Soy sauce is great for umami, saltiness, and a deep flavor in Asian and certain Asian-inspired West Indian dishes. Though, too much of it can ruin a dish’s flavor and appearance. Here are some fixes if you have added too much soy sauce.
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Depending on the kind of dish, diluting the soy sauce may be an option. It can mean simply adding more of the dish’s other ingredients but not the soy sauce, which allows the excess soy sauce to be brought back into balance. If you can’t do this, another option might be to add more water to dilute the soy sauce.
In a braised dish, you might be able to add water to dilute the soy sauce and then pour off the excess liquid. What remains will be diluted and less salty but still have much of the flavor and color of soy sauce.
Rice wine's mellow sweet flavor is an excellent counter to the strong umami notes from too much soy sauce. Plus, the flavor tends to work well in many of the dishes where soy sauce is used.
The mild sweetness of rice wine can help counteract the saltiness of too much soy sauce. Rice wine will also fit perfectly in most recipes that require soy sauce. It is best to add the rice wine before the dish is finished cooking so that the alcohol can be cooked off and the wine flavor can blend in properly.
As with adding too much salt, adding too much soy sauce can be counteracted with a bit of sugar or honey. It helps if the recipe already has a sweetener in it; that way, it won’t be out of place, and you can simply add a little more.
Sweeteners can still work in dishes that are usually sugar-free. You will have to be careful about how much you use. Even a little too much sweetness can throw off a savory flavor profile and make a dish taste cloyingly sweet.
Sugar is a good option because it can help neutralize some bitterness from the soy sauce. Because sugar caramelizes, a dish with sugar in it may darken even more than it would with just the soy sauce, and it may also burn more easily. You will also have to be careful with liquid sweeteners since they add extra moisture to the dish.
Like sweeteners, acids can help tone down the saltiness and bitterness you get from too much soy sauce. Adding a strong sour note from citrus fruit like lemons and limes or vinegar can mask and distract from the soy sauce flavor.
Just like when adding sweeteners, be careful about how much of an acidic ingredient you use since it can also detract from the intended flavor of a dish.
Flavorful Allium family members like garlic, green onions, and shallots can all help tame the taste of too much soy sauce. The flavor of onions and garlic will work in most dishes that require soy sauce.
Most of the dishes that use soy sauce are Asian, and potato isn’t one of the ingredients many Westerners associate with Asian cooking; however, it does appear in several recipes. Potatoes are especially useful when too much of an ingredient has been used; they are suitable for soaking up excess flavor, including the excess saltiness and bitterness from too much soy sauce.
The potato fix works best in braised dishes with a lot of liquid. Simply add diced potatoes to the liquid as it simmers, then remove the potato from the liquid before you serve the dish. The potato will draw out some of the soy sauce’s saltiness and bitterness.