MARINATION: INTENSIFY THE FLAVOR OF YOUR FOOD

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Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned often acidic, liquid before cooking. You can do it with basic ingredients.

 

Here is a quick rundown on how to go with marinating:-

 

Flavoring:- Bathing your food in even the simplest ingredients will enhance everything from fish to meat chops to veggies. Marinades won’t necessarily penetrate all foods. Meat and poultry, for instance, have molecular structures too dense to allow most compounds beyond their surface, so flavor will be concentrated on the exterior. A few porous foods like eggplant a nd mushrooms can absorb huge amounts of marinade and marinade is also trapped in the irregular surfaces of some foods like shrimp and broccoli. Generally speaking, maximizing surface area maximizes flavor.

Tenderising:- Acids like vinegar, yogurt a nd citrus juices have some ability to tenderise meats but again this is concentrated on the surface : these ingredients won’t penetrate very far beyond the exterior. For greatest impact, use thinner cuts. Due to the shorter protein fibers of seafood, acids can actually start to “cook” the food if soaked too long, so keep seafood marinating time brief.  

Juiciness:- A marinade that contains oil also helps seal in juices and prevents sticking — particularly important with seafood. Salt’s molecular structure allows it to flow into meat and increase the liquid retained in its cells, making meat juicier, so do use salt or a salty ingredient in your marinades.  

So how long to marinate?:- Fish a nd seafood do best with a short soak; an hour or two at most and no more than 20 minutes to an hour is good for porous tofu and most vegetables. For meat and poultry you have a pretty open window: Most benefits occur in the first few hours but overnight or 24-hour marinating is fine as well and often the most convenient.

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