This Is The Simple Reason Why Your Food Tastes Flavorless
Restaurants have a secret, and it's why their food tastes better than yours.
Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and discovered that their version of a recipe you make at home is so much better than yours?
There can be any number of reasons why this is the case. It can range from the unique or expensive ingredients they add into the dish to the prepping or cooking technique they use to make sure that the dish is cooked perfectly every time. Food is, after all, their specialty.
However, there could be a totally different reason why their food is that much more flavorful than yours. While it's not a secret, it is a tip that is dependent on each cook when they're cooking a dish. It is up to them to ensure that the dish they bring off the stove and onto your plate is flavorful.
The not-so-secret tip is this: restaurants probably use more salt in their dishes than you do.
Salt is the universal seasoning in the kitchen. Whether you're baking a cake or making a roast whole chicken, you will be using salt. Salt will not only make your dishes salty but it also draws out and enhances the already present flavors of the ingredient you season with it.
When you don't add enough salt to your dish, you might be tempted to blame the ingredients for not being more flavorful. There's a reason why dishes that have overly salty ingredients - bagoong, patis, soy sauce, and the like - are so much more delicious than those that don't have these ingredients in it. It's really the saltiness of these ingredients that lift up the other flavors in the dish and together, it make it taste so much better.
The common salt in many homes is either iodized table salt or a rock or sea salt. Iodized table salt is a processed salt that has been fortified with iodine. Rock salt or even sea salt are the less processed salts, and these usually contain the minerals found naturally in the salt than table salt. That's why these more raw salts give a dish a different flavor than that of the straight saltiness that table salt gives.
If you're curious how much salt you should use, give your dish a taste from the very beginning. You should be seasoning your dish at regular intervals - even if it's just a little pinch at a time when you add a new ingredient -because this is the only way you know that you're seasoning it right. For restaurant chefs, this can mean a dozen times just for one dish. It's this taste perception that makes them the experts at what they do.
Mimic chefs' trained palates, and don't be afraid to add more salt.
If it's not as flavorful as you want it to be, it might be because you didn't add enough salt to the dish. While you should be wary about oversalting your dish, you should also recognize that salt can make your dish more flavorful, too. Try it with any of these dishes: