Essential Ingredients for Flavorful Marinades
Marinades are an easy way to add big flavor to proteins like meat, poultry, and even seafood before cooking. Suited to many styles of cooking including grilling, stir frying, searing, and baking, marinades not only add a burst of flavor, but also keeps food moist. Quick, simple, and the perfect solution for creating healthy and delicious meals, marinades are made better with fresh, natural flavors. Join us as we at Advanced Biotech take a look at the ingredients we think will take any marinade to the next level.
Always a crowd-pleaser, garlic is a classic flavor that pairs well with everything from steak to vegetables skewers. Earthy, pungent, and slightly, garlic contains sulfur compounds that release as soon as the outer layer of the bulb is cut into and the inner flesh is exposed to oxygen in the air. The way garlic is prepared affects the intensity of its smell and flavor. Crushed garlic releases mild flavor over a long period of time, while minced garlic has a more intense, immediate flavor. Roasting garlic has a mellow, complex flavor that adds a distinct and addictive hit of umami that will upgrade any marinade. Garlic pairs well with classic marinade flavors like salt and pepper, fresh herbs, and citrus, and but when combined with ingredients like gochujang – a Korean chili paste, mint, brown sugar, ginger, or soy sauce create flavorful and globally-inspired marinades to suit every palate. According to Healthline, garlic also has many health benefits such as maintaining blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of heart disease among many other things. Versatile and delicious, garlic is a must for any marinade.
An essential component in any marinade, the addition of herbs can transform the flavor of everything from steak to chicken and seafood. Fresh herbs add an aspect of brightness and pleasing color to marinades, while dried herbs are liked for their intense flavor and low risk of burning. Basil pairs famously with chicken, and also compliments roasted vegetables and seafood like shrimp and fish. Stronger flavor profiles like beef and lamb pair well with herbs like parsley, rosemary, and oregano. Herbs can also be used in many internationally-inspired marinades. Flatleaf parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil can be combined with olive oil and lemon juice to create a Mediterranean marinade, while cilantro and oregano can be paired with chipotle, orange juice, and lime to create a Latin-inspired marinade perfect for tenderizing meat. The flavor pairings are endless as herbs compliment many different ingredients from honey to fish sauce, and instantly elevate the aromatics of any dish.
Citrus like orange, lemon, and lime add refreshing zing and vibrancy to marinades. The juice of citrus fruits contain acid that work to tenderize proteins by breaking down muscle, fiber, and collagen. This improves the overall texture of the meat while also imparting flavor. However, adding too much citrus juice to a marinade can do the opposite, and can actually toughen the meat. In order to add great flavor without affecting the texture, zest can also be added. Highly concentrated with essential oils, lemon, lime, orange zests are popular additions to marinades and pair well with everything from herbs to sweeteners like maple and molasses and botanicals like garlic and chili peppers.
Whether grilling, baking, or broiling, marinades are a simple, low-cost way to impart foods with nature’s bountiful flavors and aromas. Keep proteins moist and elevate the flavor of everything from roasted potatoes to vegetarian shish kebabs and salmon with marinades infused with natural flavors.