People are always asking me “why do you use kosher salt?” Or “what’s the difference between Himalayan pink salt and sea salt?” Or “why do you use those fancy salts – just to be different?”
Salt is one of a few vital ingredients in cooking, and we have such a variety available to us that I thought it would be good to share my preferred cooking salts with you. I’m not what you’d call a ‘salt whisperer’ as such, I just like what I like. But if you’re looking to experiment with salts maybe this post might provide some guidance.
Coarse Kosher Salt
I use kosher salt in most of my recipes, it’s my general purpose salt. I use it as an alternative to cooking or table salt to avoid the generous amounts of anti-caking agent and iodine in those products.
Sea Salt Flakes
This is my favorite salt, I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, but not as a gesture of patriotism. The best sea salt flakes are Maldon Sea Salt Flakes from Maldon, Essex in the UK. Maldon describe their salt as “Loved by chefs the world over.” Perhaps they are right, as many chefs refer to Maldon Sea Salt Flakes on cooking shows and in the press, and the Maldon Company has the Royal seal of approval from Her Majesty the Queen, don’t you know!
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes have been a staple in my kitchen for most of my life. It has no additives, its easy to use and it has a clean unencumbered taste. If I have a visitor who stays long enough to spend time in my kitchen they are usually won over by it, and hence forth are Maldon Sea Salt Flakes converts.
Sea salt flakes dissolve quickly so this salt is ideal for marinades or in a tapenade, or a dip. You simply grab a few of the crystal shaped pieces of salt and crush them between your fingers before adding to your recipe.
Himalayan Pink Salt
I usually buy Himalayan pink salt crystals in a grinder for ease of use. I also like to buy Himalayan pink salt in a block with a fine shredder. Block salt is rather expensive, so I only treat myself to one maybe once every 18 months. I plan on creating a sashimi recipe served on Himalayan pink salt blocks at some point. No doubt the recipe will surface when I’m in one of my decadent moods and can afford the extravagance.
I use Himalayan pink salt on salads and at the table. This salt is higher in potassium than any other, and as I suffer with hypertension, I see the added potassium as a little extra bonus. When cooking for myself, I will use it in everything for that reason.
Not for Baking:
All three of the salts I’ve shared with you today are coarse grain salts or crystals which are not ideal for baking. For instance, if you were to use one of these salts in a cake recipe, you would experience bursts of salt in some bites and none in other bites. These salts are best used in recipes which have a generous amount of liquid, or in a recipe that requires heavy seasoning, such as grilled or baked meats or a marinade. Or in soups or a meal where a burst of salt coupled with a bite of food is what you’re looking for.
For baking you should use fine grain kosher salts and sea salts. Check out Joy the Baker’s post “What’s the best salt for baking” for guidance.
Blog Life Week 39