What to do to immediately fix extra salty food ?: Part-2

This article explains various foods which can be added to the prepared meals to immediately reduce extra salt. Foods like sauces, potatoes, onions, flour dough, starch etc can instantly bring down salt concentration thereby fixing extra salty food instantly.


Addition of even small amount of salt to a dish prepared can ruin the whole taste. Dish becomes unappealing to the taste buds and palate. This is the reason we often discard it and throw it in garbage. Salt is a very dominating ingredient. If we accidentally add more amount of salt to any dish and accidentally ruin it then we usually start feeling that something that is done is done and there is no way that we can correct it. Adding more amount of salt to any recipe is a very commonly occurring kitchen mishap and every one does it. Irrespective of some one introduced very newly to cooking or someone who has been cooking since ages, sprinkling a little extra sodium is not a rare thing to do. One can instantly reduce its amount from the prepared recipe by following certain tips and tricks and thereby completely save it. This will save the time and efforts we have put in for making of the recipe. We will also escape the trouble that we will go through by repeating the whole procedure in making of a new one.

What to do to fix extra salty dishes ?

One need not get disheartened if amount of sodium increases in the preparation of any of the dishes. Since it is a commonly occurring kitchen phenomena or mishap, it can occur anywhere and any time. All one needs to do is just stay calm and use these tricks patiently which will immediately reduce that extra saltiness from the dishes and balance out the taste in correct proportion.

Following tips help to get rid of extra salt from the food-

  • Add potatoes-: This trick has been used since ages to remove excess amount of salt from the recipes. Place a whole potato with skin in the dish and let the dish cook or simmer on heat. Before serving it, remove potato. It is known to absorb sodium and thereby is used to bring sodium concentration down. If potato in one of the ingredients of the dish which is prepared then take one or more amount of raw potatoes. Wash them thoroughly and peel their skin. Slice them in chunks and add them to the dish. Let the dish get cooked along with potatoes. This will effectively bring down salt amount. Even boiled potatoes can be added in the form of small pieces or in paste form. This will add additional taste to the dish and make gravy a little thick. This trick is particularly useful to reduce excess salt from curry dishes. Results are however mild. It is not some magic that as soon as potato is added, salt concentration decreases. Potatoes themselves do not absorb salt. They absorb the liquid or broth which contain salt and in this way, indirectly salt content in the recipe decreases.

  • Try adding onion-: Onions are one of the easily available vegetables in kitchen of each and every household. Onion can be added in many forms. It can be added in raw as well as fried form. To absorb excess amount of salt, slice raw onion in halves, add them to the food that is getting cooked and let them absorb the excess amount of salt. Remove the pieces just before serving. If used in fried form, they need not be removed. Not only the fried onions will bring down sodium concentration but will also enhance the taste of the dish. Apart from the taste, they also provide some crunchiness to the whole dish which will definitely take it to the next level. Smoky taste which they give it to dish will be liked by everyone.

  • Make use of flour dough-: Another very simple yet effective tip to quickly fix overly salted curry dishes is to prepare a dough out of flour. Make small balls out of the dough kneaded. Balls should not be so small that they later pose difficulty in removal. Depending on the quantity of dish prepared, make dough balls. Usually 2-3 balls are enough for a dish made for 3 people. Dip these balls in curry or any liquid dish and let them cook on low heat. Just before serving, remove these balls. This simple trick will drain out the excess sodium from the dish. Also, balls made out of flour dough get cooked and they need not be wasted. They become equally tasty as they are cooked in same spices as that of curry. One can eat them as a side dish along with the curry that is prepared.

  • Add starch-: If liquid recipes like curry, soups, stews etc have become overly salty then try adding starch to them. Raw potato contains enough starch in it. Add a raw potato to the dish. It will keep absorbing the excess salt present and as it gets cooked, it will keep adding starch which will further dilute the extra salt. Results are mild and thus one can use this tip in case dish has become mildly salty. Even rice contains enough starch and thus can be very well used in recipes where it is one of the main ingredient. This will balance the whole taste.

  • Make use of sauces-: Sauce served as a dip or sprinkled above prepared dish will act like a miraculous agent when dish becomes too salty. Sauce is a combination of many tastes. It is a little sweet, a little tangy, spicy, sour etc. Serve the dish with sauce over it or serve sauce as a dip with overly salted dish. This trick can do magic. All palate does experience is the magical taste of sauce and excess of salt present in the dish prepared can never be detected. Sauce just does the magic by masking off the taste of other dishes. Salt itself is a strong ingredient but sauce since is a combination of many tastes, overpowers salt. A chicken dish with too much salt in it can be served with sweet and tangy sauce.

What to do to prevent food from becoming extra salty?

Prevention is always better than cure. If one can prevent addition of an excess amount of salt during preparation of food itself then one can save lots of time and effort of trying to find remedial measure for the same.

Following are the tips which prevent addition of excess of salt in dishes-

  • Accidental spill from salt boxes to cooking vessel is the main cause for overly salty dishes. Measure right amount of salt before adding it to the dish, but never measure it over the cooking vessel. Accidentally if it gets spilled then dish becomes excess in sodium.
  • Lid of salt shaker should be tight enough before it is used to sprinkle. Loosened lid can really cause lots of salt to get spilled in the dish.
  • Know the exact measure. Right clue of measurement of salt comes with experience. Newbies can however refer the recipes for a rough idea. One should know exact measurement and clues of what a little sprinkling means and what a teaspoonful or tablespoonful of salt means.
  • Best method to avoid addition of excess salt is to never rush. Add it in increments as the cooking progresses. Frequently taste the dish and add just a little amount every time instead of adding the whole amount at once.
  • One best thing one can do to prevent adding excess salt to the dishes is to simply stop adding it. Doctors recommend us to consume as little salt as possible. We can fulfill our daily sodium requirements from consuming many vegetables and thus we do not need salt for the same. It is just a matter of few days and our tongue too will acquire the new taste which is free of salt.
  • Canned and prepackaged foods like sauces, soups etc all carry large amount of salt in them and thus do not make a hurry in adding extra salt while preparing the recipe. Soy sauce or fish sauce not only provides flavor but enough amount of salt too and thus one should be careful in using them. Same can be said in case of olives and pickles. Salt can be added anytime and even after the food is cooked. If one feels that still the recipe needs some salt then one can slightly sprinkle it to enrich the taste. Otherwise these prepackaged foods carry enough amount of sodium in them.
  • Salt shows its intensity later when it gets cooked up. If in the beginning itself, it is added in large amount then it can become excess. Wait till the end to know whether dish requires any finishing touches and magic of salt.


Adding more amount of salt to the dish than required is a very commonly seen mistake which occurs either due to lack of experience in cooking or else due to lack of attention or just because of carelessness. Just a small amount can ruin the whole taste. Since it becomes unappealing to taste buds and no body really seem interested in tasting it, we start feeling that all our efforts have gone in vain. There is no need to panic and lose heart because above mentioned tips really help to instantly reduce excess amount of salt from the dish. Best method to prevent excess amount of salt in dishes is to add a little then taste and then add some more. This kind of practice can prevent a dish from becoming overly salty. To know more about such wonderful tips go through What to do to immediately fix extra salty food: Part-1.

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Author: Poulami06 Jul 2019 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Making use of sauces is probably the best option as all other methods that you have listed like adding potatoes or starch or flour dough will greatly increase the total calories in the food. Just my two cents, though.

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