Fried rice is one of the easiest dishes to cook once you get the hang of it! However, balancing the saltiness is always a tricky part.
Apart from just salt, you have to add sauces, which are also high in sodium. So, what are you supposed to do when you end up with fried rice too salty?
The primary solution to fix salty fried rice is to add extra ingredients to dilute the salt. You can increase the amount of rice, throw in some low-sodium vegetables, increase protein by cracking more eggs or adding tofu, or add sugar. You can also rinse the rice and fry it again if it’s beyond fixing.
Read on for more information on each of these methods.
How Much Salt to Add to Fried Rice?
Whenever I see any recipe for fried rice, I always notice that most don’t list the amount of salt. Instead, they write “salt to taste,” implying that you have to add as much as you like.
If you’re feeling confused about how much salt to add to your fried rice, don’t worry; I’ve found just the right amount.
Adding Salt While Boiling the Rice
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to add half to one teaspoon of salt for each cup of uncooked rice.
I use just half a teaspoon of salt when I plan to include more sauces, like soy sauce, oyster sauce, or fish sauce, in my fried rice. These sauces already have a high salt content, so adding more may ruin your rice.
Many people don’t add salt to boiling rice while preparing Asian rice dishes, like fried rice. However, I recommend adding it if you like more flavor in your dish.
Adding Salt While Frying the Rice
Sometimes, it isn’t enough to just add salt to boiling rice.
Once you’ve added all the vegetables and sauces to your rice while frying it, just taste it. Add another half a teaspoon of salt if you feel like it’s still lacking in salt.
6 Methods to Fix Salty Fried Rice
It doesn’t take long to ruin an impeccable dish of crunchy fried rice. There have been countless times when I have added an unnecessary quantity of salt or too much soy sauce to my fried rice, resulting in a dish that tasted much too salty.
Thankfully, a few methods can neutralize the amount of salt in your fried rice.
1. Increase the Amount of Rice
This first method is one of the most common and simplest for fixing salty fried rice.
All you have to do is mix the salty, cooked fried rice with an additional batch of boiled rice. Then, stir-fry them at high heat for two to three minutes. Don’t add any new seasonings or salt while stir-frying the rice for the second time.
The newly added rice will simply absorb the extra salt granules, resulting in your fried rice cooking to perfection!
If you’re using this method, ensure that the texture of both the new and old rice is at least 90 percent similar. Otherwise, you might compromise having a uniform consistency.
2. Add More Vegetables or Eggs
I recommend this fix if you love veggies and eggs in your fried rice!
Certain vegetables like broccoli, green beans, peas, cauliflower, and carrots have a low sodium content. Therefore, they’ll absorb any excess salt without imparting their own saltiness to the fried rice.
There’s one risk to adding too many vegetables; their moisture may release and make your rice mushy instead of crunchy! Therefore, avoid this method if your rice already looks soggy.
Another option is to reduce the salt content by adding two more eggs to the wok. You can follow the steps mentioned below.
- First, make a cavity in the center of the wok.
- Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil into the cavity.
- Crack two eggs in the cavity and stir them at high heat using a spatula.
- Once the eggs scramble, cut them into tiny pieces using a spatula.
3. Rinse and Fry the Rice Again
If you think the salt content in your fried rice is just too much and nothing can fix it, this method is for you. Instead of adding new ingredients, you can just rinse and fry the rice from scratch.
Keep in mind that this fix is a little more time-consuming. Here’s what you need to do:
- First, empty the salty fried rice in a strainer.
- Place the strainer under tap water and rinse the rice gently.
- After draining, use paper towels to absorb extra dampness from the rice.
- Transfer the rice to a container and refrigerate it for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Then, place the rice in a wok and stir-fry it again at high heat for five to seven minutes.
When frying the rice, avoid adding any more salt, as the rice has already absorbed it. However, you can add a few seasonings and sauces to infuse the flavors again.
4. Add Some Sugar or Lemon
This method is perfect for those who don’t mind a hint of sweetness in their fried rice!
You can neutralize your salty fried rice by adding half a teaspoon of sugar.
I’m not a fan of adding sweet ingredients to my fried rice, so I choose the alternate option of increasing the tanginess.
Like sugar, you can squeeze a teaspoon of lemon into your rice. The citric acid in the lemon helps eliminate the salty flavor and replaces it with something zesty.
I love adding lemon to my fried rice as it reduces the salt content and amplifies the dish’s taste!
5. Use Diced Potatoes
You’ll often hear that potatoes and mushrooms absorb salt when you add them to any dish. Unfortunately, it isn’t true, but this fix works for other reasons!
When you add chunks of diced potatoes to your rice, the extra salt is distributed among the rice grains and the potatoes. Similar to when you add additional rice to a dish, the addition of the potatoes means the overall saltiness of the dish decreases!
The addition of potatoes also changes the way your fried rice tastes, so when you eat it, the subtle flavors of the potato will reduce the effect of the salt.
6. Throw in Some Tofu!
This hack is one of my favorites to fix salty fried rice when I want a protein-rich meal. It’s also a vegan alternative to adding eggs.
Tofu can also distribute the concentrated salt throughout the dish and make it less salty. However, adding tofu to your fried rice isn’t as straightforward as adding extra vegetables or potatoes. There are a few steps that you’ll have to follow:
- Take a separate non-stick pan and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Add half-inch tofu cubes and fry them at high heat for three to four minutes.
- Transfer the tofu pieces to your fried rice and mix them well.
- You can also crumble the tofu cubes in the fried rice for better uniformity.
You can also check out this authentic tofu fried rice recipe for a better idea!
I can only imagine the frustration of following all the steps to cook the best fried rice out there and ending up with a dish that’s too salty. However, remember that you can always add new rice to the existing meal to distribute the salt content.
There are other fixes mentioned in the article, too, which I hope will help you rescue your fried rice from the depths of saltiness!