Salt, our bodies can’t do without it, it’s an essential nutrient, a taste enhancer, modifier and a food preservative. Whenever salt touches food it livens and elevates flavours and taste and I can’t imagine cooking without salt. However, in terms of health, salt is salt and I try to pay attention to how much I use with cooking. Maybe you already know, our daily recommended salt requirement should not exceed 6g for adults (children 4g), whether it’s table or gourmet salt. Unlike gourmet salts, regular table salt is highly processed, denser, has anti caking agents (prevents clumping) and sometimes iodine is added.
Gourmet salts are more expensive as they go through different processing techniques and this gives rise to the salt crystal’s characteristic shape, color, texture and size. The shape and size of different salt crystals also impact how salt tastes… try a little (a flake vs a few granules) on your tongue… it’s salty, but the intensity and texture varies… you might want to have a glass of water near by. This can influence how you use these salts as seasonings in your preparation and presentation of different foods. I am not bought on the antioxidant effects and health benefits touted by gourmet salts sellers (pun intended)… how much would you need to consume to make that difference? Maybe you disagree!
Certain sea salts can look very glamorous and appealing when sprinkled over finished dishes and I love the color and texture of both the black lava and peachy Murray river sea flakes.
Seasoning salts (for use as finishing salts) are easy to make and there are endless possibilities when it comes to flavoring them, use a single or a combination of flavorful ingredients like spices, herbs, truffles and citrus peels. Sea salt with vanilla and fresh rosemary and lemon peel are other favorites of mine. We are all pretty familiar with celery, garlic and onion salt. My grandmother used to keep a little jar of garlic salt which she loved to sprinkle over a boiled egg and that was probably the fanciest salt I ever grew up with.
The pink peppercorn and wasabi seasoned salt is delicious when sprinkled over a juicy steak just off the barbecue, but can also be use on grilled chicken and fish. Our taste for saltiness and flavor differs so have fun and enjoy experimenting. If you are looking for some gourmet salt, the Plaza Food Hall (Seef area) and Crescendo (Seef mall) in Bahrain stock various gourmet salts.
Pink Peppercorn and Wasabi Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes (use Maldon or Murray River flakes)
Try: Use the other ingredients (pictured above but not included in recipe), dried mushrooms, saffron, smoked paprika or chill flakes to make different seasonings. Use a spice grinder to powder the dried mushrooms. Pound the saffron in a pestle and mortar with a small pinch of sea salt. You can leave the chili flakes whole if liked.
How to make: Gently pound the pink peppercorns together with a small pinch of the measured sea salt flakes. Tip the pink peppercorns into a small dish and mix in the wasabi powder. Add the salt and mix ingredients together. Place in a small serving dish and let everyone season their own food.