I've been cooking a certain brand of noodles, and noticed that the seasoning provided is quite salty than you'd expect. Is there a way to reduced the saltiness without a noticeable change in flavor? And if it does change the flavor, please describe in what way it changes.


My simple method is just to use less of the packet. If it's still a little bland, you can always add spices back in (eg, if you want a touch of heat, shake in a little crushed red pepper).

If you're preparing ramen, my uncle's simple method was to stretch it out by adding other vegetables, such as some form of cabbage (eg, bok choy, a couple of shreaded brussel sprouts), some sliced onion, bean sprounts, etc. It's basically a form of diluting, but you're adding things that need to be seasoned, so it won't seem as overly salted.

  • It's not ramen, but adding veggies that needs seasoning is an interesting idea - I'll try it out, thanks. – Oxwivi Mar 5 '11 at 5:48

The only way to reduce saltiness is to dilute it. This will also dilute the flavour. You can, up to a point, mask excessive saltiness with quite a lot of sugar, but that won't work here. Don't believe anyone who tells you that putting a raw potato in whatever you're making will absorb extra salt; this is an old kitchen myth and has absolutely no basis in reality.

  • This is the first time I've heard of this potato myth. I wonder why somebody would say that? Potatoes are mostly starch, so common sense would seem to dictate that there's nothing special about them that would attract or collect any more salt than any other food item. You're basically brining the potato, and any salt absorbed through a brine is going to be directly proportional to its concentration in the liquid. – Aaronut Mar 2 '11 at 16:11
  • It's a fairly common myth; I've been hearing it since I was a teenager. – daniel Mar 3 '11 at 2:00
  • I came here to repeat the potato things and now I'm leaving with my tail between my legs. – tim Mar 4 '11 at 14:14

If this is dry seasoning, you may be able to physically separate the salt out. Options might include sifting (if the salt is a different size), settling (if the salt is a different density).

You may also be able to perform chemical separation, for example if the salt dissolves in cold water where's the rest of the seasoning does not.

Finally, you could mix your own seasoning!

  • That's quite the trouble to enjoy some simple noodles... – Oxwivi Mar 2 '11 at 15:29
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    @Oxwivi: Seasoning it yourself is hardly a lot of trouble when you consider what's in commercial Ramen noodle seasonings (some garlic, onion, powdered stock, salt, pepper, and maybe food colouring and MSG - all very readily and cheaply available at any supermarket). If you don't want the salt, best not to eat processed foods. – Aaronut Mar 2 '11 at 16:01

I am fully in the "make your own" camp here. Get low sodium bullion cubes. Chicken, beef, etc. to use as the base. Then add in the other spices like the onion, garlic, etc. You can mix up a batch and keep it in an old spice jar ready for use.

I did that a lot during hard times.

  • But the seasoning that came with the noodles will go to waste! – Oxwivi Mar 3 '11 at 17:38
  • Ok, so why not take those packets and add them to your own mix? That would thin out the sodium and the supplied packets would not go to waste. It might also help to retain the original flavor some. – Doc Walker Mar 3 '11 at 21:25
  • the thing is that each of this packet of noodles comes with just enough seasoning for a packet - so adding more seasoning into the mix might be too much. In any case, thanks for the input, it will come in handy in the future. – Oxwivi Mar 5 '11 at 5:47

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