How to balance the acidity in a recipe … kitchen helper


We’ve all been there, especially those of us who adopt the eyeballing approach to measuring ingredients for a recipe; it’s that moment when you taste a dish and realise that the balance of flavours just isn’t right. One of the common issues is acidity – perhaps you added too much tomato paste to your sauce, or a splash too much vinegar or wine, or you’ve overdone it with the citrus and your dish is unpleasantly tart. There’s a few easy ways to rescue your dish. Read on to learn how.

Too much acidity in a dish can result in a flavour that is either too sour (common culprits are tomatoes, wine and vinegar) or too tart (from citrus like lemons and limes). To balance the flavour if you dish tastes sour you need to add sweetness. If the dish is not excessively sour, adding a carrot can help to balance things out. Simply peel a whole carrot and simmer it with the sauce, then remove the carrot before serving. For more pronounced sour balance issues, try honey, sugar, or cream and if all that fails a pinch of bicarbonate of soda will bring some alkaline to the dish to neutralise the acidity. For dishes that are a bit too tart, use sugar, honey or maple syrup to tone down the flavour.

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