Important Tips for Cooking With Saffron

If you’ve never used this spice in the kitchen, consider some important tips when cooking with saffron. This will ensure you use it properly so you protect its flavor and aroma and also protect its antioxidant properties.

Saffron is a spice that is truly worth its weight in gold, as it’s very pungent and aromatic and also offers many health benefits. The spice is full of antioxidants as well as vitamins and trace minerals, and while it may be somewhat expensive, a little bit of it goes a long way when cooking and preparing meals.

If you’ve never used this spice in the kitchen, consider some important tips when cooking with saffron. This will ensure you use it properly so you protect its flavor and aroma and also protect its antioxidant properties.

Preparing It

Heat from cooking will release the flavor of the spice so it’s good to soak it before using it. You can do this in water, broth, or even alcohol. This will preserve the flavor so that it gets absorbed into your dish and isn’t just lost due to the cooking process.

Note that you need a three to one ratio of liquid to saffron. In other words, you need three teaspoons of water or another liquid for every one teaspoon of saffron. You also need to allow it to soak for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of twelve hours. Do not allow it to soak overnight or it will lose its flavor.

If you prefer a powder when cooking with saffron, slowly toast a thread of the spice over a low heat in a frying pan and then grind it into a coarse powder. This will preserve the fresh flavor but make it easier for you to add to certain dishes.

Using the Spice in Cooking

A little of this aromatic and pungent spice goes a long way when cooking with saffron so be sure you use just a pinch. Typically the spice will be most pungent the second day after soaking, so if using it on day two, use only a small sprinkle in soups or other dishes. Saffron is very good in seafood dishes and rice dishes where you need just an extra bit of flavor and aroma.

Note that when you are cooking with saffron you want to avoid using wooden utensils. Wood absorbs the flavor of the spice and since it can be expensive, you don’t want to waste it. Pour broths or liquids over the saffron so it absorbs the flavor, rather than adding the saffron to the top. This will ensure you use it properly in the kitchen.

 

Happy cooking!

 

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