12 Aug2015

P1030549 (1)

Carefully place the block of Himalayan pink salt on a “flame diffuser” so that the flames from your stovetop burner aren’t hitting the salt directly. Turn your flame up to medium for about 20 minutes, and then high until the block of salt is nice and hot (a recommended 400-500F hot, but there’s no easy way of checking how hot it actually is). I had the heat on for a good 40 minutes which seemed like enough time, but in retrospect, I think this would have been better done in an oven.

P1030558

I peeled nice fresh prawns and laid them directly on the slab of salt. they cooked in just a minute or two per side. It was obvious to me that the block wasn’t quite hot enough and I let it heat up for another 10 minutes. Next, I tried thin slices of hanger steak, a tough cut, precisely because of the legendary tenderizing abilities of salt blocks… then finally, I tried a thin fillet of lap-lapu, which of all the items cooked, was a bit of a disaster, as the skin stuck well and truly to the salt and a flip over was a messy and ugly proposition.

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In the end, we ended up with succulent and just brine-y enough prawns, beautiful slices of tender steak, and a salty and crumbly fillet of fish. It was interesting and all, but I am not sure we would be doing this regularly unless I find a better way to make use of the block. Other suggestions include a cold sashimi serving platter, which sounds interesting enough, so maybe I will scrape this block and re-use it in cold format the next time around. I am sure many of you are thinking, wasn’t the food really salty? No, it surprisingly was not overly salty.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Kasseopeia says:

    So I guess it keeps the food moist while imparting very little (relative to size of said block of salt) saltiness? It would make sense. considering that we do bake fish surrounded by salt and it turns out moist and not salty at all.

    Aug 12, 2015 | 5:08 pm

     
  2. Lissa says:

    Hi Marketman. How do you clean up this block of salt? Do you chip off the soiled portions? So eventually, there will be too little left? I guess you can’t run this in water.

    Aug 13, 2015 | 10:05 am

     
  3. ami says:

    Interesting. It’s the first time I’ve heard of salt block cooking. Does the block stay solid when heated or does it melt a little?

    Aug 13, 2015 | 12:36 pm

     
  4. Kouta says:

    Ami, I am sure it doesn’t for it is SALT

    Aug 13, 2015 | 6:29 pm

     
  5. Natie says:

    One learns something new everyday.. Thanks, MM

    Aug 14, 2015 | 11:02 pm

     
  6. Lor says:

    I have a pink himalayan salt block too, i’d say double if not triple the thickness of yours, but in a nice square. I found that the best way to get it hot all the way through was to put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 300F (though my gas oven tends to run hotter). This gets the block heated all the way to the core, then I move it to the gas top to keep the heat up. I’ve done thin burger patties, shrimp, and even salmon (without excessive sticking, though it could be due to the oily fish.)

    In all, it’s a fun conversation piece, but a raging hassle. So I’ve been using it as a serving block instead for things that need to stay warm but will be eaten quickly.

    Aug 15, 2015 | 12:35 pm

     
  7. friedneurons says:

    Hehe. A couple of years ago I received a similar Himalayan salt block as a present. I used it a couple of times, with reasonable success, but in the end I concluded that the end result wasn’t worth the time (and gas consumption and CO2 emissions). So I ended up washing the surface of the block away, and breaking the block into chunks, which I now use to periodically refill our salt grinder. :)

    Aug 16, 2015 | 12:17 am

     
  8. Mmm says:

    Hi, where did you buy your salt block? I’m looking for one here in Manila. Thanks!

    Jul 5, 2016 | 3:30 pm

     
  9. Marketman says:

    Mmm, it was a gift from houseguests, I think they got it at Williams Sonoma in the states. I haven’t seen them in this size in Manila.

    Jul 5, 2016 | 9:08 pm

     
 

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