Enhance your next meal with these outdoor food tips. Photo / Unsplash
From unusual spices to exotic cooking techniques, there’s a lot to love (and learn) when eating the local fare outside.
Even better, foreign dishes can inspire our cooking long after the trip is over.
One Reddit user asked fellow foodies what cool and useful things they’ve learned from other kitchens.
Here is what they said.
1. “Indian cooking has taught me that spices are fat soluble and not water soluble. In other words, if you are adding spices to a dish, add them initially with fats (such as coconut milk or yoghurt) and aromatics. Do not spare the seasoning when adding water or broth.”
—u / centaurquestions
2. “Chinese cooking taught me the importance of velvet, which is a seasoning method for keeping tender meats and seafood moist and tender during the cooking process. I learned how to make velvet for chicken, pork, and beef, and it made my home cooking so much better.”
—u / ImakeIcecream
3. “Learning how to make the specific Italian dish cacio e pepe has helped me understand the meaning of ‘less is better.’ This dish is pasta, good olive oil, fresh black pepper and Parmesan cheese, but these simple ingredients work together to create something absolutely delicious.”
—u / warrior creature
4. “Eastern Mediterranean cooking like Greek and Turkish cooking really brought us to the idea of acidity. I never realized how much an acidic ingredient like a big squeeze of lemon can liven up and enhance a seemingly lifeless dish.”
—u / EnvironmentalMoney87
5. “Chinese cuisine has shown me that a wok can be used for literally anything. Invest in one and you can cook many dishes in it from scrambled eggs and soup to steamed vegetables.”
6. Grinding fresh meat is a game-changer, whether for sausage, burgers or ragu bolognese. I highly recommend getting a dishwasher safe meat grinder with a suction base for $30. I use mine frequently.
—U / Daniel Moscato
7. “From French cooking, I learned the value of using very basic ingredients to prepare quality meals. If you think of most French recipes, they are simple: French onion soup is onions, ratatouille is just chopped greens, and nicoise salad is made with eggs, potatoes, and tuna. Canned and couscous are beans and meat. But it’s all about the technique and preparation that makes these dishes taste great.”
-u / Apptubrutae
8. “From Chinese cuisine, I learned a lot about how to make the most of every ingredient available to me. This kitchen finds delicious ways to use ingredients so nothing goes to waste.”
—u / Deleted
9. “Texas barbecue taught me about patience. You can’t rush this process if you want it to fall off the bone.”
—u / Ennion
10. “Italian cooking is all about using the freshest ingredients and letting them shine. For example, use only fresh garlic (never peeled), good canned San Marzano or fresh tomatoes in season, and appropriate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese by the block. (not pre-grated), table wine also known as wine good enough to drink. If you focus on quality ingredients, the rest of the dish will follow.”
—u / Deleted
11. “Cooking Asian cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese has shown me just how versatile peanuts are. I don’t like peanuts alone or peanut butter (I’ve never been a fan of PB&J’s or Reese’s), but I like using peanuts in a pasta sauce or sprinkling it on top of bowl of noodles.”
12. “There are thousands of different types of soy sauce and they have different uses and flavors.”
—u / FesteringNeonDistrac
13. “Asian cuisine in general has taught me that MSG is amazing, and unlike what American culture has taught us, it’s not an ingredient to avoid. It just adds an amazing amount of umami to everything you cook.”
—U / seasoning
14. “Cooking dishes from Indian cuisine has really shown me that being a vegetarian or introducing more vegetarian dishes into your routine doesn’t have to be that hard. Moreover, vegetarian dishes can be just as delicious as those with meat. Indian cooking taught me that The use of ‘fake meat’ is not at all necessary.”
—u / warrior creature
15. “From Italian cooking, I learned that pasta really means cooked whole. To some people it may look or taste undercooked, but the toughness of the bite adds to the desired texture of the dish and prevents it from becoming a mush dish.”
—u / MightyMoose91
16. “Spanish cooking taught me a trick I use a lot now, which is how to grate tomatoes on a box grater to make fresh tomato purée. In Spanish cuisine, this is generally how tomatoes are made. Once upon a time, I used to peel, de-seed and mash fresh tomatoes, and it Which is so time consuming that I often buy the canned stuff. But now I cut the tomatoes in half, scrape out the visible seeds, and grate the cut side up like a lump of cheddar cheese. It’s effortless.”
—u / Negative feedback 5991
17. “I’m Italian, and since my native kitchen prefers olive oil over butter, I cook with oil almost exclusively. But after living in Kentucky for a few years and learning about South American kitchen recipes, I know how to use butter and lard instead of olive oil. There’s a lot more. Which you can do with that cooking fat, especially if you’re not shy about it.”
—U / Daniel Moscato
18. “Filipino cooking relies on a lot of different sauces and vinegars like soy sauce, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, etc. Now, I keep a whole bunch of these essential ingredients stocked in my pantry, and I rely heavily on them. I use them for anything from quick pasta blending Preparation or broth right down to stir-fry or yogurt. You can even take scrambled eggs to the next level with the help of some sweet soy sauce.”
—U / ShaddiJ
19. “Cooking Chinese food showed me how to flavor cooking oils. Now I add aromatic ingredients like green onions or garlic to any oils on the stove and fry my food with them. It greatly improves the depth of the dish, and is especially delicious when making fried rice.”
—u / _twentyfour
20. Frying tomato paste, if introduced into a dish, really adds depth to it.
—u / Complete_Bath_8457