FoodFindsAsia | How To Cook With Smoked Sea Salt | The culinary landscape is now abundant in many kinds of salt. Salt used to be just salt – adding flavor, depth, and dimension to food. But now, it comes in various flavors and colors, which makes cooking an adventure and exploration.
What Is Sea Salt?
Sea salt is a type of salt produced by evaporating saltwater, whether it’s from the ocean or in a saltwater lake. Compared to table salt, it’s less processed and retains trace minerals, and comes in grains or crystals. In contrast, table salt is mined from underground deposits, processed to remove other minerals, fortified with iodine, and is granulated. Aside from cooking, sea salt is also used in body scrubs and cocktails.
Today you can find a variety of salts: celery salt, truffle salt, chipotle salt, smoked sea salt, and many others.
Smoked sea salt is a pure sea salt that is carefully and slowly smoked using ultra-clean cold smoking techniques. It is a premium type of salt that will elevate the flavor of your dishes. SaltWorks is among those companies that produce gourmet premium smoked sea salts.
If you want to take your culinary journey to the next level, here are some ways you can cook with smoked sea salt:
- Salt Rub For Meats
You can use prepared rubs for your steak, but making your meat rub is more fulfilling. Smoked sea salt is infused with the flavor of high-quality food-grade wood, which helped develop its complex flavor and exciting aromas. Use smoked sea salt for steaks, ribs, and briskets and rub it generously before grilling your meat and achieve a smoky and tender result. Even if you don’t have a grill, just cooking the meat on the stovetop or baking it in the oven will achieve a smoky result.
- Roasted Vegetables
For casual parties or simple dinners, you can prepare diced vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil, season with a bit of pepper, and pour a little honey for a slight sweetness. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt before popping it in the oven or roasting it on the grill.
You may also add an herb or two of your choice, like thyme or rosemary. This fast dish to whip up will be a perfect side dish for your main protein course. Wow your friends and family with the flavor coming from the smoked sea salt of this super easy dish.
- Flavor Sauces
Basic sauces like barbecue, steak, cocktail, and taco sauce could benefit from smoked sea salt’s smokiness and depth. The caramelization achieved in the smoking process of the salt will add a layer of depth to the mentioned basic sauces that already have a sweet taste to them.
Also, the smokiness of the salt will complement the spices in the sauces mentioned. The spiciness from the peppers, paprika, and cayenne will shine through and will not be overpowered.
Meanwhile, a grand sauce like Demi-Glace will have an even more decadent and pleasant roasted aroma and vibrant color courtesy of the smoked sea salt. A finished demi-glace will add sophistication and richness to your steak, and surprisingly, in Asian dishes like ramen, sushi, Korean barbecue, and hotpot too.
- Enhance Your Marinades
Marinades are often used to flavor and tenderize meats before cooking. A perfect marinade should have a ratio of three parts oil and one part acid. The marinade is balanced with the addition of sugar and salt. Ideally, sea salt is perfect to use, and smoked sea salt with interesting depth will round up the flavor of your marinade. For marinades, kosher salt is not recommended because it tends to settle at the bottom of the liquid. Sea salt has an excellent dissolution attribute and will combine significantly with the other ingredients to create a well-balanced marinade.
- To Enrich Soups
Soups with a rich tomato base and thick and rich consistency will be better with smoked sea salt. With its stewed tomatoes and irresistible umami flavor, the beef soup will be more lavish and appealing with smoked sea salt during cooking and just before serving.
- To Finish Sweet Dishes
Salt is the key ingredient that gives the perfect balance to sweet desserts. Not only does it reduce the overpowering sweetness of sugar, but it also creates a complementing contrast that will let the other flavors on the dessert shine through. Sprinkle smoked sea salt on top of chewy chocolate chip cookies, fudgy walnut brownies, and frosted chocolate cakes and surprise the people you love when you present these luscious desserts on the table.
Every meal should be a gastronomic time that will transform your everyday dining to new heights. You don’t need to hire chefs or go places to encounter a gourmet kind of experience. Be creative in preparation, explore something you haven’t tried before, and let it surprise your palate. Use smoked sea salt in various meals and see how it will convert ordinary meals into extraordinary dining encounters.