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Old 05-26-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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Salt seasoning

What is the importance of pre-cooking seasoning with salt vs post cooking seasoning?

Many Asian recipes suggest the addition of amounts of salt for example 3 Tablespoons for 1 kg of fish. That seems like a lot and for some this would make the dish unpleasant. Is it reasonable to add some amount pre-cooking and then add more during, if wanted, or after the cooking process? Some chefs are quite definite on this process but I cannot find a reason why this may be so?

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Old 05-26-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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First welcome to DC. A fun place to be.

When the salt is added before cooking, it melts into the food and flavors it. Added after it is cooked, it justs sits on top and can be unpleasant if you get a mouthful that was not distributed evenly. It does't flavor the food, just your mouth.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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The rule is to season at every step. Salt (and pepper) should be cooked with the food. As the food is cooking, you should taste and adjust seasonings. Finally, individuals may choose to add more at the table. This last amount should be minimal as the dish should be properly seasoned when served.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Hi, I think everything that's been said is true, but I think its important to mention food should be tasted as it's cooked. Obviously, with some things like meats, fish, and poultry, it's not okay to taste before it has came to a safe temperature, but, when ever possible, taste as you go. Lastly, with recipes you have not yet tried, use your best judgment. If it sounds like to much salt, and nothing is said about the reason of the amount, it's probably too much salt.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:50 PM   #5
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Thank you Rebecca, Andy & Addie. It's good to know that it is just taste rather than a chemistry.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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Cook the salt with the food, with an exception.
Don't salt the food you want to fry and especially never salt the batter: during frying it would peel off from the food you're frying.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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My senile dad would boil potatoes and add salt before I could get to the kitchen to tell him not to add any. Needless to say, the potatoes came out so salty, they were inedible.
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