ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Be a Better Cook - Add a Little Crunch to Every Meal! Textures Matter...

Updated on January 31, 2009

Crunchy and Delicious!

Good cooks know that flavors need balance and that sweet must be balanced by sour and that rich foods need an acidic counterpoint to tame them. Good cooks also know that you can elevate the merely good to the great by thinking about the balance and contrast of color and texture.

No matter how well prepared a plate of poached chicken breast with boiled skinless potatoes and steamed cauliflower may be – it remains a monochromatic nightmare unlikely to create much interest at the table. Color creates drama and beauty and the colors on a plate influence our perception of the taste of a dish – and it is important to think about them.

And like monochromatic food – mono-textural meals are just as bad!

The Importance of Crunch

You want to serve a plate that has a balance and contrast of textures. You want the creamy and smooth with the meaty and toothsome and ideally – on the best of plates – you want all of that combined with something with a dynamic crunch. CRUNCH!

Everyone likes crunchy food – it must be in our DNA or something, but put a crispy-fried coating on pretty much anything and people's mouths will start to water at the sight of it!

So, as a general rule – if you are thinking about a menu for dinner, and you're wondering what you might do to improve upon it – think of the balance of flavors and the balance of colors and think also of the textures on the plate and on the palate. Think about whether or not you can get away with adding a little bit of crunchy goodness!

Try adding something crunchy to everything you cook (within reason) and see if your meals don't start tasting just a little bit better. 


Here's a quick list of foods and techniques that you can use to add crunchy goodness to your next meal:

  • Nuts
  • Nut crusts
  • Panko bread crumbs for deep frying
  • Bean sprouts
  • Fresh carrots, julienned
  • Deep frying as a technique makes just about anything crunchy
  • Spring roll wrappers (you can wrap just about anything in a spring roll wrapper to delicious effect!)
  • Wonton wrappers – fried crispy
  • Croutons
  • Toast
  • Seeds
  • Pork rinds (great in Asian noodle soup)
  • Crisped chicken or duck skin
  • Bacon, crisped
  • Radish slices
  • Ice - As in crushed ice for desserts
  • Onion slices (raw)
  • Phylo pastry
  • Corn flakes or other crunchy cereals
  • Fried rice vermicelli
  • Potato chips (homemade or store bought – especially kettle chips!)
  • Water chestnuts
  • Celery
  • Dill pickles
  • Fleur de sell sea salt (this is such a great sneaky bit of crunch!)
  • Pretzels

That's obviously just a very partial list of things that you can incorporate into your next meal or recipe to add a little textural contrast, and I'm sure if you put your head to it you can think of many many more.

Here's to happy cooking and even happier eating as you strive to create balanced and contrasting meals!

I should credit Michel Richard and his book Happy in the Kitchen for getting me thinking more about texture and the appeal of crunchiness. He boasts that his chefs call him Captain Crunch for his insistence on a little crunch in every plate. His book is very worth a read.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • The Dan Sai Kid profile image

      The Dan Sai Kid 

      9 years ago from Scotland

      Hey John!

      Crunchy Goodness?

    • fishskinfreak2008 profile image


      9 years ago from Fremont CA

      Great ideas. Crunch is critical. Thumbs up

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 

      9 years ago

      i love to have something to crunch on with every meal!great hub:)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)