Over-salting rice does not always mean that you need to start over. You can take steps to fix it and still create an enjoyable meal.
Here are a few easy solutions:
1. Rinse the Rice with Hot Water
This is the easiest and most effective method; though rinsing rice runs the risk of the rice becoming soggy, hot water can be a lifesaver. A gentle rinse should remove some of the sodium from the outside of the grains. You must put the rice in a small-holed strainer to use this method.
When rinsing the rice, you should:
- Transfer the over-salted rice to a strainer or strainable cloth
- Shift the rice in the water quickly until it is all thoroughly washed
- Put the rice in a skillet to get rid of some excess liquid
After this, your rice should be a little less salty, and you should be able to ingest it with your meal.
If you complete these steps efficiently, your rice will not be soggy when you are done. If it is, you might need to start over. Rinsing rice is tricky to do. It might take a few tries to get the hang of it.
Once you master this technique, you will be able to use this as a quick solution for over-salted rice. Rinsing is the most efficient way to get rid of extra sodium.
2. Add More Rice
The second easiest solution to over-salting rice is to cook more rice. You should aim to double the recipe so that you have an even mix of salted and unsalted rice. This amount will leave you with leftovers, but you will have an abundance of good rather than bad. You can store the leftovers in your fridge for later use.
By adding more rice, you will:
- Cut the amount of salt in half as it combines with the second batch
- Distribute the salt to other grains of rice in the added food
The extra rice will take away some of the saltiness from the original batch and make it more palatable.
When you cook your second batch, ensure that it is as close to the same texture as possible. Do not salt or add any seasoning to this batch. Once you have this done, you can mix the two amounts thoroughly. Ensure that they are fully combined before tasting.
3. Put Some Veggies in the Meal
Vegetables are excellent multitaskers. Besides adding flavor, they can also counterbalance the salt inside the rice by absorbing some of the sodium.
Cauliflower, peas, carrots, and avocados are all veggies that work well for this task in soaking up excess salt. And as a bonus, you will get a healthy addition to your carbohydrate.
Here are some other vegetables that can work well for soaking up rice:
Pro Tip: If you do not like vegetables, but want to still use this method, select a vegetable that is easy to pick out such as broccoli or cauliflower. Bigger veggies will be simple to remove and soak up the rice efficiently.
The more veggies you add, the better the rice will taste. You can even add a medley to make one that is delicious and healthy all at the same time.
4. Utilize Tofu
Tofu is a fantastic ingredient because it is a blank slate. In the food world, it absorbs whatever flavor profile it is put up against. This works with salt as well. Tofu has a lot of protein, so you can gain a critical food group while removing saltiness from your rice. As with the veggies, the more tofu you add, the better.
When adding tofu, you should:
- Select a firmer variety, as it will not fall apart in the dish
- Cut it up into a size of cubes that fits your preference
- Mix into the rice until it is cooked to your liking
The salt should transfer to the tofu, and the protein will cut the sharp taste.
Tofu is an affordable and healthy ingredient to have on hand. Since it does not need to be thawed, you can chop it up and fix the dish in an instant rather than waiting.
If you or someone you are feeding dislikes tofu, you can always crumble it over the top rather than adding giant pieces. You do not want to make your rice unpalatable.
5. Add Cream or Milk
Another simple solution is to cut the saltiness of the rice with fat, found inside cream or milk.
You can utilize cream or milk to fix your over-salted rice by:
- Placing the rice in a skillet that can fit both the rice and cream
- Adding a few hefty tablespoons of cream or milk
- Stirring until well combined
After this, your rice should be less salty than it was before. It might even taste better with the extra fat content.
Milk is an easy way to bring down the salt levels of your rice. Almost everybody has this ingredient in their kitchen, so it is not hard to find the tools that you need right when a mistake occurs. If you have a dairy product, it will work. Even unsweetened yogurt can help if you do not have anything else.
It is vital to note that non-dairy milk is not the same. Almond, oat, and soy milk will not help to decrease the saltiness of your rice as they do not have fat content. If you cannot have dairy or do not have dairy products in your home, you should try a different solution.
Do not use a low-fat variety of cream or milk for this step. You want as high of a fat content as you can, which means that cream will work best for this trick.
