If your experiences in the kitchen have been a little bit stale lately, today is your lucky day!

Because we’re gonna hear from a bunch of AskReddit users about the secret ingredients they use when they cook!

Let’s do this!

1. The favorite.

“Sechuan pepper.

I add it to most of the savoury dishes.

It’s my favorite seasoning.”

2. Pile it on.

“When I’m baking, I double to triple the amount of vanilla, nuts, or whatever the flavor ingredient is.”

3. Spicy!

“For proteins, usually smoked paprika and Sazon.

I put Sazon in my dry rub, and it’s incredible.”

4. Now I’m hungry.

“Using soy says to salt soups, stews, sauces and gravies instead of salt.

It mixes in easily and adds that “umami” element for an added bonus.”

5. Nice and fresh.


Fresh thyme goes well with garlic and butter. It goes really well with black pepper. Parsley + thyme is more interesting than just parsley; garlic bread really needs both. Thyme popcorn is pretty neat. There’s thyme in my roast chicken marinade and thyme in my beef chili.

There are different kinds of thyme. Some are very black-peppery. Some are very grassy. Some could masquerade as oregano or marjoram. Some are sour like wood sorrel. If you have opinions about varieties of hops, basil, mint, or cannabis, you can have opinions about varieties of thyme, too.”

6. Perfect 10.

“Pickled red onions.

Goes great on  savory or fatty foods. Cuts right through and brings a small crunch.

And functions as a uniquely colored garnish. 10/10 topping.”

7. Love ’em!


My marinara sauce always has anchovy and a bit of Calabrian chili in the base.”

8. Curry.

“Korean Curry – I use a lot more garlic, shallots, and ill add a dash or 2 of MSG.

Japanese Curry – I use pears instead of apples for the sweetness and add a splash of chili oil.”

9. Interesting…


I use 100% kona coffee medium to reduce the bitterness + ill shave off some ritter sport milk chocolate after the initial dusting of cocoa powder.”

10. Sounds good.

“Dried shiitake mushroom powder.

Makes things have a lot more umami, or meaty, without having to add more protein.

Good for stretching out stuff.”

11. Don’t forget it.

“Vodka in anything tomato based. The al**hol, when boiling, breaks down a specific protein in the tomato that gives it a much fuller flavour.

Saw it on this food cuisine scientist episode and tried it on spaghetti/ pasta. Now I never go without it.”

12. Enjoy!


Pour that s**t over salmon and broil it. Put some more on and broil again.

Then make your corn bread and add some honey in there.

Then make your baked beans and add some honey.


What secret ingredients do you use?

Talk to us in the comments and let us know.

We look forward to it!