5 Ways to Fix Over-Salted Food: "used in this lentil recipe"
- Add a starch. Stir in some cooked (unsalted) rice, barley, quinoa, pasta or couscous.
These salt-thirsty ingredients will absorb quite a bit from a sauce.
Depending on the dish, simmer or bake it for a bit with a splash of liquid to meld the flavours and allow the grains to absorb the excess salt.
If it’s a soup, curry or other saucy dish, you can add large chunks of potato to soak up excess salt then discard when tender.
- To desalt vegetable stew add the rice, more water, more fresh veggies, a cut up sweet apple, 2 teaspoons of sugar (one at a time to taste if it worked), and the juice and entire insides of 2 oranges (minus seeds)
...add 2 dollops of plain yogurt and the contents of another orange.
- When faced with an over-seasoned dish, your first move should be to try to balance out the flavors.
Typically, this is done by playing with sugars and acids.
Try adding a squeeze of lemon or a spoonful of sugar to your dish, then taste test again and proceed from there.
Depending on the dish, switch up the acid and sugar sources - sub in vinegar for citrus, or honey in for sugar.
- Rice, beans, or any other other neutral grain will help round out the flavor.
- Parsley, or other very leafy stuff. Specifically, I've noticed that adding parsley to a dish that's too salty works wonders. It's good for almost any sauce you're making, as well as pasta or casserole.
Lemon or Lime – A few drops of an acid like lemon or lime juice will help even out the saltiness of a dish.
Choose between the two depending on the flavor of the actual dish.
Only use a few drops and then taste after each addition to figure out how much you need to fix the dish you’re cooking.
Vinegar – Vinegar is also an acid, which means it does a good job of helping to cut through too much saltiness in food.
Like the lemon juice and lime juice, adding a minimal amount to the dish, as you stir and taste is key since vinegar has a very strong taste and you don’t want to alter the flavor too much.
White Granulated Sugar or Brown Sugar – For mixed dishes and dishes like chili, a small spoonful of brown sugar or regular ‘ole white granulated sugar can quickly fix the problem of too much salt.
While the sweetness of sugar can balance out the sodium, adding too much can make your dish too sweet, so keep an eye on how much you’re adding and taste it frequently to adjust the amount you need to add.
Oil – For sauces, marinades, and salad dressings, adding a little bit of oil can help cut down the saltiness.
This goes back to the same principles that help cut the salt in soup dishes: dilution.
Since most dressings and marinades are oil based, adding more oil will dilute the recipe and help manage oversalting.
Sour Cream – Another option for soups and mixed dishes is to add something creamy.
Sour cream and heavy cream are generally used for this, as they can thicken up soups without changing the flavor profile too much.
It can also work wonders for mashed potatoes and similar dishes, since the sour cream weakens the salt flavor, and also adds the creaminess that you want in mashed potatoes.
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