How to Spice Up Any Meal. Literally.

A picture of a LEGO chef using spices

Let’s learn how to use simple spices to make your meals awesome!

Maybe you’re just getting comfortable cooking in the kitchen.

Or maybe you’ve been eating the same chicken and broccoli for weeks and it’s time to spice it up.

Either way, you’re in the right place.

We’ve been conducting “Cooking Classes for Newbies” in Nerd Fitness Prime. Today, we’ll share with you our secrets for making any meal delicious, using only a handful of common spices.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Grab your apron and let’s do this!

Our Rebel Chef, Noel, will take it from here:

Why Your Food Doesn’t Have to Be Bland and Boring

A picture of a bunch of spice bags

Remember those diagrams of the tongue that you learned about in school?

They told you the tongue tasted different flavors depending on the section. The back tastes bitter, the front tastes sweet, and the sides taste salty and sour.

1. Bitter 2. Sour 3. Salt 4. Sweet

Most of us now know this is wrong.

Your whole tongue tastes all flavors, and it’s not just your tongue! The roof of our mouth and your nose help out too! In fact, there are more than just the four flavors we learned about in school.

There is another lie that has been circulating in the fitness world for years. It’s a lie that says healthy food is boring and bland.

It drives me crazy.

A gif of Homer going crazy

And in this nerd’s opinion, it’s one of the most damaging lies told about getting healthy.

We know diet is 80% of the battle when it comes to achieving our health and fitness goals. And when we tell ourselves eating healthy food is boring, flavorless, and downright gross, we put ourselves on the fast track to failure! Just like exercise can and should be fun, cooking meat and veggies should be delicious.

Today we’re going over some basic skills that will allow you to see maximal benefit for minimal effort.

How? Simple flavors. 

Here are 6 foolproof spice combinations to help you level up your cooking skills, explore the world with your tongue, and (hopefully) get you out of your food rut!

6 Spice Combinations for Tasty Food

A picture of some LEGO captains looking for spice

Tons of rebels looking to level up their cooking have asked about re-creating their favorite dishes from around the world. I’ve got good news for you! It’s not as difficult as most people think.

Regional dishes taste the way they do because they are made from the spices and ingredients local to that community. Your ancestors didn’t need Super Processed Stir Fry Sauce™ to make dinner. They used whole foods to create delicious dishes, and we’re going to do the same. 

Here are 6 simplified spice combinations that you can use to take your healthy meals from bland to bold. Each is measured for a pound of food:

A picture of NF spice recipes

#1) Mexican:

  • Chili powder: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Lime (Juice from 1 lime)

#2) Greek:

  • Oregano: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Olive Oil: 2 tbsp (30ml)
  • Lemon juice: 2 tbsp (30ml)

#3) Italian:

  • Oregano: ½ Tbsp (7ml)
  • Garlic: 3 Cloves (½ tsp or 2.5ml powdered)
  • Basil: ½ tbsp (7ml)
  • Tomatoes: 1 diced can

#4) Indian:

  • Cumin: ½ Tsp (2.5ml)
  • Curry: 1 tbsp (15ml)
  • Coriander: ½ tsp (2.5ml)

#5&6) Chinese/Japanese (this makes a marinade or stir-fry sauce):

  • Ginger: ¼ tsp (1ml)
  • Tamari: ¼ cup (59ml), can also use coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Rice Vinegar: 2 Tbsp (30ml)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves (½ tsp/2.5ml powdered)
  • Dash Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sugar (Honey): 1 tbsp (15ml)

 Bonus flavors! 

#7) Thai (this makes a marinade or stir-fry sauce):

  • Coconut milk: 1/2 cup (118ml)
  • Tamari: 1/4 cup (59ml) (coconut aminos could also be used)
  • Fish Sauce: 2 tbsp (30ml)
  • Green or Red Curry Paste: 1 Tbsp (15ml)
  • Cilantro: Handful of fresh chopped

For the complete set, add these to your shopping list (herbs and spices are dried): 

  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • Can or jar of diced tomatoes
  • Coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Chili Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • Garlic Powder (or fresh bulb of garlic, your choice)
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ginger powder

If you go to the store and buy these 15 items, you’ll be set to make a wide variety of dishes from all over the world.

