The Different Types of Salt

Not all salts are created equal. They are all sodium chloride but come from different origins and undergo different processes.

1) Table Salt. I thought it was any ordinary table salt but it isn’t. It is mined rock salt, heavily processed to removed impurities and added with anticaking substance to avoid clumping.

2) Sea Salt. The usual salt in our kitchen. The square salt crystals we often see and buy from public market, from salt vendor via takal basis. It is made by evaporation of sea water which is easy to do as we are surrounded with sea.

3) Iodized Salt. Iron deficiency leading to mental retardation and endemic goiter lead to the invention of iodized salt. It is a common problem of people away from sea. Lack of seafood consumption which are iodine rich. Minute amount of iodine is added to salt. It is the choice as we always use it everyday but we never consume it in excess. We need iodine but we should never take too much. It comes in powder, instead of crystals.

4) Rock salt. It comes from salt mines, not from sea side salt factory. It is the mineral form of sodium chloride called Halite. Mostly colorless white but certain impurities changes its color to gray, yellow, orange, red, pink or purple.

5) Pickling Salt. A salt intended for pickling. Contains no iodine, anticaking agent and other additives. Iodine is unwanted for pickling purposes, it makes the brine dark and cloudy. It is finely ground to speed up brine making.

6) Kosher Salt. Same as table salt, sodium cholride, but without the iodine and other additives, with some small amount of anticlumping agent in some brands. It has flat platelet shape as it is forced to it under pressure. Usually larger than table salt. I guess it is a classier salt type, “Kosher”.

The Alkaline Salt.

Don’t be confused with the curing salt. It is a preservative and meat color enhancer. It is not used to make any food product salty. It is a mixture of table salt and sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate. The basic idea is the same with iodized salt. Prevent too much use and prevent consumption in case too much is added.

There are many other kinds of salts when it comes to technical chemistry. We will not dig out those.

The Salted and Turmeric Flavored Banana Chips

This recipe was in, “Soaking Raw Banana Slices in Salted Ice Water”. I tried it for myself, replacing turmeric powder with real turmeric.

Ingredients:

10 saba bananas, green
cooking oil for frying
turmeric, about the size of a thumb
salt to taste

Procedure:

1) Remove green banana peels by prying it off with a stainless steel knife. It is hard and slow for the first few but will eventually get easier and faster with practice. Using regular non-stainless steel knife leaves undesirable blue stains.

2) Drop peeled bananas in salted iced water. Then slice to 2mm thickness. Take care not to make it too salty as it will reflect in final flavor. A guided peeler knife helps attain uniform slices.

peeled whole bananas in iced water3) Shred the turmeric. Add it to mixture. Mix well. Let stand for ten minutes. Drain well.

banana slices turmeric in salted ice water4) Fry slices in oil over high heat until crunchy golden yellow to slightly golden brown. Drain excess oil.

frying raw banana slicessalted banana chips with turmericIt has a unique and peculiar taste. I enjoyed eating it even though I like it more plain.

Salt and MSG Replacement Dilemmas

salt in open jarCutting on salt intake but never want to sacrifice food flavor? Well, a good salt replacement is MSG. As in use MSG instead of salt. The flavor loss by removing salt can be covered by the mentioned substance.

There is more explanation to this than what your senses could perceived. According to wiki, the taste of low-salt foods improves with MSG even with a 30% salt reduction. The sodium content of MSG is roughly a third of the amount (12%) than in sodium chloride (39%). A nice sodium reduction figure. Thanks to good interaction of MSG and salt.

Menshealth.com also pointed out that salt is indeed a better salt alternative. It helps keep your salt intake low and makes your food tastier. MSG consist of sodium and glutamic acid. The latter is a naturally according substance in variety of agricultural produce. It  explains why some foods in its original or slightly modified state are naturally flavorful. The case of mushroom.

After ditching out the salt and using  MSG for sometime, you realized that you also need to eliminate the latter. Someone from Yahoo Answers said that a fair substitute for MSG is a 50/50 mix of salt & sugar with a dash of fish sauce per teaspoon of the mixture.

Several friend of mine and my very own wife also uses dash of sugar as replacement for MSG. I think they are adding salt to taste plus a dash of sugar.

Ask.com recipe labs recommends to use of fish sauce as the best direct substitute. Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce will also do.

A good replacement of salt is MSG and the replacement for the latter is the first. Maybe it is better not to use both.

Fitday.com suggest other alternatives like, aged cheeses, meats, seaweeds, mushrooms, tomatoes, red wine, asparagus, anchovies, sourdough bread and walnuts. If one of these is naturally part of the recipe, then it is fine. Subject to experimentation if not.

