Ok, let’s talk salt and acid… two of the most important tools in your cooking arsenal. They bring simple ingredient to life. They transform any dish from “meh” to “WOW.”
This dish, a basic red-braised pork from the cookbook Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees, is a perfect example. It’s flavor profile comes primarily from shaoxing rice wine (acid) and two kinds of soy sauce (salt + #umami). And of course, slow cooking — which is a HUGE flavor factor in and of itself.
There are other ingredients that play important roles (garlic, a few spices, sugar, stock) but they would be nothing — read: totally boring — without the amped-up acid and salt.
So your lesson for today is this: USE MORE SALT AND ACID! Play around with the very limits of your experience with these ingredients. At the boundaries of your default comfort zone is #flavortown.