How Do I Get Rid of Excess Salt From a Dish?

Removing excess salt from a dish requires removing as much of the over-salted substances as possible. This includes pouring off extra broth and rinsing fresh or partially cooked ingredients. Masking the salt with more hydration or stronger flavors to balance out the saltiness is another method.

Too much salt in a dish is remedied by adding more water or stronger flavors. This is easiest with stocks, stews and soups. Cooks can simply pour off as much of the liquid as possible and pour in fresh unsalted broth or water to make up the difference. The residual salt on the meat and vegetables in the pot adds the necessary amount to the dish and resolves the issue of too much salt.

Dishes that do not include a large volume of water need a stronger approach like adding intense spices or other types of acids. Tomatoes add liquid and acid at the same time, as do lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits. Adding spices like cayenne, mustard and celery add depth to a dish that detracts from the total impression of salt on the palate. Mixing in rice and pasta helps absorb some of the salt, while adding a salt-free sauce helps soak up the additional seasoning and provides a side dish to the meal.