Just a quick post on trying out recipes from Market Manila. My recent poll actually suggests that 92% of respondents had a reasonably good experience with the recipes from this site. Itâ€™s a higher percentage than I would have expected as all kinds of things can go wrong with recipes, not to mention our tastes differ significantly. I was just doodling with my links and found my way back to a blog of a fellow foodie who apparently tried my beef tapa recipe and it turned out awful. She does acknowledge a â€œsmall deviationâ€ of the recipe by using the same measure of iodized (presumably table salt) rather than kosher salt or rock salt. The tapa turned out outrageously salty and I presume she was one unhappy readerâ€¦
First of all, let me say that if you do try a recipe for the first time, try and follow it fairly closely and try not to substitute any ingredients so that you come as close as I do to the intended end product. I am not a chef, nor did I take any formal cooking classes whatsoever but I do try and give a fairly accurate recipe (particularly the ingredients, though I slack off on methodology sometimes) and in all cases, I have made the item myself and eaten the results. Once you have gotten a good result with the original recipe as I wrote it, you can then fiddle and alter it to your liking if desired. But I take no responsibility if you willy-nilly change the ingredients and it tastes horrificâ€¦like the time a relative changed my sisterâ€™s fruitcake recipe by adding pineapple!
Now to the salt question and that poor hapless reader who probably got heart palpitations after eating â€œmyâ€ tapa. Iodized table salt has a very fine grain. As such, a lot more of it â€œfitsâ€ in a tablespoon measure than say a coarser salt like kosher or rock salt. Think sand in a barrel vs. large corals in the same barrel; with the latter, there is a lot more airspace. So when my recipe says 3 tablespoons of kosher salt and it is replaced innocently with 3 tablespoons of iodized table salt it can have dire consequences. If you wanted to use table salt, you should have cut the amount back to 1.5 tablespoons or even a little lessâ€¦ at least according to all of these chefs and scientists discussing different salts in a website I consulted before writing this post. The glass test tubes in the photo up top have iodized salt on the left and kosher salt on the right, those amounts would possess the same amount of saltiness despite their different volumes. Furthermore, iodized table salt has iodine which has a distinct chemical taste. Using it to cure meat will give it a funny off-taste. I regret not being able to cover all possible eventualities and not making it clear in that particular tapa recipe that you should NOT use iodized salt but the best tack to take in future is to try and be faithful to the recipe except if you are confident the substituted ingredient will have to impact on the recipe. Happy cooking and please feel free to leave comments in the specific recipes posted if you tried it and it didnâ€™t turn out as expected so we can improve them in futureâ€¦ Thank you!