How To Marinate


What Can Be Marinated?

You might be wondering how to marinate, and what kinds of foods can I marinate? The answer is literally anything. However, the most frequently marinated items are meats such as fish, poultry and red meat. Marinades are usually composed of fats and acids.

How To Marinate Food. . .Here are the step by step instructions:

1. In order to marinate, you will want to place the food to be marinated in a resealable plastic bag. Then place the bag in a shallow bowl in case the bag leaks.

How To Marinate

2. Add the food to the bag, then add the marinade. Turn the bag occasionally so that the marinade is distributed all over the sides of the food.

3. Let the food sit in the marinade for anywhere from 2 hours or as long as overnight. Use tongs to remove the food from the marinade.

What Makes A Good Marinade?

Marinades are especially formulaic because they’re born of function. The acid-and-salt combination was once used to preserve meats and fish before cooking. Now, we use them more for flavoring, tenderizing, and moisturizing. They still lend a quality to whatever it is they bathe.

Though any marinade could be made from more or less, here’s a basic formula for making one:

How To Marinate

acid (vinegar, wine, yogurt, citrus juice)
oil (olive, vegetable)
aromatics (onion, garlic, ginger)
salt/umami (soy, miso, Worcestershire)
herbs/spices (rosemary, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, clove)
pepper/chile heat (red pepper flakes, hot sauce, sliced chiles)

A few applications of the formula, varied by cuisine type: For pork/beef/chicken (2 hours to overnight):

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 thinly sliced onion
2 smashed garlic cloves
3 tablespooons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

2 cups rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup torn basil leaves
2 teaspoons sambal chile sauce

Middle Eastern:
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 thinly sliced red onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For fish and shellfish (20 minutes to 2 hours):

2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chooped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Japanese (especially broiled or grilled oily fish like cod, sea bass, or mackerel):
3/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
1 cup white miso paste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1 jalapeno pepper, minced

The variations are endless. With a stocked pantry, a formula, and different cuisine types in mind, you’ll always be able to marinate meats and fish before grilling, broiling, searing or roasting them.

You might also be interested in:
What Is A Crumble
What’s The Difference Between A Sardine And Anchovy

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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