Cómo cocinar con especias: 13 consejos para usar especias y hierbas

What will you use to add flavor and aroma to drinks and food? Spices Just a small amount of spices, or a well thought out combination, can make a big impact on the simplest dish. Let’s see how to use spices correctly, as they are a perfect way to add acidity, sourness, or bitterness, when needed; even sweet notes are possible.


When using spices for cooking, you need to follow some rules on how to season food with herbs and spices. These tips will make your food taste and smell much more appealing:

  • As a general rule of thumb, if the recipe does not call for otherwise, whole spices should be added at the beginning or in the middle of cooking. Since ground spices infuse the dish with aroma and flavor faster and the aroma of the dish evaporates faster than whole spices, always add ground spices closer to the end of cooking.
  • Try to store the spices whole, and when necessary, mix them in with a mortar and pestle.
  • Follow all the requirements in  How to Store Spices in the Kitchen  to ensure the best result.
  • Salt tends to enhance the flavor of spices. This is why you need to be careful and keep tasting the dish while you season it. The saying “the bigger the better” doesn’t apply here at all.
  • A tasty dish with lots of spices and herbs should be eaten in no time. You can lose that flavor and aroma while reheating the dish.
  • To pickle / marinate vegetables and fruits, use whole spices. Spices will definitely have time to infuse food with flavor, due to prolonged contact with the liquid. Also, the marinade itself will remain transparent. Pickles in a jar will look appetizing and have aesthetic appeal.
  • There is a well-known method in which whole spices are roasted by tossing them into a dry skillet over medium heat. However, you should keep in mind that you should use these spices immediately after roasting. In addition, the cooking time of the dish should not be long (wok dishes, curries, drinks, etc.).
  • Since most of the aromatic molecules in spices are fat soluble, I sometimes don’t see any benefit from toasting them in a dry pan beforehand. Adding them to the oil in which you will cook has a better effect.
  • For the same reason, try adding more spices to fatty foods than what is mentioned in the ingredient list. Of course, if you want to have a more pronounced flavor and aroma.
  • If you are adding spices and herbs to a cold dish, be sure to use them well in advance as they release flavor and aroma more slowly than in hot dishes. You can also increase the amount you add.
  • Try to avoid all wooden cookware while working with spices, as the wooden surface absorbs the scent of oils like crazy.
  • If you want to substitute dry herbs for fresh herbs or vice versa, remember the following ratio: 1 teaspoon of dried herbs = 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs.
  • Here’s some conflicting advice for you: Don’t be afraid to experiment with untested spice combinations and stick with the classics! How is that for you? Certain flavors can be combined to make perfect spice blends, others are difficult to combine and find common ground. It’s hard work not to dominate the dish with added flavor on top of making it delicious. So using classic spice mixes in this case is a surefire method to make your dishes amazing. However, to find out which flavor you prefer and which you don’t, you definitely need to experiment and use something new from time to time.

I hope my tips on how to season with spices and herbs have been helpful and that you have found new information that will improve your cooking skills. Don’t forget to share the article with your friends!