I personally use onion to replace both salt and MSG. Always adding twice number of heads whenever the recipe needs it. Onion is almost always available.

sources: 1, 2 ,3 ,4, 5

Daing na Sariwa, Tulingan at Galunggong

The usual daing na sariwa is bangus or milkfish. Making galunggong and or tulingan version provides several advantages.

Less fish bones. Milk fish has excellent taste but removing lots of fish bones makes me want to throw it away. More affordable. It is not a price per kilo comparison, it is a per piece instead. Galunggong and tulingan can be bought for a lesser amount of money.

A recipe contributed by her, my better half.

1) Choose the freshest fish available. However, if the real processing logic is followed, choose fish with red eyes, a little soggy, an old stock but with no putrid odor.

2) Remove the entrails. Wash under running water. Slice the fish from head to tail with a sharp knife to imitate the daing appearance.

3) Prepare the spice solution. Mixture of vinegar, black pepper granules, salt, sugar, chili and other spices available. Just like a pickling solution.

4) Soak the fish in pickling solution. Cover. Let stand overnight.

5) Drain well before frying to prevent oil droplet explosion. Or, dry under the sun for eight hours.

daing na tulinganDaing is a salted and dried fish. The sariwa or wet version uses a pickling solution instead. The original version is salty to extremely salty  while the sariwa is sour and spicy.

How to Make Lime Pickles (brined)

yellow lime

Lime pickles are produced in Asia, Latin America and Africa. They are particularly popular in India, Pakistan and North Africa.

It is made from salted pieces of lime packed in a salty, spicy liquor, like a semi-solid gravy. It is brownish red and the lime peels are yellow or pale green with a sour and salty taste. It is eaten as a condiment with curries or other main meals. If processed well, the product can be kept for several months.

Preparation of raw materials

The limes need to be selected and prepared. Only fully ripe limes without bruising or damage should be used. All the limes need to be washed in potable cold water and drained. The limes are dipped in hot water (60-65°C) for about five minutes. They are then cut into pieces in order to expose the interior and allow salt to be absorbed more quickly.

All spices should be of good quality and free of mold.

Processing

The prepared limes are covered with a brine solution. This causes water to be drawn out of the pieces by osmosis. It is important to ensure that the surface is covered with juice, and leave for 24 hours. If necessary, the fruits should be pressed down to hold them below the liquid. Once the limes have been placed in the brine, there is a rapid development of micro-organisms and fermentation begins.

After fermentation the limes are dried in the sun until the skin becomes brown.

yellow lime

Packaging and storage

The limes are mixed with spices and oils according to local taste and tradition. Lime pickle can be packed in small polythene bags and sealed or in clean jars and capped. Lime pickle keeps well if stored in a cool place. Due to the high acid level of the final product, the risk of food poisoning is low.

Mr. Mike Battcock and Dr. Sue Azam-Alifao – fao

Good and Bad Effects of Salt

salt

All of us needs salt, the most common form is table salt or sodium chloride. It is essential because  it contain sodium element which  maintains a balance of positive and negative ions  in our body fluids and tissues. It is also responsible for maintaining water in our body tissues.  Imagine , the water inside our body will evaporate fast without the salt holding it.  We better include salt in our  diet.

But be warned . Excessive consumption of salt may results in health problems.

  • Too much sodium in the diet has been associated with an increased risk of developing stomach cancer and adverse effects on the kidney.
  • Excess of sodium can cause edema, an accumulation of extracellular fluid, especially in conditions such as congestive heart failure.
  • Excess dietary salt may contribute to high blood pressure in some individuals.
  • However , A low sodium intake leads to a lowering of the blood pressure and brings about diuresis, ridding the body of the excess extracellular fluid.

Normally, amount of sodium is expressed in food labels so we can take precautions. RDA requirement for sodium is 10 to 15 grams a day.

Sodium in our diet may also come in the following forms:

  • Sodium nitrite: Found in cured meats and sausages. Regulated preservative
  • Sodium propionate: Found in pasteurized cheese and in some breads and cakes to inhibit growth of molds.
  • Sodium sulfite: Used to bleach certain fruits such as maraschino cherries and glazed or crystallized fruits that are to be artificially colored; also used as a preservative in some dried fruits such as prunes. This chemical is banned in many countries
  • Disodium phosphate: Found in some quick-cooking cereals and processed cheeses.
  • Sodium alginate: Used in many chocolate milks and ice creams to make a smooth mixture.
  • Sodium benzoate: Used as a preservative in many condiments such as relishes, sauces and salad dressings. Regulated preservetive
  • Sodium hydroxide: Used in food processing to soften and loosen skins of ripe olives and certain fruits and vegetables.

salt