Is food tasting too bland? A little twist can turn your tasteless food into gourmet delights. Read on to know how to enhance the flavor of food.
Hey, not everyone is born as Gordon Ramsey. Most of us are just human and are pretty bad at cooking. And, while letting other people cook for us can be easy and hassle-free, it certainly takes a toll on our health and wallets.
So, if you are insistent on eating clean healthy food, you have to do the cooking yourself. And, sometimes, even after spending hours in the kitchen, the best we can come up with is some tasteless and bland food. So, are we, the lesser talented chefs, too hopeless about making delicious food? Relax, there is still hope for you!
You, too, can make mouthwatering cuisine with some handy tips. Here are ten simple tips you can follow to add more flavor to your food.
All-Purpose Seasoning: The One-stop Solution to Everything Savory
Sometimes you work so hard on a dish, and it still comes out tasting flavorless. Most of us are pretty scared of strong spices, as we don’t know how to use a combination of powerful flavors without adding a large number of herbs or spices.
This is why you need to have a bottle of all-purpose seasoning at home. This spice mix goes well with meat, fish, veggies, starches, and pretty much anything delicious. The best all-purpose seasonings will have the perfect balance of all the herbs and spices used in the mix so that none of the flavors become overwhelmingly dominant.
Don’t Overcook Your Meat
While on a diet, many people eat boiled meat. If you are eating boiled breast pieces every day, you will get tired of it quickly. The secret to cooking any kind of meat is to not overcook it, as 95% of the time it makes the meat dry and flavorless.
Unless you are a seasoned chef, making a pot roast, cooking in a slow cooker, and knowing all your steps, it is better to avoid overcooking.
Pan-seared meat is a much better option regarding flavors. To retain the juiciness and flavor of any meat, try to marinate or season it well. Use a food thermometer so that you don’t undercook meat, especially poultry.
Acidity Adds Flavor
Do you know how sometimes a spritz of freshly squeezed lemon can absolutely change the flavor of your salad or beverage? This is because acidity tends to enhance any flavor, you just have to learn when and how much to use. A little goes a long way when you include some acidic ingredients in your food.
Citruses are great for adding acidity to food since they have the added benefit of making your food aromatic. However, try exploring different types of vinegar, as they can bring a significant difference to any cuisine.
When in Doubt, Use Garlic
There is a reason why Italians and Koreans are so generous about using garlic in their cuisine. It’s because garlic can make any food taste wonderful. Those who hate the smell of garlic are missing out on top-notch flavor.
So, unless you are a vampire, try using some grated garlic in any of your bland dishes to glorify it. It also has numerous health benefits.
The next time you are pan searing steak, try adding some garlic to your butter while basting, and trust me, you will not regret it. However, don’t burn your garlic, because it can turn unpleasant very quickly!
Cold Desserts Need To Be Sweeter
Have you ever made a cold dessert, but it always ends up tasting like it lacks sugar? This is a common mistake new chefs often make. This is because while hot or at room temperature, that very same item can taste perfectly sweet. But, once it is cold, the sweetness reduces.
This happens because our taste receptors send a stronger signal to our head when the food is hot but gets numbed when the item is cold. This is why cold sodas taste less sweet than regular temperatures. So, add more sweetness when making no-bake cheesecake, ice cream, and whatever dessert you eat cold.
Learn To Use Soy Sauce
Asians love using soy sauce. They use it to cook, they use it as a dip. Soy sauce makes food taste better, but you must learn how to use it. For example, most people don’t add salt to make egg rolls and often use soy sauce instead, as it enhances the flavor and adds just enough saltiness.
The most important factor while using soy sauce is knowing how much to use. It can make your food very salty, quickly, so be careful. Just add a little to your marinade or a splash while cooking vegetables, meat, fish, etc. Once you are nearly done cooking, taste your food and add some more if the taste is lacking, to avoid overuse.
You want to optimize the flavor of your food, learn the art of caramelization. This works for both sweet and savory food. Because, why have a regular cafe latte when you can drink caramel macchiato?
Caramelization works wonders on savory food. For example, caramelized onions pair marvelously with meat. Caramelizing your mushroom makes them taste sweeter and helps bring out their lovely flavor.
Neutralizing Overwhelming Flavors
Knowing how to neutralize your food mess-ups is an important milestone of learning to cook. When it comes to fixing food that is too salty, for liquid items like soups and stews, add more water to reduce saltiness. To avoid salt mess-ups, try adding a little in the beginning and add more later if needed.
Adding a little acidity or sweetness also helps. Acidity also works to reduce sweetness, and so does a slash of alcohol. For food that is too spicy, add more neutralizing ingredients like unsalted tomato puree, potatoes, or some sweetness.
Fat is great for breaking down the spiciness, that is why dairy works wonders to reduce heat. Try using butter, yogurt, milk, cheese, etc. But, you must understand what kind of dairy works for that particular dish.
Knowing When To Use Herbs & Spices
There is a right time for adding herbs and spices to a dish. Ever wondered why oregano is often used near the end when cooking Italian food? While some spices and herbs need some cooking in oil to release flavors, others like oregano vaporize too quickly, so it’s better to add them near the end or sprinkling them after the food has been cooked. The key is to learn what to add when and which herbs and spices go well with different food. Learn all about spicing up your food here.
One Word: Umami
We all know about the four tastes of food: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The fifth taste recognized first by the Japanese is known as umami. Umami is the flavor of glutamates that are released from some food like meat and mushroom, which greatly enhances the flavor. Soy sauce is considered an umami flavor. Using umami flavors in your savory food elevates its flavor.
Now that you know ten simple factors that will improve the flavor of your food, try applying these to your cooking today!