The 2 Surprising Ingredients You Probably Didn't Know You Need For Copycat Recipes

Copycat recipes can be exactly what you need when you're trying to recreate a recipe from one of your favorite restaurants or simply need to satisfy a food craving without leaving the house. With the right ingredients and recipes, you can practically make yourself any meal you're longing to eat, whether it's fried chicken from KFC or a satisfying burger from McDonald's. Home chefs, thankfully, have plenty of copycat recipes at their fingertips for those who're looking for a bit of inspiration and aren't sure where to start — there's even plenty right here on Mashed.

But let's be honest: this entire process can feel a bit intimidating, especially if you're not sure about the ingredients you should use. Of course, certain hacks, tips, and tricks can make it easier to prepare a dish from scratch. As per a home chef on Reddit, there are two unexpected but extremely useful and simple ingredients that can make your life much easier when you're attempting to master a copycat recipe from a restaurant or fast food chain at home. 

Xanthan gum and lecithin to the rescue

The Redditor mentioned that two ingredients that are often overlooked but can be extremely helpful when preparing copycat recipes are xanthan gum and soy lecithin. They wrote that they may feel intimidating at first but are actually really easy to use. They rooted for xanthan gum, explaining that the "plant-based powder" is a versatile ingredient. "You can throw some in an ice cream base for smoother ice cream, or even in a hot chocolate for a latte texture," they wrote. "When making something like a relish, xanthan gum can also be useful in preventing the ingredients from separating."

As for lecithin, the home chef said that this ingredient is extremely powerful when it comes to baking delicious goodies at home and can help prevent desserts from going stale too fast. Both of these ingredients don't have any distinctive flavor, which means that it's fairly easy to add them to nearly any dish. The Redditor further pointed out that these ingredients probably don't get noticed by home chefs even though they're popular in commercial kitchens and could very well be what you need to perfect a recipe you've been having trouble with.