The Street Fighter II menu in gif format

These spice combinations can be used for chicken, fish, eggs, beef, or pork; roasted, sauteed, steamed, or microwaved veggies; stir-fries, and more!

For a very minimal monetary investment and one trip to the grocery store, you can have a different dish from around the world every day of the week!

How to Add Spices to a Meal (7 Simple Recipes)

This woman knows gaining muscle relies on a proper diet...like seafood!

Okay, you’ve got your spices.

Now how do you put them to work?

Glad you asked!

We’re going to take one of your favorite recipes and put your new spices to the test! Grab one of our many recipes and take one of the above spice combos and put them together.

My suggestion is that you omit the suggested spices from the original recipe posts and replace them with the ingredient measurements above. Remember, the above suggestions are by the pound, so if you’re using two pounds of chicken or veggies, double the spices!

Here are just a few examples of how you can these spices for almost any dish:

  1. Roasted veggies – Anyone up for some Mexican chili lime or Indian curry-spiced veggies?
  2. Chicken Stir Fry – Try the Asian spices out to level up this classic!
  3. Shepherd’s Pie – Indian curry shepherd’s pie sounds like an unexpected and delightful combination.
  4. 7 Ingredient Fish and Veggies – Eliminate the spices from the original recipe and try an Asian twist!
  5. Lettuce Wrapped Burgers – Make some Italian spiced burgers, and top with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil!
  6. Scrambled Eggs and Veggies – Try a different spice combo on plain old scrambled eggs each morning this week to see how the flavors differ!
  7. Easiest Chicken Ever – Toss the chicken in some Greek spices, lemon, and olive oil instead of the spices prescribed in the original recipe.

After a while, you’ll learn which spices you like in a dish and which ones you can live without.

Maybe you like cinnamon in your curry or maybe you can’t stand the taste of ginger. That’s totally cool! Your food is YOURS!

Soon you’ll be able to spice your dishes without having to measure them every time. Be sure to use your nose and mouth to smell and taste what you’re making as you go! (Unless it’s raw meat. Never taste raw meat.)

5 Tips for Using Spices While Cooking

This is a picture of a spice rack

So you’re heading to the store, or you already have your spices. Awesome! Here are some tips to make shopping and cooking a little bit easier.

1. Does buying individual spices and mixing them sound intimidating? The spice companies make this easy for us. Check out the spice aisle in your grocery store. Lots of companies make pre-mixed spices for regional dishes:

  • Italian Seasoning
  • Greek Seasoning
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Taco/Fajita seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Chinese 5-spice powder

To experiment with these, buy a couple and try a new one every time you cook something. Put it on something basic like eggs or baked chicken so you can begin to taste the difference between spices from different areas of the world.

2. Salt and pepper don’t do the same job. 

A gif of a Stormtrooper holding up salt and pepper

Salt makes your food taste MORE like what it is. It enhances the flavors of the food that are already there. If you over-season with salt, of course it will make your food taste salty, but that’s not salt’s function in the culinary world.

If you’re feeling adventurous and have a little extra cash, buy some fancy looking sea salt. There’s Hawaiian pink sea salt, fleur de sel, coarse sea salt, fine sea salt. There’s even weird stuff like truffle salt, grey sea salt, and black pyramid salt!

The best advice for pepper is to buy whole peppercorns and a pepper grinder. They even sell disposable ones with peppercorns already in them at the grocery store. You don’t have to get fancy. This is what I have. Fresh ground pepper makes all the difference in the world. If you like pepper on your food, this is the way to go!

Sometimes the most simple combination of coarse sea salt and coarsely cracked black pepper is all I use to season a steak, and it’s freaking delicious. Never discount simplicity.

3. Buy a pre-stocked spice rack. I might get some flack for this tip from seasoned (pun intended!) cooks. But when you’re first starting out, instead of buying all your spices individually, sometimes it’s nice just to have it all done for you. Spice racks are relatively cheap, they give you a lot of spices and herbs that you may not have thought about picking up at the store, but you’ll be glad you have it when a recipe calls for paprika and voila! You already have it!

Admittedly, spices and herbs that come in a pre-stocked spice rack from a department store may be older and therefore less flavorful, but it’s better than having no spices at all!

