Seasoning can be a bit of a delicate art. Too little and your meal might be bland, but too much will overwhelm all the other flavours and could easily make your meal entirely inedible. If you’ve ever had any issue with getting seasoning just right, then look no further, I’m here with this blog to set you straight and raise your seasoning game to master levels.
Get Your Timing Right
When it comes to seasoning a lot of people just heap all their seasoning in at the same time, either early into the cooking process or towards the end of it, but that’s an easy way to hit the extremes in overwhelming or underwhelming taste. The real trick is to add different seasonings at different stages of the cooking process. Strong or spicy flavours should go in early on, to allow them to diffuse properly throughout the whole dish. Salt and pepper should always be left to the end so that you can adjust and shape the existing flavours.
As a little additional tip, it can sometimes be worth adding a final burst of seasoning towards the end of your preparation. For example, a pasta sauce might see you adding your garlic and oregano early in the cooking process but adding an additional mixed paste of these ingredients just before you finish cooking will give the meal a fresh burst of intense flavours.
Remember to Taste
You’ll often see recipes asking for you to “season to taste” and that advice shouldn’t be taken lightly – tasting as you season is incredibly important. Without regular taste tests, you’re more likely to over or under-season and no-one wants that. If you’re worried about adding any more seasoning to a dish, then I recommend taking a small portion out of it and seasoning that directly. This little portion can act as your testing ground for the dish as a whole.
Tasting your dish regularly can have the side effect of reducing your sensitivity to taste, so I recommend leaving your kitchen for a few minutes and having a drink of water before coming back for another taste. This will reinvigorate your taste buds and can help you identify exactly what the dish is missing.
Learn How to Adjust
Mistakes will be made while you experiment with seasoning, but that doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to a dish, just because it is a little over salted. There are lots of methods out there to help you balance out flavours in a meal, for example, a salty meal can be saved with the addition of something acidic or sweet. Once you’ve got to grips with the basics of adjusting and saving your flavours, you can set out on your seasoning adventure with no worries at all.