Hot salt frying

Hot salt frying is a cooking technique used by street-side food vendors in China/India. Coarse sea salt is placed in a large wok and heated to a high temperature. Dry food items, such as eggs in shell, are buried in the hot salt and occasionally turned with a spatula. This technique is also seen in India, where street vendors sell shelled peanuts or popcorn cooked in salt heated in an iron wok. At times beef steak is fried in this manner - by preheating the frying-pan and salt and the placing steak on it on one side for a minute and then on the other side for two minutes ... (depending on the thickness and how well one wants it) Sea salt, salt obtained by the evaporation of seawater, is used in cooking and cosmetics. It is also called bay salt[1] or solar salt.[2] Like mineral salt, production of sea salt has been dated to prehistoric times. Generally more expensive than table salt, it is commonly used in gourmet cooking because it is believed to taste better. However, there is little or no health benefit to using sea salt over table salt, as the primary content of both is sodium chloride. Mineral salt has long been mined wherever it was available; the salt mines of Hallstatt date back at least to the Iron Age.[3] However, there are many places where mineral salt is not present, and the alternative coastal source has also been exploited for thousands of years. Sea salt is mentioned in the Vinaya Pitaka, a Buddhist scripture that was compiled in the mid-5th century BC.[4] The principle of production is evaporation of the water from the sea brine. In warm and dry climates this may be accomplished entirely by using solar energy, but in other climates alternative and often expensive fuel sources must be used. For this reason, modern sea salt production is almost entirely found in Mediterranean and other warm, dry climates. "Fleur de sel" sea salt, Ile de Re Such places are today called salt works, instead of the older English word saltern. An ancient or medieval saltern could be established where there was: Access to a market for the salt,[5] A gently-shelving coast, protected from exposure to the open sea, An inexpensive and easily worked fuel supply, preferably the sun, Another trade such as pastoral farming or tanning which could benefit from the nearness of the saltern (by producing, for example, leather or salted meat) and in turn provide the saltern with a local market. In this way, salt marsh, pasture (salting), and salt works (saltern) enhanced each other economically. This was the pattern during the Roman and medieval periods around The Wash, in eastern England.[5] There, the tide brought the brine, the extensive saltings provided the pasture, the fens and moors provided the peat fuel, and the sun sometimes shone. Manual salt collection in Lake Retba, Senegal Salt deposits on the shores of Dead Sea, Jordan The dilute brine of the sea was largely evaporated by the sun (in Roman areas, this was done using ceramic containers known as briquetage[5]), and the concentrated slurry of salt and mud was scraped up. The slurry was washed with clean sea water so that the impurities settled out of the now concentrated brine. This was poured into shallow pans lightly baked from the local marine clay, which were set on fist-sized clay pillars over a peat fire for the final evaporation. The dried salt was then scraped out and sold. In rural areas of Sichuan, China, these traditional salt production methods lasted until industrialization in the 20th century.[6] Today, salt labelled "sea salt" in the US might not have actually come from the sea, as long as it meets the FDA's purity requirements.[7] A commercial package of sea salt Gourmets often believe sea salt to have a better taste and texture than ordinary table salt.[8] In applications where sea salt's coarser texture is retained, it can provide a different mouth feel and changes in flavor due to its different rate of dissolution. The mineral content also affects the taste. The colors and variety of flavors are due to the local clays and algae found in the waters the salt is harvested from. For example, some boutique salts from Korea and France are pinkish gray, some from India are black. Black and red salts from Hawaii may even have powedered black lava and baked red clay added in.[9] Some sea salt contains sulfates. It may be difficult to distinguish sea salt from other salts, such as pink "Himalayan salt", or rock salt (halite).