6. Put in Lemon if It Works
Acid can help to cut the salt in your dish. If you are using your rice in a plate that will go well with lemon, this is a great way to fix your mistake. All you need is a good squeeze to cut the poor flavor. You can add more as it is needed, but do not use too much right off the start. Too much acid could render the rice inedible.
The best way to use the lemon to fix your food is to:
- Cut a lemon in half, putting one half away for another use
- Remove the seeds as best as you can
- Put a tiny squeeze of juice in the rice, adding more as needed
- Mix and taste with a clean fork or spoon
- Serve the rice in the dish
Lemons are an easy fix to a ton of problems, but they work especially well here.
Pro Tip: A little goes a long way with citrus. This acidity works best if you are serving the rice with meat, such as fish or chicken. It will not work if you are doing something sweet. Analyze your dish to see if this trick will work for what you are cooking.
7. Put Potatoes in the Rice
Potatoes absorb whatever they come into contact with. Like tofu, they are relatively flavorless on their own. By cooking them and adding them to the rice, you might be able to save your dish. Any potato will work except for the sweet variety. White potatoes are the best, as they possess the least flavor of all.
When using potatoes, you need to:
- Peel as many potatoes as you need
- Boil the potatoes
- Chop up the cooked potatoes into careful cubes
- Add them to the rice carefully
- Mix them around until they are evenly combined
The potatoes and rice together should counteract the addition of salt in the dish. The flavorless potato should absorb the salt and take it on as a flavor profile, saving your dish.
Another kind of starch will work just as well, but potatoes are easy to access and work well in many types of dishes. You should feel free to utilize a starch, that you have access to in your home if you do not happen to have potatoes on hand.
8. Add a Small Amount of Vinegar
Like lemon, vinegar is an acid that can work well to cut the saltiness inside of food with too much sodium.
Again, you will need to ensure that your dish will work well with vinegar flavor added to it. As with the citrus, you do not need to add a ton to the rice for this to work. Try a few drops and work your way up from there by tasting as you go.
The best way to use vinegar for this problem is to:
- Add a few drops of virtually any type of vinegar to your rice once it has been removed from heat
- Mix thoroughly until the vinegar is combined with the rice
- Taste the mixture with a clean fork or spoon
- Add more if necessary, or serve in your dish
Eventually, you should hit a perfect balance that fixes the saltiness in your rice. It might happen right away, or it might take a little bit of time to perfect. Patience is key so that you avoid adding too much. Too little vinegar can be fixed, but too much will ruin your rice.
Remember, only use a few drops at a time. You will know if you have added too much vinegar to the food if it is too bitter. You do not want to have to start over again because you have added too much of yet another ingredient. Avoid this by taking your time and working your way forward, a few drops at a time.
9. Underseason the Other Food Items
This solution is less of a fix and more of a trick that works if you are putting other things, such as meat, in your rice.
The way it works is to under season the rest of your food. If you have enough sodium, the saltiness of the rice will be enough to work for everything. You might need to eat the rice with every single bite, but it is a form of a solution that could work if you are desperate
Under seasoning means:
- Adding nothing extra to the meat, including any special seasoning for the grill
- Ignoring the salted kinds of butter or sauces that might go on top of the dish
- Removing salt and pepper from everything else
By making the rice the seasoning of the dish, you might be saved without doing anything else. How much you do not season the other items depends on how salty your rice is. By tasting, you will quickly figure this out.
The best way to do this is to make your meal into a bowl. That way, everything is already mixed. Adding salt to every bite of the meal will ensure that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meal.
This solution should only be used if everything else has been exhausted. Try to remove the salt before you give in and decide to eat it, as this could be detrimental to your body. Sodium is not healthy for you, so you should avoid ingesting excess amounts of it at all costs. These tricks will help you to refrain from doing so with your rice.
Nobody enjoys salty rice. It can ruin a good dish and induce violent reactions from your body as it rejects the sodium. Salty rice can seem impossible to fix but I hope these solutions turn everything around for you so you can make a delicious meal.
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For more, don’t miss How to Fix Salty Ground Beef | Recipe Rescue.
Hi, I’m Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page.
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