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I put too much salt in my green chili chicken and beans. Is there a solution?

asked by Legend over 3 years ago
13 answers 3186 views
25438297 7c5f 449f 85c8 6d14e78bbcc4  susan.streit
boozeandsusan

Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 3 years ago

I've heard, but never tried, that if you put a piece of peeled, raw potato in a salty liquid that it will help to absorb some of the sodium. Give it a shot and let us know how it works out!!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

Put in a raw peeled potato. It works

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


I know a lot of people believe it but it's a culinary myth that a potato will absorb excess salt. Robert Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, author of What Einstein Told His Cook, explains (edited for clarity):

Potatoes will soak up salty water but they don't selectively extract salt out of the water. Would you be surprised if a sponge placed in salt water came out tasting salty? Of course not. The concentration of salt in the water -- the amount of salt per quart -- is not affected.

http://www.washingtonpost...

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


But I guess that doesn't directly answer your question. The only thing you can do is dilute the mixture down with something that doesn't have salt in it.

E6f5e079 1551 4472 bc70 dcc35a71edc2  110
added over 3 years ago

I'm probably too late, but I'd try adding more beans, even canned beans to the pot. Then before you serve, take out the extra beans. I was once successful in counteracting a bitter flavor from a shrimp stock by judiciously adding sweet, sour, salty and peppery flavors. But you're on your own, as I was. Do you have "bitters" on hand? Good luck!

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


[Sigh…] Extra beans won't do anything more than a potato (which is exactly nothing). And canned beans would be adding salt! A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down but there's no analogue for salt.

E6f5e079 1551 4472 bc70 dcc35a71edc2  110
added over 3 years ago

So certain?

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


Apparently the link I posted above doesn't work anymore. Here is Wolke on the subject and his proof:

http://books.google.com...

E6f5e079 1551 4472 bc70 dcc35a71edc2  110
added over 3 years ago

Gotta go with proof.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


I think the reason this myth is so prevalent is we all know potatoes (and beans for that matter) require a good deal of salt so it seems intuitive that they'd absorb it -- as indeed they do. It's just that they also absorb water at the same time so the ratio of salt to cooking liquid remains the same.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

The trick is to put in diced potatoes. The bigger the surface area the more salt absorption occurs
The potato must be starchy ( Idaho) and low in salt ( red new potatoes?) but do make small dices not large potatoes.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


Gaaaa! Will this myth ever die?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

My green chili came out to salty, i just made it a double batch and will can the rest of it tomorrow so i have extra for a rainy day.