Whether you are still learning to cook, or have been at it for years, you are aware that seasoning is of the utmost importance because it can make or break any dish. Too little of it and you will have a tasteless dish, while too much of it can be overwhelming. Seasoning just right, on the other hand, gives you a dish that can be next level. So, how to become a seasoning pro? Here is Ido Fishman’s guide that gives you the tricks and tips you need for seasoning your food right:
- Know the different salt varieties
Remember, all salts are not the same. The most popular is kosher salt that dissolves quickly, making it a go-to option for nearly everything. Table salt tends to be finer and a little bit of it can go a long way. It is best to keep on the table, so people can add it as per their preference. Use less table salt, if you are using it in place of kosher, and taste as you go. The largest is coarse salt and it is best for finishing. Don’t use it in baking because the crystals will not dissolve.
- Season from high above
According to Ido Fishman Chef, people don’t just season from high above because it looks cool; it actually helps in distributing the seasoning evenly and ensures that you don’t under-season, or over-season one area. This is particularly beneficial in items like steak that need an even layer of seasoning.
- Toast the spices for more flavor
You can take the flavor of your spices to a whole new level, if you toast them before grinding them. It adds aroma and complexity to a dish. You just have to place them over medium-low heat in a pan and toast them, until fragrant. Ido Fishman suggests that you remove them as soon as you start smelling them, so they don’t burn.
- Grind whole spices with a coffee grinder
Rather than buying a mortar or pestle, or even a fancy spice grinder, Ido Fishman recommends that you save money and use a coffee grinder for grinding your spices. You can clean it out by grinding some uncooked white rice in it, which removes the flavor.
- Add more seasoning to cold foods
Have you ever wondered why you can taste hot foods better than cold ones? It is all because of seasoning. Add some extra seasoning to cold dishes and you will taste the difference. Salad is an excellent example, as adding a pinch of salt can help the flavors shine and improve the taste.
- Don’t forget to use sugar for seasoning
It is not easy to use bad tomatoes to make a good marinara, but adding a pinch of sugar will make the sauce taste as if you used perfectly ripe tomatoes. As per Ido Fishman, sugar comes in handy for enhancing the flavors in savory foods, such as beets, roasted carrots and tomatoes. It is also helpful in balancing the flavors, similar to salt, and can bring the food to life.
- Add dry herbs in the beginning and fresh at the end
When you have dry herbs, Ido Fishman suggests that you use them during cooking because this gives them enough time to come to life and infuse their flavor in a dish. Let them simmer in a stew, or stew in a sauce. On the other hand, if you are using fresh herbs that are already bursting with flavor, then they should be used at the end without much cooking. For instance, fresh basil is best when you throw it into a salad, or toss in a pasta.
- Use acid for seasoning
Everyone knows the importance of salt, but Ido Fishman says most don’t know the importance of acid. It can elevate flavors and balance the dish, just like salt. If the dish is flat, even after adding salt, try a splash of vinegar, wine or lemon.