Chef Alton Brown speaking on stage
Alton Brown's Secret Weapon Ingredient To Use For Fried Food
In his 2016 cookbook "EveryDayCook," Alton Brown shared that sumac is his secret ingredient for fried foods because of its citrusy flavor, which cuts through the rich, greasy oil.
Sumac spice is made by grinding dried sumac berries and has been used in cooking for at least 2,000 years. It has a subtly fruity sweetness and a bright, citrusy tartness.
Sumac contains an enzyme that can be a great tenderizer for soft and juicy meats, which may be why it is so often paired with meats.
Sumac’s acidity gives food a tartness and provides the same contrast and balance that lemon juice does. As a bonus, it will add a nice pop of red to your golden-brown fried foods.