Sea salt is just another salt according to some, but others recognize that it does have some unique properties. Sea salt consists of crystallized salt from seawater, which means that it contains minerals that contribute to its flavor. Sea salt can make a dish special in ways that regular table salt simply cannot. To get the best experience from sea salt, you will need to understand how to use it and what mistakes to avoid. Here are some of the dos and don’ts of cooking with sea salt.
Table of Contents
- Do use sea salt for finishing dishes.
- Do use sea salt in mildly flavored dishes.
- Do use sea salt for bread and other baked goods.
- Do use the brinier sea salts to increase umami.
- Do use sea salt in desserts.
- Do store sea salt properly.
- Don’t use sea salt with heavier flavored foods.
- Don’t use too much sea salt.
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Do use sea salt for finishing dishes.
In addition to a bright salty flavor, sea salt can provide a satisfying crunch when you add it before serving food. As a finishing salt, sea salt can work on everything from steamed vegetables to steak. In addition to its flavor and textural benefits, coarse sea salt can be visually attractive when sprinkled over food.
Do use sea salt in mildly flavored dishes.
Professional chefs often prefer sea salt for foods with subtle flavors. For example, it is sometimes suggested as the best salt for pasta water and mild fish like tuna. Many recommend it as the perfect salt for quality steaks since you get a clean salt taste that will not interfere with the natural flavor of the meat.
Do use sea salt for bread and other baked goods.
Not only is sea salt an excellent addition to bread because of its ability to provide flavor, but it can also enhance its texture. Bakers use sea salt to enhance the development of gluten in bread doughs. In addition to its effect on the dough, sea salt can be used as a topping for the bread before it goes into the oven. As a topping, it provides crunch and flavor. Sea salt can also help with the browning of crusts on other types of pastries.
Do use the brinier sea salts to increase umami.
The oceanic flavor from some sea salt varieties can enhance umami notes the same way that MSG does. Sea salt can complement the taste of all kinds of savory dishes, including fresh seafood, game, and eggs.
Do use sea salt in desserts.
All kinds of sweet foods can be improved with the addition of sea salt. Because sea salt doesn’t have the chemical bitterness that you can get from iodized table salt, it works particularly well as an addition to sweet flavors. It works in everything from caramel and chocolate to watermelon and strawberries.
Do store sea salt properly.
You will need to keep sea salt dry. Under the right conditions, sea salt can last indefinitely.
Don’t use sea salt with heavier flavored foods.
While it will still provide the salty flavor no matter what the other ingredients in a dish are, the more delicate aspects of the flavor profile may be lost among potent herbs and spices.
Don’t use too much sea salt.
Sea salt is different from table salt when it comes to flavor and appearance but not so different when it comes to its effects on health. Sea salt is still mostly sodium, which means it can cause the same issues known to result from the overconsumption of table salt. Too much sodium in any form can cause high blood pressure and heart disease. As a result, it is crucial to consume it in moderation.