An over-salted dish (in this case rice) not only taste awful but can also be quite unhealthy and risky, especially for people who take care of their health, let alone it can ruin their mood.
If you over-salted your dish, but hesitate to get rid of it and start over, cooking another batch of rice, the good news is it does not necessarily mean that you need to do it.
There are proven and effective ways how to fix salty rice; you can add, dilute it with something or supplement your dish.
If you have ever wondered how to fix salty rice, you can read my article where you will find out some simple tips on how to improve salty flavor and what to do if your rice is ruined.
The reasons for overly salted rice
Every mistake results in consequences; the dish becomes less tasty or sometimes even inedible. Besides inexperience, there are many other reasons, less obvious, but, usually, much more common, for a salty dish or in this case for salty rice.
Cooks recommend seasoning the dishes with a spoon or your fingers.
If you add salt from the salt shaker, there is a high chance to oversalt your rice as it is hard to calculate the exact amount of salt this way.
In this case, the reasons for your mistake can be a sudden phone call or doorbell, a crying baby, interesting news on TV, and plenty of other reasons that can make you forget the dish is already salted and add it again.
A mistake in the recipe
Not to oversalt your rice, it is better to follow cookbook recipes, not the ones you found online.
However, do not be surprised if your dish is over-salted even though you make it according to the recipe.
The thing is everyone makes mistakes, and the authors of the dishes are no exception as well.
Before filling your dish with salt, check what kind of salt you have as, for instance, fine salt is saltier than rock salt or sea salt.
Seasoning mixes (saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, curry, thyme) already have salt.
If you do not take the time to study the ingredients of mixes before cooking rice, you might get a salty and ruined dish.
Dulling of receptors
If you have just had food with a bright taste (sweet, sour, salty, pungent), you might have dulling of receptors, making it harder for you to figure out by taste if you added salt or not.
Therefore, drink water or milk and wait a bit while your tongue can perceive flavor again.
Now let’s look at the ways for fixing salty rice.
How to fix salty rice
As you already grasped, excess salt not just spoils the taste of the whole dish but is also harmful to health, causing high blood pressure, edema, and kidney problems.
Therefore, I will tell you different ways that can help you fix salty rice.
If you do not mind more cooked rice, then you can fix the salty flavor by adding more rice.
However, keep in mind that you should add unsalted rice. It also should be cooked or almost cooked.
Mix both batches of rice (salty and unsalted batches) thoroughly. Combining two batches of rice, you’ll decrease the amount of salt, hence improving the taste of your rice.
Another sure way to get rid of too much salt in your cooked rice is vegetables. Adding vegetables to salty rice dilutes some of the saltiness.
But what vegetables should you add?
Vegetables such as tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and peas absorb salt quite well. Another plus when adding vegetables, you get a healthy dish.
In some cases, milk can help you fix the situation with salty rice.
This natural ingredient can hide excess salt and dilute its salty taste, maintaining the rice’s creaminess.
However, bear in mind that milk should work with your dish, otherwise it will spoil it.
To fix salty rice with milk, you need to add a tablespoon or two (perhaps, a bit more, depending on the amount of rice) of milk to your rice.
Among milk, it is recommended to choose full-fat milk.
Rice is not cooked
If you notice over-salted rice while it is cooking, you still have enough time to fix salty rice.
The easiest way is to change the water. Boil new water, put the salty rice in a strainer, and rinse it with hot water.
When it is done, remove the excess hot water from the strainer and cook rice in another hot water without salt.
However, this method helps you if you have not cooked your rice yet.
If your rice is already cooked, you should put it in clean warm water (not hot water) without salt and drain it until you get rid of the salty taste.
Perhaps, you have to repeat the process a few times.
You can remove excess salt from rice with products that have useful absorbent properties, i.e. they can absorb excess salt. And one of these products is starch.
Starchy foods (for instance, potato starch, instant potato flakes, etc.) are really good at fixing salty rice.
You can add potatoes (diced, cooked potato or, if you do not want to spoil the dish with excess products, you can put whole potatoes to easily get them later) at the beginning of cooking that will absorb some of the excess salt taste. Just do not forget to take it out once it is cooked.
Even though it might not remove all the salt, it can dilute some of the saltiness, making your rice edible.
Needless to say that you can’t add potato whenever you want.
It will only help you if you add it while your rice is still cooking.
It is useless to add potatoes when your rice has already been cooked. You just spoil the taste (rice will be overcooked, for instance), adding it at this time.
If you want to fix salty rice, you can try to use acidic ingredients such as lemon or lime juice, or the juice of sour berries (cranberries, cherries, lingonberries).
The acid from these fruits helps you get rid of salty flavor. Although, instead of salty rice you might get a funny taste coming from the lemon.
Besides, it is not always possible to add lemon, as it may not be suitable for the dish, so in this regard, you need to pay attention to whether the ingredients will be combined well.
