In the beginning of your cooking journey, you’ll probably be content with following recipes and discovering the basics of preparing food. Eventually, though, you’ll come to a point where you want to refine your skills to make personal tweaks and create dishes that taste and look appealing. Go to the next level with these tips for elevating your cooking.
Know How To Bring Out Flavors
Salt is one of the main ingredients people use to season their food. It’s true that a dash of salt can help the flavors of food shine, but you also need to know how to keep it balanced in quantity. Without enough salt, food can taste bland, while too much can overshadow other flavors and make the food harsh on your tongue. Try adding salt in small increments and taste-testing in between. This will allow you to reach the perfect amount.
You should also know that salt isn’t the only answer for bringing out flavors. Acids such as vinegar or lemon may bring a much-needed contrast to savory foods. You can also add some oil to dishes that you find excessively dry.
Learn Plating Techniques
Plating is the art of being intentional with where and how you place food on a plate. When you learn plating techniques, your food can look like a professional work of art. Elements that should be ever-present in your mind are balance and variety. You can create these elements by, for instance, offsetting a larger piece of protein on one side of the plate with smaller greens that equate to a similar visual weight on the other side. Alternatively, you might arrange food to create symmetry.
As for variation, think in terms of colors and textures. A dish where everything is the same color or texture can look boring. Therefore, you should incorporate a wide array of food groups along with garnishes and sauces to enliven them.
Master Your Cutting Skills
No matter what you make, you’ll probably need to cut some ingredients at some point. Thus, an effective tip to elevate your cooking is to master your cutting skills. You can practice techniques such as slicing, chopping, and dicing to break ingredients into neat, attractive pieces. When the constituent parts of a dish are immaculate, the dish will appear more impressive as a whole.
Another way you can further your cutting skills is to upgrade your knives. With something like a quality Japanese Santoku knife or a higher-end Western-style knife, making precise cuts will become more natural. This is because your tool will have excellent sharpness and a favorable design to support your technique.