Chef’s Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed Until Now
Give these simple tricks a go next time you're whipping something up in the kitchen. Your taste buds and guests will thank you!
1. Add your salt in your food rather than on your food
Add it while cooking and let it really absorb into the flavours and help them shine, rather than ON your food at the end. Taste as you go and trust your senses.
2. Add your onion, garlic and ginger towards the end rather than the start
A lot of us were brought up beginning any dish with sautéing onion, garlic and ginger. If you instead add these ingredients towards the end of the dish (about ¾ the way through), these ingredients will bring a lot more flavour and vibrancy to the dish. You want to cook them enough so that they’re not too bold, bitter or harsh, but if you cook it too much by adding it too early on this will create a very light flavour.
3. How you cut your veggies matters
The size and shape you cut the fruit/vegetable matters. The smaller you cut it, the more surface area of the inside of the fruit is exposed (moisture) which means more flavour. The larger you cut it, the less of the inside is exposed and the more of the outside of the vegetable is exposed (dry, and less flavour). Use this to your advantage when you want to char an ingredient, for example charring capsicum - you’d want to cut large slices so that less inside surface area is exposed, so that it will char easier.
4. Play with colour
"We eat with our eyes first" - Apicius, 1936.
Even if you don’t know you’re doing it, most of us judge a meal by it’s colour. Within milliseconds of looking at a dish, your eyes will decide if they like it or not, and this will impact your overall experience of the dish.
I’m sure you’ve also heard the importance of ‘eating the rainbow’ for nutrient diversity and gut flora so this point ticks two boxes with one stone. Think about beetroot, yellow capsicum, purple cabbage, red onions. Fun trick for kids - if you let rice noodles soak in water and purple cabbage, they’ll turn blue.
- The Sustainable Food Co.
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