Salt might be the best thing in the kitchen as it boosts flavors taking a meal from dull to lively in just a pinch. But then again what do you do if you have just looked after and seasoned a dish and then you appreciate that you might just have added too much salt. Almost every meal requires salt, but many of us from time to time can easily overdo it. Fortunately, there are habits you can learn to repair a salty meal with the use of other ingredients and methods.
It might appear like magic to fix a salty dish, but the truth is it is all about the chemistry. Human tongues have five major tastes, sour, bitter, sweet, salty, and umami, consequently by experimenting with different ingredient amounts in a meal this either brings out or lessens a particular taste. Below are some of the best approaches to save a meal that has become too salty.
- Saved by Water
You can rescue salty sauces and soups with the addition of a little water or other liquid. Begin with a tiny amount of water and then taste and add more water again and again while waiting for it to taste right. You may want to add more watery vegetables too to get your sauces and soups back to the looked-for consistency.
- Rinse meats
To prevent you from having over-salted meats in your meals, simply give them a speedy rinse under warm running water, and then dry them with a paper towel after you have finished. You might also want to complete a process where you permit the salt to leach out of meats such as pork or bacon which are very salty by soaking them completely in water for at least a couple of hours prior to serving.
- Double the Recipe
When the amount of salt has reach too high a level, this resolution is one of the best to fix it. When you have adequate time and food, simply double the components from the recipe and add absolutely no more salt. As soon as a meal is cooked, you will need to taste it fully and season as required. This technique to reduce salt is very convenient since you will have lots of leftovers that you may even want to freeze for later.
- Serve your salty meals at a very high temperature
It is said that temperature impacts on taste in a variety of multifaceted ways. A cold meal can seemingly taste much saltier than a really hot one. If heating your dish is not a possibility, then you could contemplate serving a salty mealy with a hot drink to try and take away the taste. Although it has to be said that temperature has a relatively minor effect on the saltiness of your meal, and you will need to combine it with other answers.
- Use White Rice
Try using cooked white rice in your salty dish with water to make it palatable and add it to your cooking slowly. The starch in the rice will absorb much of the salt while solidifying your soup, sauce or stew. White rice also works very well with curries and chili.
- Add Acid
When your dish is too salty try an acidic ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice to make it less so. Acid cuts into the saltiness of meals that have gone too far. A small splash of something acidic will reduce the saltiness. Lemon juice is really good because it also adds a delicate freshness to your food. Other citruses fruits can also be used, but if you want to cut down on salt levels quickly and add extra flavor then a squeeze of lemon juice is the answer.
- Counteract salt with sweetness
Thwart saltiness by popping in a pinch of sugar into your sauces, soups, and starters. You can use brown sugar for use in darker sauces. Salty and sweet are definitive taste pairings, so it makes sense to fight too much salt in your dish with a small amount of sugar. And you have a wealth of sweet ingredients to pick from like honey, maple syrup, unrefined white sugar – all of these can add a great amount of depth to your cooking as your salt problem gets fixed. Only ever add small amounts of anything sweet at a time and ensure that you taste so it is not too much.
- Re-season without salt
After you have alleviated the saltiness in your recipe by adding water or other ingredients, then you will probably have to reinforce some of the other seasonings that are part of your dish. Otherwise, you will get a flawlessly salted but otherwise dull dish. Spices and fresh herbs are brilliant for adding flavor and be added with precision. Add aromatics like spices, onions and garlic after you have sautéed them in a separate pan and put them into your recipe at the last minute. This will add a lot of flavor as a last step to fix an overly salted meal. You essentially need to under season as you cook and make it taste just right near the end. Most chefs quickly understand that it is always best to drop in your seasonings gradually.
- Serve your dish with a side of mild
A meal that is not absolutely spoiled by a surplus of salt, but tastes that way, can be presented in a way which will diminish its effect on your palate. Serve up portions of your salty meal with mild side dishes such as bread, baked potato and pasta. Try to evade offering cheeses and butters that have a tendency to be high in salt. Top your meal off with an invigorating yet mild ice-cream for dessert.
- Add a Starch
To remedy a salty dish try adding quinoa, barley, pasta or couscous to fix the levels of sodium. These absorbent ingredients will take up quite a lot of salt from any sauce. Contingent on the dish, just add a bit of extra starch with a splash of fluid to blend the flavors together and permit the grains to absorb the extra salt. Pop in chunks of potato if if you are cooking a saucy dish to soak up surplus salt. Adding a sole potato to a meal has long been hyped up as a way to eliminate superfluous salt, although there is a little debate about its usefulness. The potato is worth throwing into a salty dish if all else seems to fail. Just put a whole potato in your soup or sauce with its skin on and cook as you normally would and just take it away before serving.
- Add some dairy
If you add dairy to a dish it will have a cooling effect and the flavor of yogurt or cream will break through the saltiness of any dish. The whole thing is improved when you add in dairy to sauces and soups where it already contains a certain amount of dairy. Fats will cut through salty flavors, to counterbalance them. Where it is not possible to add dairy to your recipe, then instead attempt to add a dairy filled side dish to serve together with a too salty meal. When making sauces it is better to add some milk to make it richer and disguise the salt. Ingredients like cream and yogurt are great at saving things like soups and casseroles. Butter, when combined with an equal quantity of flour, will also help to save your salty sauces.
Stop Food Becoming Salty
It will at all times be much easier to avoid making excessively salty foods than it is to have to mend them. On no occasion measure out salt right over the food cooking in your pots and pans as if too much salt pours out uncontrollably then it will obviously end up in your meal. Before you use it, you should always check that your saltshaker lid is on tight every time you come to use it.
Always be mindful about the ingredients that you are cooking with and try to avoid any which contain high amounts of sodium. Lots of canned foods contain lots of salt, so if using high salt foods, you must regularly taste your recipe as you cook before you put anymore salt into your meal.
Salty tastes get stronger in dishes as fluids cook off, so you will need to wait until the end of cooking to taste your dish effectively and add any final touches.
So, it is possible to make something less salty and save your dish. Simple taste as you go and adjust as and when you need to. It is totally fine to keep correcting your recipe as you cook it out. If your meal is salty, stop adding salt. Doctors are continually warning that we all need to reduce the quantity of salt we devour as we frequently exceed recommendations for healthy levels. Therefore, try to keep your recipes as low in salt as you can.
- How to Save Food That’s Too Salty – Epicurious
- How to Fix Salty Food — Yes, It Really Can Be Done – SheKnows