So, you have gotten heavy handed with the salt in your cooking and everything just tastes of SALT. Mistakes happen, and there’s no point crying over spilled salt and your tears will add more salt to the food! With this article, you will learn how to fix oversalted food in minutes. Read on.
No matter if you a professional in the kitchen or a home cook, cooking an oversalted dish can easily overwhelm you and make you feel like a massive failure. So you were following the recipe and you did each step correctly (or thought you did). You have seasoned your protein at every step of the way, but maybe you just got too excited with the salt. Your final dish is comparable to the Dead Sea (Salt Lake in Asia). It feels impossible to take the next bite because it’s just so salty.
No one likes to see their guests taking a small bite of their dish and immediately reaching their hands out for a glass of water to save themselves. Overbearing saltiness is a huge no-no, and if you find yourself in that situation where your food is (accidentally) oversalted, calm your nerves. Fortunately for you, there are some remedies to consider for you to fix that salty problem. Here, we will tell you how to fix oversalted food with ease.
Adding An Acidic Element
Lemon juice, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar can be your saving grace as great acidic ingredients to help neutralise the saltiness in your food. It just balances things out when your food gets oversalted. Like salt where it is king in seasoning other ingredients, acid is also a prime seasoning factor.
Sometimes, you think your food needs more salt when what it needs is some acid. While the acid will not fix the saltiness entirely, it still helps to mask it, making things more bearable. Aside from lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar, even a tomato product—like tomato sauce or tomato paste, also works in neutralizing the oversalty food since tomatoes are acidic in nature. Remember, you are just masking the salty flavor, not eliminating it completely.
Adding potatoes that contain starch is one of the most usual ways for Chefs to fix an oversalted food. This would work when you have oversalted your stews, soups, and other similar liquid-based dishes. We do want to make a point however, that potatoes actually do not pull salt out of anything. But what they do contribute is absorbing water—and if that water happens to be salty. Just keep in mind that they do not particularly absorb salt. To use this method, simply add a diced potato to the dish—as it cooks, the potato will absorb some of the liquid, including the extra salt.
It’s worth noting that as the potato is absorbing soup and a little of the salt, it is contributing starch. If you have a clear soup, this method might not be desirable as the potatoes with cloud or thicken the soup.
Adding A Dairy Or Non-Dairy Element
This method of adding dairy will of course, must depend on the recipe that you are making, and if it will complement it. Take a creamy Alfredo pasta sauce that you have oversalted for example, you can always choose to add more heavy cream, whole milk, or another type of dairy to neutralize the sauce’s saltiness. Since most dairy products contain sugar, this tones down the dish’s saltiness. So, when the sauce coats your mouth, the dairy works as a barrier against all the salt that you have went heavy-handed with. Similarly, you can also consider non-dairy options such as oat milk and coconut milk.
Adding Other Creamy Ingredients
Ingredients that are naturally creamy on their own such as avocado, ricotta cheese, and sour cream can really help to fix oversalted stews, creamy soups, and casserole dishes. Their creaminess just helps to bring down the saltiness of those dishes and your food will turn out more balanced. To some extent, creamy ingredients added in liquid form to certain liquid-based recipes can also counteract its saltiness too. The creaminess would change our tasting perception and make the flavor of the dish to appear milder. For example, an oversalted chicken tenders would taste much better when you pair with some creamy avocado or sour cream on the side to mask its saltiness.
Sweet and salty is a classic flavor combination because of sugar’s ability to balance out the saltiness in food. So, restore the balance in your dish with the power of sugar. By adding a pinch (or more) of sugar—whether brown sugar or white sugar, can help counteract the saltiness of a dish. Depending on your oversalted dish, you can also use sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup to make the dish less salty!
Tips To Prevent Oversalting Your Food
Foods can go from perfectly salted to oversalted quickly.In the end, the best advice we can give is of course, for you to not oversalt your food. Because you would have to do all the extra steps and adjustments in tweaking your dish to make it balance. So, here are some quick tips on how you can prevent yourself from making the mistake of oversalting your food (again). Here are some things to consider…
Follow The Recipe Instructions
The ingredients you are using requires attention given to them. If your recipe is calling for a less salty ingredient such as an unsalted butter, a low-sodium soy sauce, or even an unsalted broth, be sure to use those ingredients specifically. If you don’t follow suit and insist on using the salted versions of those, you might just end up with an overly salty food (and you shouldn’t be surprised by that outcome).
Taste As You Cook
Taste as you go about cooking. Heavily salted ingredients, especially canned ingredients, already come with high salt content and that means you might not need as much added salt in incorporating that ingredient to your dish. Salty-tasting ingredients too, like Parmesan cheese, capers and Worcestershire (just to name a few) that you will later be adding or finishing your dish with, all contains salt. If for some reason, you can’t taste your food as you cook it due to sanitary reasons like working in a kitchen, always keep in mind that an under-seasoned food (though just as bad as over-seasoned food) is always much easier to fix than the opposite.
Measure Your Salt
Yes, we know the Asian moms and aunties do not measure, they FEEL. But you need to remember these women have years of experience and know what they are doing when they toss salt confidently into their food. To stay in safe zone, we recommend that you measure your salt carefully. We know when home cooks get ahead of themselves in cooking, it can reach to a point where measuring salt becomes only an afterthought. Let’s not do that, because while this works some of the time, other times, you can possibly end up with an extremely salty dish. So, get a proper measurement of the salt that you are going to use to ensure your dish has just the right amount of salt.
The Myths About Sodium
Sodium is a mineral that occurs naturally in many of the foods we eat. Sodium chloride, or salt, is the most common type of sodium found in nature. Here, we talk about some of the myths that people have about Sodium.
I do not have to worry about high sodium because I do not add salt to my food.
Huge false. Because whether you add or do not add salt to your food, there are plenty of foods that often contain high levels of sodium. This can include but are not limited to processed and cured meats, canned foods, condiments, deli meats and cheeses. The sodium content in these foods is hidden salts. So, if you think you are not consuming sodium just because you do not add salt to your food, think again.
Removing salt completely from one’s diet will make them healthier.
This is not true at all. Whatever we consume requires moderation. Even so, for our human body to operate and function properly, sodium is an essential nutrient for us. The idea is to consume the right amount of sodium.
The Himalayan salt is healthier than table salt.
While the idea of Himalayan salt being healthier than table salt sounds sensible, it actually contains relatively the same amount of sodium as table salt—but it is richer in trace minerals.
And that’s just few of the myths that is debunked…
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Be a Salt Bae, Not a Salty Bae
We hope that after reading this article, you can take this knowledge and tips away and help to save other Chefs—one salty dish at a time. Learn how you can make balanced and delicious dishes from us, some which can be prepared in minutes and some with only a few ingredients. In fact, check out on our extensive array of products and read on more of our good reads!