So THAT's How Restaurants Make Salads Taste So Much Better

<span class="copyright">OsakaWayne Studios via Getty Images</span>
OsakaWayne Studios via Getty Images

Every time I leave a restaurant, I convince my lettuce-loathing self I can finally become a Salad Person.

The veggies were so fresh and crisp, I reason. The dressing was so decadent. In a way, I lie to myself, is the vitamin-packed meal not as good as my beloved pizzas and burgers?

I buy the Romaine. I enjoy a caper with capers And yet every time, the first mouthful of my homemade salad lands me squarely back to a carb-ier reality: if this is how my DIY greens are gonna go, it’s back to brown food and reliable stodge for me, thanks.

Luckily, former chef for a Michelin-starred kitchen, @SenpaiKai9000, shared in a YouTube Short how those of us who only like a salad out can recreate the restaurant taste at home.

Let’s talk about salt, baby

Part of the issue, the pro says, is that we don’t treat huge chunks of lettuce like we do meat ― ie by ensuring they’re seasoned throughout.

For instance, in the case of a wedge salad, the former chef brines the entire section rather than just sprinkling salt on the outside.

He combines one cup of water (236ml) with a teaspoon of salt and drenches his lettuce wedges in it, letting the excess water drain off. That gets salt into the hard-to-reach inner leaves of the vegetable.

He also says “good restaurants are adding a tonne of acid” to their salad, suggesting you can use yuzu if you want to be fancy ― “but straight-up lemon juice with a little orange is the GOAT.”

What about toppings?

When it comes to dressings, the chef says a “spicy, herby ranch” is hard to beat.

His recipe involves mixing equal parts mayonnaise with sour cream with herbs like dill and parsley ― he advises you to go heavy with those. “Then, just add garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, your favourite hot sauce, and some of that good old MSG” for an addictive sauce, he says.

For crunchy toppings, the cooking pro loves crispy bacon and crushed crisps. But if you want something healthier, toasted nuts or crispy onions will provide that much-needed texture contrast too.

Looks like Salad Amy 2.0 might actually come into being this time...