5 Secret Ingredients That Instantly Upgrade Your Cooking

Looking to enhance your food? There’s no need to get rid of recipes just because they’re old! Use these secret ingredients to upgrade your old recipes with a new taste.

1. VINEGAR

To instantly brighten a dish, add a splash of vinegar! The acid in vinegar will perk up the flavors in almost all of your dishes, from steak to strawberries. But make sure you know your vinegars before you start throwing them in! Cider vinegar is mild with notes of apple, while rice vinegar is sweet and delicate. Balsamic vinegar is bolder but still understated, but red and white wine vinegar will be bold and full-bodied.

2. MISO PASTE

While miso paste has mostly been used in water to make soups, you can work it into so many more foods! Thin your miso paste with water, then toss it in with your vegetables and meats to add a salty, sweet, and savory flavor to your dish. You can also use miso paste to thicken stews and gravies, or to coat fish fillets before you cook them.

3. SCALLIONS

They’re more than a garnish! You can put scallions in everything — stir fries, omelettes, baked potatoes, and even garlic bread. Scallions will also taste great on salads, adding extra flavor to your greens and zesting up your dressing too!

4. BAY LEAVES

Don’t make these just an option — bay leaves give your dish a savory-sweet flavor and can be used in almost any dish! Add them to stock, soups, and stews for a richer taste, or lay them on fish and meat for a punch of flavor.

 

5. COFFEE

Used to just drinking it? Not anymore! Coffee’s slightly bitter flavor is a great addition to stocks, stews, pot roasts, and braised meats. If you’re feeling especially daring, try a small amount of coffee in your sauces, glazes, and meat rubs.

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