Spices are pure flavor, and that’s one of the many reasons we love them. In a wet marinade, spices impart that flavor to meat, vegetables, and other ingredients through time and osmosis.
To use spices in a marinade, whisk them into acidic, salty, or flavorful liquids like vinegar, fruit juice, soy sauce, or yogurt — these liquids help break down the main ingredient so the spices can impart their flavor. Marination times vary widely: ceviches only need to marinate for a couple of minutes, while kimchi can marinate for years (and improves with age). For dense animal- and plant-based proteins, marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
TRY IT OUT
Mix equal parts ketchup and soy sauce and add black Urfa chili to taste. Toss with chicken thighs or firm tofu and marinate for a couple of hours in the refrigerator before grilling or roasting.
A whole chicken (or whole cauliflower) takes on a massive amount of flavor when marinated overnight. Mix garlic powder, ground ginger, black lime, and turmeric into plain yogurt with salt to taste. In a deep bowl or strong plastic bag, pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, then roast in a low oven.