Cooked white rice garnished with parsley in a rustic bowl (Selective Focus, Focus on the parsley and the rice around).

How To Fix Salty Rice

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We have all been guilty of over-salting food (sometimes more than once) and while it can definitely ruin a meal, sometimes the over-salted food can be saved!

One of the most commonly oversalted foods is rice, and who wants to have to redo a whole pot of rice when there is a chance that you can reduce the saltiness?

So, how do you fix salty rice? Luckily, there are a few good ways that you can fix salty rice, and having enough methods to reduce the saltiness means you can easily find one that would suit your meal best. Some options include rinsing rice, adding in more rice, or adding vegetables to the rice.

So, if you just over-salted your rice for the first time or if it’s something that keeps happening to you, read on for the best ways to fix salty rice — you’ll never have to waste a whole pot and start over again!

Methods To Fix Salty Rice

Grilled chicken breast with rice and vegetables on slate plate.

There are various ways that you can fix salty rice, so together we can find the solution that would suit the meal you are cooking best!

Over-salting rice can happen easily, so knowing all the different ways to fix salty rice really is a great skill to have in the kitchen. Many of the methods can be used for oversalting other types of food, too!

Keep reading for various ways to fix salty rice — hopefully, you’ll find a perfect method to balance out your over-seasoned rice and save your meal.

Rinse The Rice

The simplest way to fix salty rice is to rinse it under water. This is the preferred method for most as it does not add any other flavors to the rice, and you can still keep the same quantity of rice.

The one issue with this method is that the water could cause the rice to become slightly soggy, but it can be done in a way that ensures that the rice keeps its best quality and just loses some of its saltiness.

Once you have tasted the rice and know that it is too salty, place it into a strainer with small enough holes that it will not allow the rice to fall through, like this one.

Place the rice under running hot water, moving it around until it has been thoroughly rinsed. Once done, place the rice into a skillet on medium heat to try and remove some of the excess moisture.

By placing the rice in a skillet, you are reducing the chances that it becomes soggy. After this process, the rice should not be too salty and it should be fine to eat!

Increase The Quantity Of Rice

If you do not want to risk the rice becoming soggy by running it under hot water, then the next best option is to add more rice to the salty rice.

It is best to have just as much unsalted rice as salted rice, to properly balance it out.

When cooking the new batch of rice, do not add any salt. You will end up with double the quantity of rice, but this can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and be used for another meal.

Once the new batch of unsalted rice has been cooked, mix it in with the salted rice, and make sure that they are fully mixed together before tasting.

Add Dairy

Certain dairy products, such as cream and milk, can help to reduce the salty taste that the over-seasoned rice might have.

The fat found in cream or milk helps to neutralize the saltiness, and the creamy rice might even taste better than plain rice for certain meals.

Here is the best way to add cream or milk to rice for the best results:

  1. Place the salty rice in a skillet, then add a tablespoon of milk or cream for each serving of rice.
  2. Stir until the dairy and the rice have been combined properly, and allow to heat through and reduce slightly. 
  3. Have a taste and add in more milk or cream if needed. Avoid adding too much so that the rice becomes soggy.
  4. Remove the rice from the heat and serve.

Keep in mind that full-fat cream or full-fat milk is the best option — low-fat creams and milks do not have the same fat content, which is what is responsible for reducing the saltiness of the rice.

If you do not have milk, you could use plain full-fat yogurt instead, which could be a great option for certain curries!

Add Vegetables

Adding vegetables to your rice is a great way to reduce saltiness and add some healthy ingredients to your meal!

The vegetables will absorb some of the saltiness and even out the seasoning of the rice. There is a wide range of vegetables that you can add to rice to reduce saltiness, or you can use up what you have in your fridge or freezer.

Some of the best vegetables to add to rice to absorb salt include carrots, tomatoes, corn, cauliflower, and broccoli. We recommend adding a mix of vegetables to the rice as it will make the meal tastier and more filling.

Alternately, if you do not like vegetables (or you don’t want to add extra vegetables to your meal), you can add large pieces of broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower to the rice, allow them to absorb the salt, and then pick them out.

Add Potatoes

Potatoes are great at absorbing different flavors and different seasonings, and they do a great job at absorbing salt from rice. As they don’t hold much of their own flavor, they will soak up any seasoning and even out the rice well.

Here is how to add potatoes to rice to reduce saltiness:

  1. Peel a few potatoes and chop them into cubes.
  2. Boil the potatoes until cooked.
  3. Drain the potatoes and add them to the rice.
  4. Mix the rice and potatoes together carefully until combined.
  5. Leave the rice and potatoes to sit for a while before serving.

The potatoes might add more starch to your meal, but it will be worth it to be able to eat the rice without having it be too salty!

Add Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can help to neutralize saltiness in rice, but you need to add the right amount so that you do not make your rice taste too lemony!

In some cases, lemon rice might be ideal for the meal you are cooking, so this could be the best option for you.

To add some lemon to the rice, slice a lemon in half, remove the seeds, and squeeze a small amount into the rice. Stir the rice and then have a taste.

You might need to add more lemon in, but it is best to add it in small quantities and taste as you go!

Add Vinegar

Just like lemon, vinegar is acidic and can help to counteract the saltiness of the rice. A small amount of vinegar is all that is needed to balance the flavors.

Once you have removed your rice from the stove or cooking appliance, add in a few drops of vinegar, stir well and have a taste. Add in a few more drops if needed, until you find the right balance where the rice does not taste as salty.

Be Careful When Seasoning The Rest Of Your Meal

Shrimps in curry sauce and rice on a plate, horizontal view from above.

If the rice is only making up a part of the meal, and you are going to be serving other ingredients with it, then you could under season the other ingredients.

Whether it is meat or vegetables, avoid salting these ingredients and rely on the saltiness of the rice to add all the flavor.

This works best when you are going to be adding all the ingredients together and serving in a bowl, rather than having all of the ingredients separate on a plate.

Related Questions

Do you need to salt rice?

Yes. It is a good idea to salt the water that you are cooking rice in, otherwise, your rice will be quite bland. The general rule is to add half a teaspoon, or a pinch of salt, for each cup of rice. Any more than this might cause the rice to be too salty!

Does rice absorb salt?

Yes. If you have over-salted a stew or a soup, then you could add unsalted rice to the meal to soak up excess salt. This helps to balance out the seasoning and make the meal more palatable.

If adding rice to a soup or stew, make sure to add in some more broth or liquid as well so that it does not dry up, since the rice will also absorb some of the liquid.

Can sugar remove saltiness?

Yes. Adding some sugar to a salty meal can help to balance the flavor a little bit. You could use brown or white sugar (even honey) to cancel out the saltiness. Be careful not to add too much if you don’t want additional sweet notes in your dish!

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