It’s happened to all of us. You go to take a final taste before serving something you are so proud of…only to be faced with the shocking realization that your food has too much salt in it.
Luckily this can be salvaged. Or even prevented.
You can prevent this by keeping a tasting spoon by your side as you cook. In professional kitchens, chefs and cooks will be tasting away the whole time (using a new spoon each time- don’t worry). But since we are at home and no one wants to use up all their cutlery in preparation of a meal, I’d say use one spoon but use your serving spoon to place a little bit of your creation into the smaller spoon and taste that way. If it’s just your family and no body cares, then just go all in and use your spoon as much as you want.
Anyway whichever way you taste it, tasting is the best preventative measure against this problem. Also, add less salt and then add more. It’s always easier to fix the “less salt” problem then the “too much salt” problem.
That being said, if you do end up with too much salt in your food, here’s some ways to fix or counter it.
If you are making a soup, stew, or curry, add potatoes. Potatoes love salt and will soak it right up, saving your dish. Alternatively, you could also add more of whatever the main ingredient was (broth, chicken, tomatoes etc.)
If it’s meat that you accidentally added too much to you can serve it with some plain bread, or unsalted starch like potatoes, plain rice or quinoa. When plating, put the meat right over the starch so the person eating it will be mixing both items in each bite.
You can fix overly salted chilli by adding refried or mashed beans (kidney beans work well). This will also thicken it up.
You can also fold in pureed white beans or chickpeas into a saucy dish without messing too much with the flavour, according to chef Ken Oringer of Clio Restaurant in Boston.
If you are noticing that your food is too salty while you are eating at the table, the fastest way to correct the problem is to serve champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine. No, I’m not suggesting you get your dinner guests drunk so they won’t notice the salty food (although that may work too). But rather, the bubbles will help to cleanse the palate and freshen your taste buds, so sparkling water will work just as well.
If any of these tips help you save your dish in the near future, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you J