Pretty much every recipe requires at least a pinch of salt. Being instructed to add the ingredient “to taste” can sometimes end up with dishes that taste way, way too salty. Whether you forgot you had already salted the recipe or just went a touch too far with your eyeballed measurements, don’t worry — there’s no need to throw it all out and order take-out instead.
You may have tried popular methods like adding cream or acidic lemon, but those only work for certain recipes. Another simple option that can help suck out extra salt: add potatoes. Whether it’s a soup or something you’re sautéing, you can use a raw potato to try and soak up the excess flavor. In a soup, you can just plop an unpeeled potato right in and let it simmer for about half an hour. For other dishes, chop or slice the potato so that it fits into your cooking method and give it plenty of time to work its magic (without burning the rest of your food). It will also add some of the starchy flavor to your meal, and might only make a subtle difference in the saltiness, but that can be exactly what you need to revive recipes from yuck to yum.
There are a few other techniques you might like to try if the idea of a starchy potato doesn’t feel right. If what you’re cooking happens to be a soup, stir-fry, or other recipe with several ingredients, the answer is as easy as diluting it. In soups, that can mean adding more of your stock or water to the pot. If you’re sautéing vegetables, try adding more of the unseasoned veggies to balance things out again. When it comes to meat, a writer for the Takeout shared how she rinsed off an accidentally over-salted piece of beef to save it from salty sadness — and it worked!
Preventing the issue from happening in the first place is obviously the best way to avoid ruining your meals, but we’re all human. Mistakes happen. Just take a deep breath and try your best to fix the problem with one of these methods.
And hey, if all else fails, we wouldn’t blame you for enjoying an impromptu pizza night.