9 Secret Ingredients That Will Make You a Better Cook


If you cook for yourself or your family on a regular basis, you’re probably familiar with the boredom that comes from cooking the same things over and over again. 

Whether it’s due to simple time constraints, or your own culinary limitations, here are 9 secret ingredients that are sure to take your home cooking to the next level, so you can look forward to your next meal —every meal. 

  1. Salt


If you want your cooking to improve immediately, pay close attention to how much or how little salt you use. 


It’s one of the five fundamental flavors, along with bitter, sweet, sour, and savory (or umami), so properly dialing it in can make or break your dish. 


The trick to getting salt levels right is taste, so constantly taste as you go, and you won’t be surprised at the end. 


  1. Tahini


Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds, and it’s basically a flavor workhorse. You can use it in marinades, rub it on your meats, add it to veggies before sautéing —there’s not much you can’t do with tahini!


It adds a light nutty flavor that works brilliantly in salad dressings, as well as in desserts of the chocolate variety.  


  1. Curry paste


Curry paste comes in a wide variety, so you have plenty of options, as well as potential recipes to choose from. 


You can add it to soups, stews, and curries (of course). But take your favorite curry paste and mix it in with rice, veggies, and your protein of choice, and you’ve got an elevated and easy-to-make weeknight dinner. 


  1. Canned chickpeas


Chickpeas are somewhat of an unsung hero in the world of cheap ingredients. Canned chickpeas can be roasted in the oven (with salt!) for a simple snack later on, or add them to soups and salads to make them more substantial. 


Add them to pasta, or sauté them in olive oil with salt, paprika, and lemon for a nice appetizer. They’re a great protein substitute for vegans and vegetarians alike! 


  1. Vinegar


Sometimes all your dish needs is a little something extra to tie everything together. For many dishes, lemon and lime work well, but did you know you could be doing the same thing with vinegar?


Get to know the different types of vinegar as well (apple cider, rice, balsamic, red and white wine, and more). 


You’ll find that lighter vinegars (like rice and cider) work well with fruits and veggies, while others go better with heavier flavors of meats and stews. 


  1. Scallions


Scallions, also known as green onions, are a simple way to pack extra flavor into just about anything you can imagine. Top off your soup, mix them in with your salad, or add them to your stir fry for some extra onion flavor. 


Bake them into biscuits or bread, sneak them into your sandwiches, or chop them up into a pulp and use them in a marinade. Scallions add color, flavor, and aroma that fancy cooking techniques cannot. 


  1. Fish sauce


Vegans and vegetarians beware —fish sauce is actually made from fish, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Fish sauce brings a nice savory sweater for your taste buds to wear at dinner.


Boost the depth of flavor in your regular condiments by mixing in a splash, or add it to marinades for your meats, and simmer afterward for a delicious dish-topping sauce everyone will love. 


  1. Cannabis


Of all the ingredients on this list, cannabis may be the most unlikely. If you live in a recreational state, or you have a medical marijuana card from your area, you’ve just opened the door to a wonderful world of culinary ventures. 


Food and cannabis go hand-in-hand. Cannabis makes food taste better, and food can make cannabis last longer —you can read more about that relationship on Veriheal


When it comes to cooking with cannabis, all you need is a good cannabutter, or infused cooking oil. Replace the regular butter or oil in any recipe, and you’ve got yourself a cannabis-infused dish! 


  1. Patience


The number one secret ingredient to any successful home cook is patience. The more care and attention you give to the process, the better the outcome will be. 


So instead of blowing through preparing those veggies like usual, make sure to take your time and get the cuts right so they cook evenly. Let your steak reach room temperature before throwing it in a pan, and let it rest (covered) for five minutes afterwards to maximize flavor and juiciness. 


It’s the little things which require patience that make the biggest difference in cooking, so make sure you never forget this essential ingredient! 



It’s easy to lose inspiration when you cook every day, so try using these nine ingredients to reinvigorate your inner chef! 

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