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You’ve added too much salt. Now what?
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It’s happened to all of us: too much salt inadvertently added to a recipe, making it inedible. How can you salvage your dish?
With a liquid dish like soup, you can dilute it with more liquid (unsalted broth or water, for example)—essentially creating 125% of the amount of the original recipe. You can add more ingredients—or rice or noodles cooked without salt, plus herbs and nonsalt seasonings, to round out the dish.
A trick from our Nana: Cook some white rice without salt. Purée (use water as necessary to thin the purée) and add to the soup or stew as a salt-free thickener.
You can also try adjusting the recipe with cider vinegar and brown sugar. Both of these ingredients will add a complexity of seasoning, reducing the impact of the salt.
Similarly, a salty sauce can often be softened with the addition some cream or vinegar.
Since the opposite of salt is sugar, brown or white sugar (brown sugar adds more flavor), honey or agave nectar can help to diminish the saltiness in certain dishes.
If the dish is only moderately oversalted, toss in a peeled raw potato or two, quartered or in thick slices. Potato can help to absorb the extra salt. In the case of soup or stew, the potato can enhance the recipe. In a recipe like chili, you can remove the potato at the end of cooking, or present a new take on the dish.
Whichever technique you try (except for adding potatoes), use a bit at a time, tasting along the way.
And remember next time: the longer food cooks and reduces, the more the salt intensifies. Consider adding half the amount of salt and adjusting it at the end of cooking.
Do you have a favorite salt-minimizing technique? Share it here!
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