You can almost always safely ignore when recipes specify sea salt. Food bloggers in particular seem to be adhering to this tired and oft-debunked trend. So, I’ll keep it simple: You don’t have to use ‘sea salt.’ Sea salt and regular table salt are, by and large, the exact same thing. While some exotic sea salts (the kind with colors) may add a specific mineral taste, when most food bloggers specify sea salt they mean white sea salt and this is is almost certainly not going to make a difference in the recipe. As I and others have stated time and again, all salt is sea salt and sea salt does not make a difference to your health, even the exotic varieties like Himalayan pink salt.
Boxes of white salt labeled sea salt usually are not fortified with iodine. This can make a difference in taste. However, you can buy regular table salt without iodine. Morton’s All-Purpose Sea Salt comes in both iodized and non-iodized versions.
Before sea salt started showing up in every recipe it was kosher salt making the rounds. This was probably a reaction to all the celebrity chefs on Food Network insisting that kosher salt is superior for cooking. There is, of course, nothing wrong with kosher salt and there are absolutely advantages to using it:
- courser grained making it easier to pinch and add small amounts
- no additives like anti-caking ingredients
- a teaspoon of kosher salt contains about a third less salt than regular salt making it easier to add small amounts at a time until it’s just right
- won’t stick to your fingers as much
If you do want to try kosher salt, I’d recommend the big blue boxes of Morton Kosher salt or the Diamond brand.
Hating on Salt
I was shocked the other day when looking through a vegetable soup recipe, that salt appeared nowhere on the ingredient list, which also called for a low sodium broth. Unless you have high blood pressure and your doctor has determined that you are salt-sensitive, you have absolutely no reason to fear salt unless you fear taste. For more see the following article: Will Too Much Salt Give Me High Blood Pressure?