4. Get acquainted with acid. By acid, I mean vinegars and citrus juices. You’ll be amazed at how much adding a little bit of vinegar to a plate of sauteed veggies or your paleo spaghetti sauce makes it pop.

Acids brighten the flavors in your food and help minimize some of the bitter flavors in certain foods (like dark leafy green veggies). An acid can also help you bring down the heat if you added too much red pepper flake to a dish.

5. Fry the spices first. This is called “blooming” your spices. When your oil is heated in your pan, add your spices to the oil first and mix them around for 3-5 seconds, then add your veggies or meat or whatever you’re cooking in that oil. This is a quick and easy way to deepen and intensify the flavor of your spices.

Getting Started Spicing up Your Food (Next Steps)

This photo shows "bored" written in pasta

We’ve all heard people say eating healthy food is boring and bland. If you ask me, the people who are telling you this are doing it wrong.

When we force ourselves to eat the same foods over and over (like plain baked chicken and steamed veggies with minimal seasoning), it can deplete our willpower bar if we crave more flavors and variety.

Companies design Frankenfoods to make us crave the sugars and chemicals they’ve created, so they can profit off of us indefinitely.

How can we fight against that?

By mastering the art of using spices and sauces!

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Armed with these basic concepts and combinations you can defeat cravings and actually enjoy and look forward to your healthy meals!

Just roll up your sleeves and get going!

The Swedish Chef knows how to eat a plant-based diet.

If you want some more help, Nerd Fitness is here for you.

We have three options on how to continue with us. Pick the option that best aligns with your goals:

Option #1) Need lots of recipes to choose from? Want someone to walk you through cooking them?  Join Nerd Fitness Prime!

Nerd Fitness Prime is our premium membership program that contains workouts and cooking classes with NF Coaches, lessons on how to cook, tons of healthy recipes, a supportive online community, group challenges, and much more!

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Option #2) Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching program: a coaching program for busy people to help them make better food choices, stay accountable, and get healthier, permanently.

All the coaches from our videos today are part of the program, and they’re ready to help you level up your kitchen skills, apocalypse or no apocalypse. 

You can schedule a free call with our team so we can get to know you and see if our coaching program is right for you:

Option #3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our Rebel Starter Kit, which includes all of our “work out at home” guides, the Nerd Fitness Diet Cheat Sheet, and much more!

Alright, now I want to hear from you:

What flavors are we missing?

Are there any other spices in your cabinet that you have NO IDEA what to do with?

Let us know in the comments! Maybe we can help!

-Noel

PS: Make sure you catch the rest of our Cooking 101 series:

###

Spices: Gavin BellWikipedia: Tongue Map, Boring: Strevo, Pirates: Pascal, Bored Spaghetti: Steven Feather, Spice Jars: enigmachck1; stavos: fish soup; Four Bricks Tall: Sea spray and crab claws at the Shrimp Shack.

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94 thoughts on “How to Spice Up Any Meal. Literally.

  1. Great post! I can’t wait to spice up my life now 😉
    Was wondering if you had a spice combination that works well for anti inflammatory-ness? Yes, that’s a word. I’m getting knee surgery and I’m curious.

    Also! I’m Italian and we literally use those spices and tomatoes for everything I love it! Can’t wait to be a spicy cook.

  2. Awesome topic Noel!

    I need to start using spices more and liven up my meals. I have a cabinet full of spices, most of which just kinda sit there. I occasionally come across a recipe that calls for them like a good chili or this fish recipe (http://bbq.about.com/od/fishseafoodrecipes/r/bln50203a.htm) delicious and healthy, but otherwise I forget and end up using a crappy storebought marinade. I definitely think I need to try out your idea for the stir fry sauce, and maybe put the spices out somewhere I can remember to use them and experiment more on my own.

    Thanks again!

  3. I won’t say that I am an expert on this, but I am pretty sure that I have heard before that a lot of the hotter spices (red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper) are supposed to be anti-inflammatory.

  4. Such an important topic. Why no turmeric or cinnamon? Turmeric is probably the most potent anti-inflammatory in the spice world. When mixed with black pepper it becomes well absorbed. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for ages and ages. Works great in curries. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, and tastes great on oatmeal. I’m also preferably toward pickled ginger as a way to flavor veggies. Thanks for everything you do!

