Few minutes until the guests arrive. Everything went as planned, but then you thought your dish required a bit more seasoning. And alas! The unimaginable happened. You got a little too liberal with that salt shaker, and are now left with an inedible dish. You panic, and just then the doorbell rings!! Disaster? Calm down, friend. We’ve got your back. Here’s how you can bring back your salty dish from the bin and still wow your guests. We present to you, the art of saving your salty soups, veggies and meats.
If you have time on hand
If you happened to over-season your dish, the best (and foolproof) way to save it would be by doubling the recipe or making more of it, obviously with no salt. Mix it with the salty batch to get the desired flavour. If not, simply tweak your dish by adding in any quick-cooking main ingredients, such as vegetables.
Starch to the rescue
Save your overly salty soup or stew, by throwing in some starchy foods at hand, such as potatoes, pureed cooked rice (unsalted), barley, quinoa or pasta. Next, depending on what’s in the making, simmer, bake or simply boil the salty mess for the next 15 minutes, allowing these salt-thirsty ingredients to absorb some of the excess salt. Strain out the salt savers if you want a clear broth and you’re good to go.
Turn to dairy
If your recipe already happens to have a dash of yoghurt or coconut milk, you could simply slip in some more to the dish to help balance out the saltiness. Depending on the desired consistency, you can add a few tablespoons of yoghurt, coconut milk, sour or heavy cream, and cook your dish over low heat, allowing all the flavours to blend in.
If you happened to spill in some extra salt into vegetables or meats, simply give them a quick rinse under cold water, and that’s half the battle won. Next, pat dry with a paper towel and voila! In case of pork or bacon, you might want to leave it soaking in some water for a few hours before cooking/serving it.
Sometimes all a salty dish needs is some sugar, honey or jaggery to be saved! So go ahead and add a touch of sweetness to your dish. Make sure to not go a bit too heavy on those sweeteners though!
Dilution is key
There’s almost nothing that water can’t help save. From your salty soups, stews, sauces, everything that can be diluted, simply add some water to counteract the saltiness. You can instead enhance your dish by opting for some vegetable/chicken stock, cornstarch or raw banana flour. Make sure that you let your stew cook and thicken for a while before serving it.
Let acids take over
The acidity in lemon juice or vinegar may just be what your salty dish has been crying out for. These acids not only lend a bit of flavour to your dish but can also help mask the saltiness, acting like your saving grace.
Make way for saucy
You can try to mask your salty dish with a sauce. Briny meats or sautéed vegetables, for example, can be saved in part by a sauce of your choice – sweet, tangy, spicy. If your desserts turned out to be salty, simply serve with a dollop of sweet sauce (caramel and salt make a great combo) or add some whipped cream, and do the happy dance!
Images courtesy: Shutterstock
Illustrations by: Vartika Pahuja
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