How To Fix an Overseasoned Dish

Even the best laid plans sometimes end in badly. Take cooking for example. Sometimes, a little too much of a certain seasoning can turn a delicious dish into something even the dog won’t eat.

When it comes to cooking, there are times when a dish becomes over seasoned leading to a culinary disaster. Before you throw out the entire pot and start over from scratch, consider these techniques to fix an overseasoned dish.

  • Add seasonings sparingly. When cooking, it’s always easier to add than to subtract something. Also, keep in mind that the fresher the ingredients, the stronger the flavor. For example, dried seasonings and spices won’t have the same kick in flavor as freshly cut herbs and spices. Whole corm pepper ground from a pepper mill will have more punch than store bought ground pepper in a bottle. Taste the dish as you go along so you can adjust the flavors accordingly.
  • Dilute it. If the flavor of the dish is too strong, add a few tablespoons of water to dilute the flavor. Avoid cooking down the sauce as this will further bring out the flavors of the dish.
  • Just add sugar. To counter balance too much salt in a dish, try putting a dash of sugar. This may work in a sauce or stew. If a dish has a bit too much lemon, adding a little sugar to it will neutralize the acidity of the lemon.
  • Add salt. If a dish is too sweet, the way to balance the flavor is to add a pinch of salt to it.
  • Add a whole potato. If you’re making a stew and find that you used too much salt, you can counter this by throwing in a potato in the pot. The potato will absorb some of the excess saltiness. You can also try this technique for gravy that is too salty. A whole potato in the mix can also help cut down on the spiciness of a dish. Potato seems to absorb the flavor of most spices, acting like a sponge in your overseasoned dish.
  • Throw in a sprig of parsley. When you cook something and find that you have used too much garlic, mix in a sprig of parsley in the sauce. The fresh flavor of the parsley will neutralize the tanginess of the garlic flavor. Leave the parsley in for about ten minutes before removing it.
  • Try a squeeze of lemon. Depending on the dish, you can try to neutralize something that’s too salty or too spicy by giving it a squeeze of lemon juice. Add it sparingly and taste right away. You don’t want to overwhelm a dish with too much lemon if it’s a flavor that isn’t naturally found in the dish.
  • Keep the other dishes bland. If you’ve put too much salt and pepper in your steak and grilled dishes, keep the gravy and mashed potato bland. When eaten together, you’ll have just the right balance of flavor.

An overseasoned dish doesn’t mean that you have to throw it out. You just have to keep your head on straight, try any of these techniques and be careful the next time around.


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