Make This Tiny Tweak to Your Marinade to Lock in Flavor Without Compromising Texture

Photo: Stocksy/Cameron Whitman
Creating a perfect marinade is like a work of art. With just the right ingredients, your protein of choice gets mouth-watering flavor and melt in your mouth tenderness. But if your marinade ends up making your meal chewier than you'd like, there's a tiny tweak you should make to fix the problem.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa chef Gabe Nabor recently tipped off my colleague to something I hadn't considered: Salt draws out the moisture of the protein you're marinating, which dries it out too much by the time its done cooking. And nobody likes dry, cardboard-esque food that can't even be saved by a truckload of dipping sauces. Veggies and plant-based proteins aren't immune either, which explains why my tofu sometimes dries out. Luckily, the tweak to a better marinade is simple.

Instead of adding salt to your marinade, let your protein soak up all the other flavors while before cooking. Then, salt your protein to taste once it's on your plate. You'll be doing your health a favor by cutting down on sodium. And that's what I like to call a dinner win.

Chef Gabe's best all-purpose marinade recipe


  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 sprigs picked and chopped thyme
  • 1 sprig picked and chopped oregano
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and is a great all-purpose marinade.
Goes great with red meats, chicken, fish and tofu.

Olive works great as a base for marinades—and it's great for you, too:

By the way, Tofu is *not* boring—and we've got the recipes to prove it. And these are the 'core four' foods you should always mix for a nutritious meal.

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