a bit about layering salt
In a few of our sessions we have talked about layering salt but I thought that given we are using miso, a type of salt, a little refresher might be a good idea.
The idea of thinking of salt in layers is something important to cooking. We often may just assume that adding salt to a saucepan of boiling water for green beens, or a sprinkle of salt on a salad does enough to bring out the flavors. Yes it may, but making a dish that tastes “good” to one that tastes “amazing” is really the goal, and one of the ways to achieve the amazing is to think about all the ingredients you add to the dish.
Salt comes in many different forms, sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan pink salt, or truffle salt, but it is also in Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, capers, soy sauce, fish sauce, , miso and cheeses. Really thinking about the individual ingredients being added to an Asian marinade, salad dressing or pasta sauce helps determine how you can enhance flavors. If a marinade does not taste the way you want, you can add kosher salt but also think about the other “salt” ingredients in the recipes to create the depth you want to achieve.
If you ever have watched a cooking show, you see that chefs are continually tasting what is being prepared. And based on their tastes, ones that are usually very refined, ingredients are adjusted as they go along. As our understanding of various cuisines and dishes expand one thing to keep in mind is how you like to use salt, what type salt you prefer (kosher vs sea salt vs various brands), what can you do to a dish to make it perfectly to your liking?
Your cupboard should have different types of salts. Table salt is good for baking (though you can use kosher and avoid iodine versions), kosher salt is reasonably priced and good for everyday cooking (salting water, meat) and sea salt or some of the more expensive varieties (fleur de sel, Maldon, sel gris) are best used for finishing a dish that has already been cooked (sprinkle over a vegetables, salads). The flavored salts can be used for cooking or finishing a dish but just make sure flavors work with the dish overall.
Following the recipe is absolutely important but also knowing where and when to adjust is as important. Ingredients, temperature, pans, measurements can vary so tasting, adjusting, salting is one way to easily begin bringing food into the amazing.