Here’s How To Fix Overseasoned Food Like A Pro
Overseasoning is one of the main reasons people rely on recipes so heavily. There’s that deeply rooted fear that you’ll screw it all up. And while it’s hard to come back from burning your food, you don’t have to throw out an entire meal just because you overseasoned it. So you added a little too much cayenne pepper or enough salt to make your taste buds wince. Don’t worry — you haven’t ruined everything. Here’s how to save the day and fix overseasoned food.
Add contrasting flavors.
Of all the seasoning dilemmas, oversalting tends to be the most stress-inducing. If your hand slipped or the salt container had a mind of its own, try adding contrasting flavor elements like acidic or sweet ingredients. Cut the saltiness with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or go in the sweet direction with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
Pour in something creamy.
Diluting your overseasoned food is always a good idea. (Just don’t dilute too much or you’ll end up muting all of the other flavors.) If it makes sense to add extra liquid to your dish, drop in something creamy to compensate. Whether it’s coconut milk, heavy cream, Greek yogurt or oat milk, creaminess will help you offset excessive seasoning.
A creamy component is especially helpful when you know you’ve added too much heat to a dish. For all of those curries and sauces where you got a little too happy with the cayenne pepper, coconut milk or heavy cream will save your ass.
Add more starch.
When you know you’ve added a little too much of a particular spice, add in some cooked starch like rice, couscous, quinoa or pasta. Starch will absorb extra saltiness from the sauce. You could also add slices of raw potato to the bottom of your pot and let it cook until the potatoes are tender. If you’re into salty potatoes, go to town. If not, remove them from the pot and notice how your dish returns to its pre-salty state.
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