Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Secret of Salad Sauce 沙拉酱的秘密

There are 3 essential tastes
in salad to make it complete. 
At The Veg School, I often share in
Veg Nutrition Course, the secret of salad sauce. This is an important gastronomy lesson,  and I made a point to get students to create their own salad sauces,  by the principle I teach in class.

The secret and principle of tasty salad sauce is actually very simple, as illustrated below:
Sour. Sweet. Salty.

Basically, as soon as, Sour, Sweet and Salty ingredients are mixed together, the prototype of salad sauce is created.

Recently,  a student created a salad sauce without the salty component and swore that it tastes good.

I explained that, the Sour.Sweet.Salty combination is required to serve a very important function, that is to neutralise alkaloids in raw veggies.

Alkaloids are toxins found inevitably in all raw veggies,  as they are part of the inborn defence system of the plants.

If one were to consume raw veggies on its own, and find it revolting,  then likely it's an issue of alkaloid.

This is when salt and acids in salad sauce, are needed, to neutralise the alkaloids. And,  the sugar content is to help mask the astringent taste of the raw veggies.

If one of the 3 tastes is missing in a salad sauce,  the alkaloid neutralisation function will be toned down. This will be especially  obvious when it goes with a very astringent veggie (eg  spinach,  bitterguord). Therefore,  it is best to design a salad sauce with 3 tastes, so that it suits widest range of veggies :)
沙拉酱酸甜咸缺一,功力会减退。如果所配的生菜特别涩的话(例如菠菜、苦瓜),这个沙拉酱可能没办法过关。所以设计沙拉酱,最好能酸甜咸俱全,才能配搭多种不同的沙拉 :)

Next time,  when you have salad,  try pick a sauce with one taste missing,  and feel if there is anything not quite right on the tongue?  

Bon Apetito,
Kee Yew
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