  5. Be wary of spices at the local grocery store- you really never know how long they’ve been there. Spices typically lose freshness within 6 months or so. We consider ourselves foodies in our house and we have recently discovered a company called FlavorGod and their blends are really good. Also handcrafted, paleo and Whole30 compliant. They take the guesswork out of it- a great place to start for folks that want flavor and freshness but just don’t know where to start.

  6. great post! we have a lot of spices at home and i love experimenting with them (mixing curry blends is my favourite thing to do). be careful with the pre-mixed spices though, they often have a lot of salt in them! in the beginning i had some accidents happen with that one bbq mix that has more than 50% salt content. a while ago i discovered what a little lemon juice can do, the tip with the vinegar also sounds great but i’m a little afraid of that as i really don’t like the taste of vinegar..

  7. Such a great article!! Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking things. Whenever that’s the case – I’ll go into my spice cabinet and just throw some stuff together and hope for the best. 95% of the time, it works! It’s crazy how something so small can completely transform a meal.

    Anyway, I’m definitely bookmarking this post for future reference!

  8. First let me say that you did a good job of hitting the basics. Nice post, really. At the second level there are many more herbs and spices to experiment in your cooking. Thyme is an important herb in European cooking, especially French, and can be used liberally. It goes well with seafood, as well. Rosemary is hard to beat for roasting meat of any kind and also for roasted or oven-fried potatoes if you eat them. Parsley is a good one to have as it is as useful as a garnish as it is for flavor. I prefer fresh, but having some dried around is a good thing. Cilantro is similar to parsley, but it is best to get it fresh and chop it as needed. dried cilantro has little if any flavor, IMHO. Cinnamon is a must in many foods and for many beverages. I like it in my coffee. It is great for many desserts and baked goods, although as a paleo conforming eater, I pretty much avoid the whole pastry and dessert scene. Nutmeg is great for many things. Get a whole nutmeg and grate it for best flavor. It is the secret ingredient in many Italian dishes like lasagna and is essential for eggnog. Sage is the critical component of poultry seasoning and is good for any fowl and any stuffing if you indulge. It is common in sausage, too, if you make your own. Turmeric makes things yellow from curry to rice pilaf to allegedly commercial orange juice. It is one of the best all around spices for your health. You will recognize the flavor from curries, but the flavor is actually mild enough to add in small quantities to many dishes for the health benefits without altering the flavor in a noticeable or objectionable way. I like to add it to meatloaf and Italian sauces as well as most Indian dishes where you won’t even notice the color it imparts. You can get the fresh root and grate it like ginger, but dried is also fine. I find many people have an ancient container of turmeric with their spices. I did, too, until I started using it. Now I replenish pretty frequently. You mentioned paprika in the article, but did not include it in the list. It is another good spice I really enjoy in many foods and it is also a nice garnish on deviled eggs, tuna salad and potatoes, white or sweet. I make my own Italian vinaigrette for salads and always add some paprika to it. Maybe it should be at the third level, but I like dried mustard powder. I use it in many things for some extra zip, but especially in my homemade mayonnaise.
    Another thing to consider… herbs and spices can be pretty costly in the small jars. Look for a bulk spice area in your store. Larger and better stores often sell herbs and spices in bulk and the difference in pricing can be phenomenal. And in my store, it turns out to be the only place I can find arrowroot powder, which is not an herb or spice, but which I use instead of wheat flour or corn starch to make a roux or thicken gravies and sauces.

  9. I would also add cumin to the Mexican spice mix. If you want to try a Portuguese spin on food just use allspice, bay leaves, garlic, wine, paprika and red pepper flakes (or chili pepper sauce).

  10. Tarragon is another perhaps at the third level, but it is indispensable in French cooking and is the featured ingredient in Bearnaise sauce. Chives can be another nice addition at the third level, but most people just use fresh chives or scallions. Cloves an Allspice are probably 3rd level as well, but when you need them, they are critical.

  11. Ah! You’re right! I completely forgot about that. I have actually put Tumeric on swelling before. Put it on some potato skins (helps it absorb) and voila. Might wanna seran wrap around it though, it gets messy.

