If Your Dish Is Too Salty, Add Pickled Vegetables To Balance The Flavor

Few culinary tenets are more frequently advocated than the importance of salting food. However, it's not difficult to lean too far into a generous sprinkling — or perhaps you used a new salt type — causing an unpalatable result.

Well, there is no reason to throw all the prepared food away. Instead, dress up the dish with pickled vegetables. The topping's acidity will lessen the salty punch, diminishing some of the flavor while simultaneously brightening the dish. Plus, there's no fear of offsetting other elements; the tangy notes counterbalance both sweet and savory flavors. Best of all, it's a fix that can be added once a dish is complete. Just note that the vinegary vegetables won't magically alleviate the saltiness; instead, they just decrease the pungency.

So, what's the best way to integrate pickled vegetables? From the spicy and tangy Peruvian pickled-onion based salsa criolla to Korean jangajji pickles, there are many global culinary techniques perfect for the job. Let's dive into a few noted examples and explore how to utilize them.

Pickled vegetables are the perfect last-minute salty counterbalance

When it comes to integrating the pickled vegetables, it all depends on balancing flavors textures, and coordinating with other components in the dish. For an especially accommodating option, there's no better place to start than pickled onions. Brine and pickle the red variety for a vivid-colored food that's always on hand. They can be thrown onto everything from tacos and sandwiches to salads and spicy dishes. Plus, it's easy to integrate your favorite spices into the vinegar solution, along with some peppers.

Another route is to lean into a slightly softer acidity and opt for sauerkraut. Due to its use of cabbage rather than onions, the topping will pack in a less bold punch of flavor. Yet it can take the salty edge off over-seasoned roasted vegetables or even add a fermented, sour tinge to a smoothie. And, of course, it's a classic addition to a Reuben sandwich – load more on when the corned beef turns out too salty. Such suggestions are classic for a reason and will store well in the fridge for a last-minute fix. However, there's also a broader world of pickled vegetables to explore — so don't feel intimidated to innovate with other options, too.