Too Much Coriander? Eliminate the Bitterness With These Solutions

Coriander is a versatile spice that shows up in curries and beer. And it can be used to add complexity to a dry rub. Coriander typically works best as a complement to other spices and stronger flavors; in other words, it works best as a background note. You have to use a lot for it to become truly overpowering, but when used in excess, it pushes its way to the forefront and can make a dish excessively bitter. If you are faced with this problem and need a way to counteract the effects of too much coriander, you have options. Consider the following remedies.

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The simplest way to balance the coriander flavor is to add more of everything else. You can either make another batch of the recipe and add it to the one with too much coriander or you can add more of all the ingredients to the batch you are currently making. Another way to do this is to remove half of your present batch and then add enough of the non-coriander ingredients to make it back up to a full recipe. This solution is most effective in soups, stews and other similar dishes.

Add potato

Cooking potato in your soup or stew can help to soak up some of the coriander flavor. Add large pieces of potato and remove them before serving.

Add a sweetener

Because coriander makes food bitter when it is used in excess, you can sometimes neutralize it by cutting the bitterness. One of the best ways to cancel out bitterness is with sweetness. Consider adding a small amount of honey or sugar to your dish. Because coriander is usually used in savory dishes, you should do this carefully as you may make the problem worse by oversweetening.

Add a creamy ingredient

This can range from dairy products like sour cream or yogurt to coconut milk. Creamy ingredients can provide a mild flavor that masks coriander’s flavor, in addition to diluting it. In many cases, yogurt and coconut milk will already be included in recipes that require coriander or be among the traditional condiments.

Physical removal

You can prevent even more of the flavor from being released into the food by physically removing the coriander from your dish. If you have used whole seeds, removal is easy since the seeds can simply be extracted with a slotted spoon or strainer. Ground coriander in a soup or curry will be impossible to remove physically, but you may be able to wash it from foods where it has been sprinkled onto the surface.

Add an acidic ingredient

Like sweetness, acidity can help to neutralize the bitterness of excess coriander. Tartness from lemon or lime juice can complement a range of savory dishes and increased acidity may have less of an impact on the overall flavor profile of some dishes when compared to increased sweetness. Depending on the dish, you may be able to choose from a number of acidic ingredients instead of being limited to citrus. Consider tamarind or even sumac to help recover your dish.

Add a little more salt

You can use salt to counteract a strong coriander flavor, but only where the flavor is just a little excessive. If you added far too much coriander, salt alone may not be enough to rescue the dish. If you would rather not add table salt, you can increase the salt content with soy sauce or miso.