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How to Fix Oversalted Food

If a heavy hand of salt marred your meal, try these easy fixes to make the food edible again.

By Andra Chantim
Oversalted fishPeter Oumanski

“How can I save an oversalted dish?”

Bethany Parker, via Facebook

The fix: For soups and stews, add more of the main ingredients, says Ken Oringer, the chef at Clio, a restaurant in Boston. You can also fold in pureed white beans or chickpeas to counter the saltiness without altering the flavor. Stuck with an oversalted slab of meat? Serve it over an unsalted starch or grain, such as rice, potato puree, polenta, or quinoa, says Alicia Walter, the chef at La Scuola di Eataly, an Italian cooking school in New York City. Together the meat and the starch will blend into a properly seasoned bite. As for oversalted vegetables, pair them with a mild cheese, like ricotta or mozzarella. “The cream coats your mouth and neutralizes the salt,” says Walter. No time for these antidotes? Accompany the food with a sweet, fizzy wine, like Prosecco or Champagne, or even sparkling water. Bubbles cleanse the palate of salt, which means every sip refreshes your taste buds.

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Aluminum foil and plastic wrap in a drawer

The flan can be baked up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Unmold just before serving.