Garnish is an integral part of the dining experience. It provides a visual and textural contrast to the dish, as well as adding flavor. Here are 10 types of garnishes you can use in your cooking or at home
What is garnish? Benefits of Garnishing Dishes
Garnish refers to any ingredient that is added to food for the purposes of making it more visually appealing and flavorful. The word "Garnish" itself comes from the French word garnir, which means "to fill." It was first used in cooking during Medieval times.
The first kinds of garnish were used to aid in preservation, prevent food from spoiling during the days before refrigeration. Many still use this principle today by adding some form of acid like lemon juice or vinegar to help kill bacteria and preserve tomatoes and other vegetables for future use.
1. Beverage Garnishes
A lemon wedge is one of the most common garnishes used in beverages. It’s a mini version of the lemon which can be fun to play with while you drink your beverage. You can use them as stirrers, skewer food or even add it to your drinks for some extra flavor.
Lime Wedges are mostly used in margaritas, but they can also be used with some mint for a refreshing mojito. There is no limit to what you can do with them. You can even use the lime rinds as colorful decorations on your dishes.
You can garnish with citrus wedges as well, especially in cocktails. The citric acid gives the drink a nice zing, and is also great for helping reducing hiccups!
The Cherry is a very cute and common garnish used in various types of drinks from a Cosmopolitan to some spicy Bloody Mary's. You can also use them as ice cubes in a non-alcoholic drink for extra flavor and color.
Mint sprigs are great to add to any favorite beverage for adding freshness and a burst of flavor! You can cut the sprig off or just use a few leaves, so there is no limit to its use.
A citrus slice is a circular piece of the fruit normally used in lemonade or other beverages combinations with various fruits. You can cut them into any shape you want, any size and even add multiple slices. They are very colorful and eye-catching!
An apple is a sweet and colorful fruit, which can be made into great garnishes. You can make slices or cut the apple into any shape according to how you like to use it in your serving dish. It makes any drink look healthy and appetizing.
Cucumber slices are mostly used in martinis, but there is no limit to how you use them. You can cut the cucumber into circles or sticks according to your needs so it's fun to add them as garnishes on your dish.
2. Eating/Food Garnishes
Celery is a very common eating garnish that can be used on almost any dish. You can use the leaves in your cooking, but it's normally just the Stalk or Petiole (the bottom part of the leaf) that we use for adding to our dishes.
A cabbage is normally used as a cooking ingredient but you can add it as an garnish by using the leaves. It's also a fun way to trick your kids into eating healthy vegetables.
The leaves of a cabbage are edible in most cases, and can be used as an alternative for lettuce or other green garnishes. It's best to cook it before using it as a garnish because the texture is much more tender that way. So you can use it in stir frys, soups or salads.
The dill is one of the most classic garnish used on fish dishes like salmon and trout. It gives them a nice refreshing flavor while also adding freshness to the dish or bite.
Just like dill, celery is a very common eating garnish used in soups and salads. It has a nice crunchy texture which helps add some life to vegetables that are normally bland. It can also be used on top of or next to seafood to give it extra flavor.
3. Dessert Garnishes
The chocolate shavings is a classic garnish used on top of Ice Cream, but it can also be used in desserts like cakes and pastries. The thin shaving melts in your mouth giving the dessert extra flavor or a nice texture, depending on what you serve them with.
The cocoa powder is another classic garnish used on ice cream or desserts. It adds a nice touch and can also be used as a practical way to attract ants away from your dishes. It's also fun if you have some kids because it makes eating healthy seem fun for them.
Cocoa Powder with Raisins
This is just a fun alternative to the classic way of garnishing desserts. The kids will love it, and even some adults might find it fun and tasty! The crunchy texture from the raisin with the cocoa powder's sweet taste is a great combination!
The chocolate chips are a small fun addition to cakes, ice cream or other desserts. They make any dessert look more appealing and fun!
A Pineapple is the perfect garnish used in Hawaiian themed dishes. It has that tropical feel while also adding a fresh flavor to your dish!
The corn is used to add some fun and crunchiness to any dessert. They are best added on the side of your plate or dish so that they don't get mixed up with your food!
Adding candy strips is just a creative way to decorate desserts and make them look more appealing to the eye. They can be added on top of cakes, or in between layers to break up the taste and make them look more appealing.
The candy pieces are small little candies used as decoration mostly for fruits or jellos. They give extra flavor while looking fun and tasty at the same time!
4. Cutting-Edge/Harmonious Garnishes
Matcha Powder (Japanese Tea)
The matcha powder is one of the most classic Japanese garnishes used in dishes like green tea ice cream, desserts and etc. It gives a fresh feel to your food or makes it look more appealing while also adding extra flavor!
Hoisin Sauce (Chinese Sauces)
A Hoisin sauce is a great Chinese garnish used in dishes like egg rolls or spring roll rice wraps. It gives them that exotic flare while also adding extra flavor to the dish!
Mayonnaise (French sauces)
A mayonnaise is a classic French addition to any dish from eggs, potatoes, salad and etc. It adds extra flavor and is a great way to add saltiness to your dish while still looking fun and tasty!
Sriracha (Thai Sauces)
The sriracha sauce is a classic garnish used in Thai dishes. It's often used on top of or next to seafood for some extra flavor while also adding that exotic flare to the dish!
