Suggestions from chefs for Low sodium cooking.

Every cooking contest show has one major negative judgement “not enough seasoning which in the end means not enough salt. But people with many health conditions must keep sodium low in their diets. I’m a good cook, and have already adapted many recipes to avoid sodium... but I’d really like to see what a chef could produce beyond the basic “ add more citrus, and herbs, or use more vinegars.” I want low sodium foods that are Good, not just “good for a low salt dish”

Anne Frates


nanetteb November 3, 2019
I agree - I am ofte in shock at how much salt some cooking shows use. My problem is I love to bake yeast breads and whenever I reduce the salt in a recipe, the flavor is just not as good.
Gammy October 26, 2019
I believe that so many of the "name" chefs add so much salt because their taste buds have been dulled and have become used to an abundance of salt (looking at you, Ina). I often cut down the amount of salt in a professional's recipe by at least half. Those who want more can always add salt at my table, I am not offended. I also often add a little vinegar or lemon juice to perk up a dish at the end of cooking. Make use of the fond left in the bottom of a roasting pan, if not for au jus with the meat, at least add a bit of water, dissolve what's in the pan, put into a container and freeze for later dishes. Love the ideas of adding tomato paste or mushrooms to intensify flavors.
creamtea October 24, 2019
I often add nutritional yeast to boost many dishes (usually when I'm not cooking meat). It seems to wake up food a bit. Another option: a spoon or three of tomato paste added to anything from rice pilaf (just after the water/broth is added) to soups. Not enough to make it tomato-y, just enough to deepen the flavor undetectably. Another option: roasted mushrooms such as hen-of-the-woods or shiitake. Roast them really well to concentrate the flavors. I keep a store of fresh bay leaf on hand to sauté along with onions and garlic for any dish. I crack 2-3 of them along each side of the spine to release flavors, then throw them in the simmering olive oil. Shallots are sweeter and sharper than onions and can be strewn over chicken parts that you have sprinkled with lemon juice before you put it in the oven--add an inch of water in the bottom of the roasting pan to avoid burning. You can thinly slice quite a lot of shallots, mince some garlic, and fry them up until nice and brown, along with a grinding of pepper and a touch of sugar to sprinkle over rice, lentils, etc. It's worth experimenting with any or all aromatics to use them in new ways to flavor various dishes. And don't forget technique itself can add loads of flavor: well-roasted potatoes (ignore advice to stir or shake--let the cut side, in contact with the pan, become really brown), well-seared meats. All of these things can boost flavors and "create a diversion." Good luck!
boulangere October 24, 2019
Quite honestly, the suggestion to add an acid is a very good one. It balances the salt of a dish, and also elevates the taste of salt without adding any more salt.
Recommended by Food52