Sometimes you cook something, taste it, and feel like it's just missing something. It just needs a little boost in flavour to make it perfect. In most cases, what you're looking for is a little acid. It will brighten just about any dish, and round out the other flavours.
Image from garycycles8.
Adding acid to a dish isn't as simple as just grabbing something tart and tossing it in. Here are a few options that will work just about everywhere:
- Citrus, like lemons and oranges (if you use the zest, remember to do so at the last minute.)
- Vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- Wine, or cooking wine (but make sure it actually compliments your dish)
- Tomatoes (or tomato paste, if you don't want added moisture)
While most acidic ingredients go well with almost anything, think about the other flavours in your dish when picking which acid to add. For example, rice wine vinegar works better than red wine to liven up a savoury, sauce-heavy stir-fry. Keep your favourites around (like a couple lemons in your fruit bowl) and you'll always have something ready to spice up an otherwise heavy or bland meal.
Quick Fix to a Bland Meal? Add Some Acid! [The Kitchn]