Get Cooking with Himalayan Salt Blocks
You have probably enjoyed Himalayan Salt sprinkled on your food. But have you ever tried cooking or serving food on a Himalayan Salt Plate? If not, hold onto your fork, you are in for a serious treat.
What is a Himalayan Salt Plate?
Himalayan salt is rock salt that comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan. It consists mainly of sodium chloride and over 80 trace minerals and elements. The characteristic pink color comes from iron oxide. Himalayan salt blocks are large slabs of the salt.
OK, So What is so Special About Them?
Due to their low porosity and moisture content, Himalayan salt plates can be both heated and cooled to extreme temperatures. They also hold that temperature for an extended period of time. Their crystalline structure produces an even distribution of temperature, which allows foods to be cooked or cooled evenly.
Don’t worry about your food tasting like a salt lick. Again, due to the low porosity and moisture content, the block imparts only a moderate saltiness which is more complex and flavorful than table salt.
Lastly, Himalayan salt plates are naturally anti-microbial.
How do I use It?
You can both cook and chill foods on a Himalayan Salt Plate. You can also use them to hold foods at temperature and to serve foods. When cooking, it is important to slowly heat your Himalayan salt plate. This helps prevent cracking.
You can also chill foods and use your salt plate to serve cold appetizers. In fact, foods cure through contact with the salt (like sashimi or other raw foods). Simply leave your plate in the freezer or refrigerator for a few hours.
How do I Take Care of It?
Follow these tips to get the most out of your Himalayan Salt Plate:
— Designate a top and bottom side.
— Use a sturdy rack for transport and high heat resistant gloves when handling a heated salt plate.
— Do not oil the block. Oil can work its way into cracks or fissures and become rancid or even catch fire when heated.
— To clean your block, let it come to room temperature, then use a sponge or scrubber with a small amount of water. Pat it dry and let it sit out for several hours for any moisture to evaporate.
— Never use soap.
— Let your salt plate rest for at least 24 hours before heating it again.
At EvilO, we have Himalayan Salt Cooking Plates and Serving Trays from The Spice Lab. Come down and get one for yourself!
Watermelon and Feta on a Salt Block
(by Mark Bitterman)
1 (8 by 12 by 2-inch) salt block platter
4 (1/2-inch-thick) quarter slices large watermelon, rinds removed
3 ounces feta, crumbled
6 fresh mint leaves, slivered
1. Chill the salt block platter in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
2. Arrange the melon slices on the block, slightly overlapping - the more the overlap, the less salt imparted to the melon. Scatter the feta and mint leaves on top. Serve immediately. For added pop, allow the dish to stand 20 minutes before serving.
Salt Block Asparagus
(adapted from Simple Healthy Kitchen)
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon Garlic Mushroom EVOO
Black pepper, to taste
1 salt block
1. Place the salt block in the oven, then heat oven to 400F.
2. Coat the asparagus with olive oil and black pepper.
3. When oven reaches 400F, place the asparagus on the salt block.
4. Cook for ~10 minutes, turn over at 5 minutes.
Baked Salmon on Himalayan Salt Block
(adapted from b-Metro)
6 tablespoons Tuscan Herb EVOO
juice of 1 lemon
3 shallots, halved
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1.5 pounds salmon, cut into 2 pieces
1. Place olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, and black pepper in food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Marinate salmon in the olive oil mixture for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
3. Place salt block in oven, then heat oven to 400F.
4. When oven reaches 400F, place salmon on salt block. Cook for 7-10 minutes on each side.
- Lisa Emmert