A #marinade is the #flavour secret of a #dish

Have you ever wondered what gives a dish its distinct taste, and put that down to some old wives’ cooking secret?


It’s not. That meat, chicken or even fish that you’re relishing may have been well-marinated! Used as a liquid, spice rub or a paste, a marinade can add immense flavour to meat and poultry, seafood and vegetables and even tenderise tougher cuts of the meat.

How it works
You can use a variety of liquid marinades with vinegar, lemon juice and or yogurt, which can be combined with spice powders, flavoured oils and herbs. The acids present in the marinade try and soften the surface texture of the meat, allowing it to cook quickly, while the oils add moisture to the meat and prevent it form burning while being cooked. Aromatics such as dried herbs, minced red chillies, garlic and shallots are used too. The process of marinating can last for a few hours or even a day.

Tips to get it right
Marinating can be done in two key ways: one, via a syringe, where the thin liquid marinade has to be injected into to the meat, and two, through soaking where the meat, poultry or seafood is immersed in the liquid and put into a dish or a sealable plastic bag, which seals the outside air.

Seasonings and rubs
Seasonings are used to enhance the already present flavour and they must always be used sparingly. Rubs, on the other hand are coarser and can be used more liberally. When using a rub, first brush the surface of the meat with oil and then add the rub to it, before grilling.

Seafood like prawns, pomfret and rawas: One hour for pomfret, two for rawas.
Chicken breasts: Roughly two hours
Meat: Three hours to overnight (in the fridge).

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