  12. You know Sean, a few years ago I found a recipe that said to add cinnamon to beef and I doubted its intelligence. But I tried it and I have to say that while subtle, it actually works great with beef and possibly many other meats. It’s a great spice!

  13. Turmeric. I’ve been using small amounts in Indian-style dishes (I make a pulled chicken: throw paprika, crushed red pepper, curry powder, ground cumin, and garlic in a slow cooker for 8 hours, shred and divide into containers for lunches for the week), because it allows for a really great coloring, but I can’t found anything that it truly compliments, taste-wise.

  14. Is there any conclusion on sambal oelek/other Asian pastes? I’ve been meaning to try them, but for example- I made taco beef last night with a spice pack- and was disappointed to see that there were some non-natural ingredients in there.

    At that point, I promised myself I would mix the spices myself so that I know what’s in there, but it seems like a lot of Thai dishes start with paste as a base. Is this non-paleo?

  15. Spices, spices with everything! I myself put curry, pepper (freshly ground), some salt and sambal oelek (indonesion chili-paste, also gives a acidic hint to it) on nearly everything (okay, actually everything), but this will be nice for some variation. I believe I have the complete Indian set and the Italian minus the tomatos already at home (greek minus lemon, too).

  16. I have a spice rub I use for everything grillable that has a nice Moroccan flavor to it.

    2 T paprika
    1 T salt
    1 T sugar
    2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp cinnamon

    I typically quadruple or sextuple that, dump it all in an old jar and use it through grilling season. Steaks, pork chops, chicken drumsticks, grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, I have yet to find something it doesn’t work on.

  17. I agree with mechanicals comment below. The pre mixed seasonings like taco mix, meat rubs, etc have a ton o salt. The above basic mixes are great!
    Taco seasoning mix is quite easy if you have a set of spices. Cumin, paparka, oregano, chili powder, and maybe a little cilantro. Use tapioca flour for a thickener instead of corn starch for a paleo mix.

    Another thing to try is growing your own herbs. A small pot of basil, oregano, and parsley in the kitchen window looks nice,makes your kitchen smell nice, and you have fresh Italian herbs anytime!!
    All u need is dirt, sun, and water.

  18. As a counter point to the acids, bases help too. If you make something acidic, like a tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, and it tastes bland throw in some baking soda to bring the acidity down and bring out the flavors. I love the taste of red wine vinegar in my sauce, so I use some baking soda to balance the pH.

  19. Thanks for the post. This is very good article and very informative. I should try to remember those information’s. I really enjoyed with this article. Keep posting. Thank you again.

    Forzest online

  20. Awesome post!

    I would also add that you don’t have to source recipes from specifically health food websites and magazines, especially when it comes to cooking food with any cultural profile in mind.

    I’ve found that foodie industry sites and magazines (bon appetit is one that comes to mind) often have much better recipes because they don’t rely on pre-made ingredients, they’re experimental, they know which spices or herbs work well together and why, and they write about ingredient alternatives so you don’t substitute something and have it go wildly awry. The recipes are also healthier as a whole because they strive for a balance of flavours and not limiting to X amount of calories. It’s not difficult to find a recipe that is both interesting and fits your nutritional requirements!

  21. Can’t say I’m an expert on this either. I’m pretty sure Jeff and Feedfwd have covered all I know. Ha. Sorry!

  22. Definitely! Maybe take on a mini mission and organize your spice cabinet? Put the ones you know how to use or want to use more often closer to your reach and move the other ones you don’t know further up. (Assuming your cabinet is attached to the wall and high up like mine.) That way its less overwhelming when you open it up.

    You could make some stir fry sauce ahead of time and store it in your fridge for about a week if you’re not up to cooking everything all in one go. 🙂 Good luck!

  23. I do love me some cinnamon. It’s used in the curry stuffed sweet potato recipe, but for these beginner spice combos, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.

    Curry powder generally has turmeric mixed in, so I think I’m covered there. All-in-one pre mixes make it easy!

  24. Yep, I believe I mentioned the freshness issue near the end there. (Tip #3 in mastering spices.) If you’re a foodie, don’t settle for anything less than the best and definitely grow your own herbs! Fresh herbs make dishes taste INCREDIBLE! However, if you’re just starting out and can’t find fresher spices at your local market or haven’t mustered up the courage to try growing your own herbs, I think grocery store spices are A-Okay. 🙂

  25. Yes! Always read the labels and taste as you go.

    If you prefer the taste of lemon or lime juice, that works! If you don’t like the vinegar, don’t worry about it. Stick to what you enjoy. That’s what food is all abut right?