How to use lemon to fix salty rice?
You can squeeze it a bit into your salty rice and then stir to mix it. If the rice was too salty, you might want to add a bit more lemon juice, but do not overdo it.
Perhaps, you do not want to add lemon juice directly to the cooked rice. Then there is another option — you can add it to a salad you have your rice with, neutralizing the saltiness this way.
Apple cider vinegar
Apart from the acidic ingredients described above, there is another acid called apple cider vinegar that works well to improve the salty flavor.
How to fix salty rice with apple cider vinegar?
You should add a few drops of it after cooking it. Just stir both ingredients to mix them thoroughly.
It is better to taste your rice before serving it, as saltiness might still be there, and you might want to add a few drops more.
However, the main point is not to add too much vinegar or you will ruin the taste of your dish.
One kind of interesting way to fix salty rice is to add raw egg whites. They not just neutralize salty food but also add more protein to your dish.
Just add egg whites to your salty rice and mix it thoroughly until the egg whites are cooked.
Egg whites aren’t the only thing you can add to your salty rice.
Tofu can fix salty rice as well. It works well with a salty dish (here it is salty rice), balances it out, goes well with any product, and keeps your dish healthy, as it is rich in protein content.
Just cut tofu and add it to the cooked salty rice batch, stirring it continually until it is cooked.
Extra tips on how to fix salty rice
Make another dish
If it is not possible to fix salted rice, do not rush to throw it away. Salty rice can be used to cook many other dishes, such as puddings, raisin casseroles, pies, meatballs, and much more.
The only thing you need to do is to find the recipe you will enjoy.
Add a bland side dish
If you have oversalted the main course (rice), serve this dish with a simple side dish — stewed vegetables or meat without putting salt (for instance, onions, tomato, basil, chicken).
Everything together will turn out to be more balanced in terms of taste.
How to avoid excess salt in your dishes?
It is always easier to prevent too salty food than to fix it. Avoid adding too much salt; it is better to add a little salt while cooking and add more when it is cooked, making your dish taste the way you want.
Try not to add salt and seasonings above the dishes you are cooking in. It will save you from adding an excessive amount of salt to the food.
I recommend you mix all the necessary ingredients in another container and only then add it.
Always salt the food at the end of cooking and let the ingredients absorb salt properly while steaming, leaving the dish with the fire off for 20-25 minutes.
Check the salt shaker lid before each cooking process.
When to add salt to the water when cooking rice?
Let’s figure out exactly when you need to add salt to the water. During cooking or after it?
If you add salt at the end of cooking, grains won’t be able to absorb it properly. Therefore, when cooking friable porridge, you need to add salt to boiled water before adding croup.
How much salt to add?
It is a well-known fact that putting salt on while cooking is a special moment which, depending on the desired result, can change its priority.
In recipes, they tend to recommend adding salt to dishes to taste. And this piece of “advice” can make things worse for those who do not have much experience in cooking.
People have different tastes, therefore the right amount of salt differs from person to person.
You also should not forget several factors that determine how much salt you need to add to your rice like seasonings that enhance the taste, the kind of rice, and the consistency of porridge.
If you observe all proportions, you will get the rice that tastes good, and not the salty rice.
Some basics to follow
But there are basic principles that I want to tell you about. As a basis, I will take the most common fine salt.
According to the classic recipe, 1 teaspoon of table salt per cup, and 2 tablespoons (or 50 g) per 1 kg of rice.
Also, the amount of salt added will vary depending on the brand and kind of rice being used. For instance, cooking brown basmati rice, you need to add 2/3 teaspoon salt per cup.
Classic white rice recipe
And finally, I will share a recipe for cooking classic white rice.
So, to cook rice, we will need:
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of long-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- seasonings (if you want)
The first thing you should do before cooking itself is to rinse the rice under cold water properly to get rid of starch (the main cause of stickiness).
Rinse it about five times or more until the water becomes clear.
In a saucepan, fill the rice with water, close the lid tightly, put it on fire, and wait until it boils. In boiling water, combine rice and salt and stir to mix.
Close the lid properly and turn the heat down to low. Try not to lift the lid, releasing the steam. Then let your rice sit covered for 20 minutes.
Aromatic herbs such as oregano and thyme will make your rice taste more unusual and appealing. To get a rich flavor, add them to hot water for 5 minutes before cooking.
It’s not a secret to anyone that the human body needs salt, however, like everything else, in moderation, as its excess or lack can lead to bad consequences (kidney and liver diseases, digestive disorders, heart diseases, etc.).
That’s why you always need to monitor the amount of salt eaten.
Faced with overly salted rice, you do not need to get upset and throw it in the trash.
As you have already understood from the article, you can find many different ways that will solve your problem of how to fix salty rice, and if one tip does not work, another will.
The most important thing is to try.