Soy Sauce (Japanese Sauces)
The soy sauce is a classic Japanese addition to dishes. It's used on everything from sushi rolls, to plain rice and even salad. It gives an exotic flare while also making your food look more appealing and tasty!
5. Volume Increase Garnish
Cornstarch (thickening agent)
The cornstarch is a great way to make anything you are cooking or garnishing look bigger and more appealing. It can be used on top of deserts, in salad dressing or even on bread for some extra volume!
Stevia (non calorie sweetener)
The Stevia is a great way to make your dish or garnish look bigger while also tasting good. It can be used on top of desserts, in deserts and even in some cornstarch based sauces!
6. Volume Decrease Garnishes
Eggshells (mineral source)
The egg shells are a classic way to decrease the volume of your dishes. It's often used in egg dishes like omelettes, or even hotdogs! It gives a more consistent taste while also making everything look more smooth and clean looking!
Gelatin (collagen source)
The gelatin is another classic way to decrease the volume of your dish or garnish. It's often used on top of desserts like jello, or even in deserts! It's a great way to decrease the calories while also giving your dish that consistent look!
Gelatin Powder (glue alternative)
The gelatin powder is yet another classic way to decrease the volume of your dish or garnish. It can be used in basically any dish, but is best used on desserts or deserts! It gives the same consistency of jello, while also decreasing calories and adding some flavor!
7. Additional Garnishes
Rice Flour (glue alternative)
The rice flour is a great additional garnish used in anything you wish! It can be added on top of deserts or even in some soups for an extra boost of flavor! It gives the dish that white color while also adding some texture to it.
Stir-Fry Onion & Garlic
The stir fry onion and garlic is a great garnish used in basically any dish. It's often used to add some flavor to one of the most basic dishes; stir fry! It also gives your dish an exotic flare while also giving it extra flavor!
8. Decoration Garnishes
The decoration garnishes are a great ad-on to any dish. They really add some flare while also giving your food that mysterious look! It can be used on deserts, in salads or even on dishes like tacos! It gives your dish that flare you would get from markets while also giving it extra flavor!
The green onions are a great garnish used in basically every cuisine. It can be added to any dish, but is best used on stir fry or an eggs! It gives your dish that exotic flare while also looking good and making your food taste better!
The rosemary is a great garnish used in dishes like eggs or potatoes. It gives your dish that signature flaky look while also adding extra flavor!
9. Condiment Garnishes
The condiment garnishes are a great addition to any dish. It can be added on top of deserts or even sandwiches! It gives your dish that signature look while also giving it some flare and extra flavor!
Hot Sauce (Sriracha, etc.)
The hot sauce is a awesome way to add some flavor to your dish. It can be used on top of eggs or even in a stir fry sauce!
Honey (Nectar Source)
The honey is a great way to add some flare and extra flavor to any dish. It can be used on top of desserts or even on stir fry's! It gives your dish that extra flavor you would get at a fancy cafe while also giving it extra taste!
Salsa (tomato sauce)
The salsa is a great condiment used in basically any dish. It can be added on top of desserts or even salads to add some exotic flare!
Alfredo Sauce (cheese dip)
The Alfredo sauce is a great condiment used in basically any dish. It can be added to potatoes, eggs or even your own personal pizza!
Sour Cream (cheese dip)
The sour cream is a awesome sauce used on top of almost everything. It can be used on top of deserts, in soups and even on tacos! It gives your dish that creamy texture while also giving it some flare!
10. Ritual Garnishes
The ritual garnishes are often used in desserts or even hotdogs. It adds a great texture while also giving your food some flare!
Grill Marks (burnt)
The grill marks are a awesome way to add some taste while adding some flair! It can be used on anything from eggs to sandwiches! It gives your dish that awesome texture you would get from a sports bar while giving it some flare!
Pesto Sauce (Cheese Dip)
The pesto sauce is a great condiment used in basically any dish. It can be added to anything from eggs to salads! It gives your dish that signature taste you would get at places like Olive Garden while also giving it some flare!
Sesame Seeds (glue alternative)
The sesame seeds are a awesome add-on you could use to anything! It gives the dish that signature taste you would get at Asian restaurants while also giving it some flare!
- Is a garnish necessary?
Yes. It adds flare to your dish and also gives it that extra flavor!
- What is the best type of garnish to use on different dishes?
Every dish has a different type of garnish used on it. For example, stir fry onion and garlic is perfect for stir fry dishes. Decoration garnishes like parsley are best suited for desserts and salads.
Green onions are good in eggs or potatoes. Rosemary is good for eggs or potatoes. Condiment sauces like salsa or honey are best suited for desserts or salad dressings. Hot sauce like Sriracha is great with egg dishes or stir fry sauces. Honey is good with desserts or any meat dish, like stir fried meats and vegetables. Salsa can go in any dish but goes great with Mexican dishes like tacos!
Sour cream can be used on any meat dish but goes particularly well with tacos! Ritual sugars like grill marks or rosemary go on grilled items like eggs or steak.
- Can garnishes make any dish taste better?
Garnishes can make any dish taste better. They give the dish the final touches it needs to taste its best!
In conclusion, garnishes can make any dish taste better. They give the dish that final touch it needs to be perfect! Whether you’re using a condiment or ritual sugar for your recipe, each one will add flare and flavor while also giving you some ideas on how to use them in different dishes. Keep this list handy next time you plan out your menu!