  26. I totally agree Alysia! I get stuck eating the same things over and over too. So much so that sometimes I forget other spices exist! Chipotle powder! Paprika! Mustard seed!

    Spices are very exciting. Hope you enjoy exploring them further!

  27. Awesome tips Feedfwd! I agree 100% Maybe eventually I’ll write a level 2 spice article. 🙂

    There’s not a single day I go without putting cinnamon in something (usually coffee). And last Thanksgiving I discovered tarragon and it blew my mind!

    The culinary world is huge. There is so much to learn! Thanks for sharing all this info!

  28. Thanks for the suggestion LJ! I don’t think I’ve ever tried Portuguese food before, but the spice combo sounds delicious!

  29. A second vote for turmeric! My curry powder has turmeric mixed in.

    I agree about the flavor of turmeric not really complimenting any dishes by itself. I think mostly it goes well mixed in with Indian flavors like you mentioned.

    Sometimes I sprinkle it on top of a fresh squeezed green juice. My sister also likes it sprinkled on top of cucumber slices with lemon juice as a snack.

  30. Haha. Awesome. Fake it till you make it! Eventually you won’t even have to reference the charts! Keep on cooking!

  31. I think it depends on the brand, Renn. Always read the labels.

    There are a lot of brands of spices, flavorings and pastes out there. Most of them have non-paleo ingredients. I always get upset when a flavoring has un-necessary non-paleo fillers. It’s best to just make your own. For tacos I usually combine red chile powder, paprika, garlic salt, red pepper flake, and black pepper. It does the trick pretty well.

    As far as Thai chili pastes go, I have some Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste in my fridge right now. The only ingredients are: Red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, thai ginger, salt, shallot, spices, lime. Sounds pretty clean to me! Their website says it’s vegan, gluten and dairy free too. 🙂

    http://www.thaikitchen.com/Products/Sauces-and-Pastes/Red-Curry-Paste.aspx

  32. Nice! I’ve made it a rule to always keep some canned tomatoes and a few lemons in my house just for the sake of changing up flavor combinations. If the lemons start getting old, I’ll use the juice as dressing for salad or something.

    I’ll have to look for this sambal oelek. You’re the second person to mention it… 🙂

  33. Interesting, Greg. Thanks for the suggestions. I also love adding vinegar to sauces. My grandma usually adds brown sugar to balance the acidic flavor, but that’s not exactly paleo. ^_^;

  34. Never taste raw meat? Carpaccio? Tartar?

    Anyway, great post. I highly recommend white pepper as a way to add that professional edge to prep work.

  35. Very true missmightymouse! You have to know the rules in order to break them, and the foodie industry does a much better job of teaching the traditional recipes than health food websites and magazines.

    These spice combos are definitely super simplified and not totally traditional. But I think they’re okay for folks who are just starting out. If people are really into cooking, they can master the basic flavors and level up by exploring cook books and magazines like Cooks Illustrated and Bon Appetit! 🙂

  36. Fair enough, Roy! These are just the bare minimum basics. Feel free to add onions and cilantro to your Mexican dishes! Question everything! Even what you read here. I am not a trained professional! 🙂

  37. Hahaha. Okay, you got me Mike. I’m also pretty into sashimi.

    But for the sake of the safety of novice cooks starting out in their kitchen, I stand by my never taste raw meat stance! (unless its prepared by someone who knows what they’re doing!) 😉

  38. For Scandinavian spices, use fennel and caraway or dill. For sweet things, use cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. if you really want to go all out, use the world’s most expensive spice, saffron!

  39. It´s cool man. I´m mexican so i felt the need to share how we spice thing´s up here. I really liked this article a lot because I really REALLY didn’t know how other cultures spice their food. Thank you very much!

  40. Chinese 5-spice is one of my all-time favourite spices. Combined with sesame oil (for stir-frying) and sesame seeds + sweet chilli sauce, it will take a “meh” chicken breast into something incredibly tasty.

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