We have to admit, one of our co-founders is addicted to spice.
He also happens to be the louder of the two, which is why you see lots of chillis and spicy options on our menu.
When we first opened our doors, he didn't believe us when we requested for options that didn't include chillis. His reasoning: "I ate chillis as a kid what.....no big deal". Sigh...how does one argue with a spice immune dictator? Well, we directed all comments and requests for more kid friendly options straight to his mailbox. And made sure to tell him "I told you so" frequently. After a few weeks of replying to all the requests he relented.
Step 1: Making the kits even more modular
The first thing we did was to pack the chillis separately in most of our existing kits. Now you have the full option to alter the spice level. Examples of these kits are our Thai Chilli Lime Seabass, Kecap Manis Beef, all our vegetable kits...etc. There are a few kits that contain dried chillis combined with the aromatics - we kept the dried chillis in there as they add more flavor than spice, however for a true non-spice version...you'd still have to pick them out 😅😅😅
Step 2: Create more kits!
Now you'd think this part is easy....except here at Prepped we try to follow the 3S rule. What is that you ask?
Our food hypothesis is that every amazing unforgettable dish/cuisine combines 3 of the 4 major flavors (sweet, salty, sour, spicy).
Still don't believe us, here are our favorite dishes as examples: - Korean Spicy Galbi-jimm: Sweet (grated pear), Salty (soy sauce), Spicy (chilli flakes) - Thai Mango Salad: Spicy (chillis), Sweet (sugar), Sour (lime juice) - Vietnamese Bun Cha: Sweet (sugar) , Salty (fish sauce) , Sour (lime juice)
- Achar, Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice Chilli ....you get the gist
So when you remove our option of spice, it pigeonholes us into a not so happy world of only 3 flavors to pick from😭. That said....in the words of our 11th favorite TV character: "Challenge Accepted!"
Fake Spice #1: Ginger
One way to continue adding spice without actually being spicy is to use ginger. And not just any ginger, but a young-ish ginger. Use young ginger and the kick is gone, too old and it becomes spicy and stringy; we're going to have to be Goldilocks with this one. By picking the right type of ginger, we can start to introduce a hint of spiciness, but quickly dial up the floral notes of the young ginger by pairing it with an injection of honey. So it's still kid-friendly, but it also has depth of flavour without spice.
Fake Spice #2: Cumin/Sweet Paprika
We all know the saying: No smoke without fire. So it got us thinking, what if we added all the smokey elements into a spice rub, and just omitted the fire elements? It almost worked, except our taste-buds were so convinced that the spiciness was coming that it basically hung in limbo, waiting forever. Not a good feeling.
So we did the one thing we learnt worked from #1: we added oregano for the floral notes, and well, honey again to round it up.
Embracing the the other 3 flavors
Lastly, we're also developing a few other menu items that leverage unique ingredients to fully embrace the other 3 dominant flavors - Salty: White Miso - Sour: Citrus Fruits - Sweet: Water Chestnuts
Curious? Stay tuned and you may just see these items on the menu in a few weeks!