
Renowned food writer Jeffrey Steingarten mentioned in his book ‘The Man Who Ate Everything’, “Salt magnifies the natural aromas in food. It not only changes the flavour profile by suppressing bitter, it also brings out its sweet note.” That’s why bakers prefer to add a pinch of salt to make their desserts taste sweeter.
Is Your Cooking Worth Its Salt?
With salt dictating the outcome of your cooking, it is even more essential to use it the right way. Have you been doing to right, or wrong, all this while? Find out below.
Here Are 7 Tips To Use Salt While Cooking:
1. The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is that salt can also be added later after cooking, but if there’s excess salt, there’s literally no turning back. So always add salt gradually along the way and keep tasting in every step to check its content.
2. Add salt before cooking those foods that have high protein density. Salt helps in breaking down protein molecules and brine them to retain their flavour and moisture. That’s why salt is always added to meats and other foods to marinate them.
3. Add salt later in the process of cooking when you want to retain the crunchiness of foods. If you are cooking mushrooms, beans, carrots, and other foods, for say – fried rice, add salt after you saute the vegetables to prevent them from wilting down.
4. Try to sprinkle salt with fingers rather than flinging with a spoon or pouring from a shaker. It ensures even distribution and prevents spilling of too much salt. Also, remember to sprinkle from a height so that salt particles drop in every part of the food. (You can imitate the famous ‘Salt Bae’ move here).
5. One size doesn’t fit all when to comes to salting your food. Different recipes require different amounts of salt. If your recipe has foods like olives, processed cheese or soy sauce that are naturally quite salty – you may want to reduce the amount of extra salt to be added.
6. Don’t skip adding a pinch of salt to your baked goodies. Not only it brings out the sweetness of the ingredients, but it also helps control excess fermentation of bacteria and yeast, and gluten formation.
7. And after you are done cooking, always check the saltiness of your food before serving. If it’s not enough, feel free to add some more. And if it’s too much, add in unseasoned ingredients like potatoes, or maybe even some water, to balance it out.
Seasoning food is an indispensable part of cooking, and so is salt. Use it wisely!