Emily Mariko's Latest Recipe Has The Internet Divided About Seasoning

Everything that lifestyle influencer Emily Mariko does seems to drive trends and debates — seriously. Her viral salmon rice bowl on TikTok, for example, caused a short-lived Kewpie mayo shortage, Eater reports. And while her latest recipe video may not have caused a nationwide product shortage just yet, it has certainly touched an apparent sore spot on TikTok. Recently, Mariko shared a video on TikTok in which she prepares a crown roast of pork with stuffing. It looked ready for a special occasion, but what really caught the attention of the comments section was the seasoning on the meat — or lack thereof. Some thought that Mariko's seasoning the roast with only salt and pepper was not enough for proper flavor, while others said she had the right idea considering the expensive piece of meat.

Much of the debate followed the tone of the following full-caps comment: "QUALITY MEAT DOESNT NEED TO BE COVERED IN SPICES FROM PLASTIC BOTTLES ITS IMPORTANT TO LITERALLY JUST BRING OUT THE NATURAL FLAVORS WITH JUST A LITTLE." Another snarked, "The ppl in these comments would put everything but the bagel on filet mignon." Of course, along with such a vitriolic defense of Mariko's minimalistic seasoning came opinions from the other side, with one comment reading, "It's the lack of seasoning for me. Looks great but come on em." 

Is there a right answer to this TikTok seasoning debate?

Despite the dogmatic views represented in the comments section on Mariko's TikTok video, it would appear that most professionals land somewhere in the middle ground when it comes to seasoning a crown roast of pork. While Mariko's minimal seasoning approach certainly has merit — When you have a very high-quality piece of steak, for example, a pinch of salt is often enough to appreciate the flavors of the meat — a few other seasonings could also have complemented the piggy taste of the roast she prepared.

Food Network suggests seasoning a crown roast with a mixture of thyme, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bon Appétit recommends a similar rub but substitutes the sage for mustard seeds and adds a coat of mustard. Over on Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt pulls a Mariko and adds only salt and pepper to the pork. What all of these recipes have in common, of course, is that they don't call for a long list of spices or seasoning blends. Those certainly have their place in the kitchen, but when you're dealing with a special, expensive cut of meat, you can't go wrong with Mariko's simplistic approach.