For example you can make protein tissue absorb salt by brining/dry curing it. What ways can I make say some spinach or kale tissue absorb salt? I want the salt to be in and throughout the greens and not just placed on the surface.
Also if there is any penetration, I take it, it is just on the leaf parts and won't go into the stalk?

2 Answers 2


When the greens are cooked, the cells will rupture and more easily take on outside fluids (and salt), so salting them while cooking will get the salt into the greens. You could also brine or rub the leaves with salt, this is frequently done with cabbage before pickling. The effectiveness of this method will vary depending on the greens though, some leaves like kale have a more waterproof layer over the outside of the leaf, so just rubbing them with salt may not work. I have seen people "massage" the leaves with salt to tenderize them and break down some of the fibers, or blanch them in salted water.


Disregard this answer, it's wrong. See comments of this answer.

If you expose vegetables (or actually pretty much any food) to salt and water is present, a process called osmosis will start.

Osmosis will cause the salt to "go into" your vegetables, as they contain less salt than the brine. It will go on for as long as there is less salt dissolved in the water of the vegetable (or whatever food you are using) than in the brine surrounding it.

However, I am not sure if there are vegetables that will simply get their water drawn out of them because the salt cannot get into the cells of the vegetable. This may or may not be the case, I have personally never tried it.

  • 1
    Osmosis will not move salt across cell membranes; it is the water that crosses the membrane.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Nov 22, 2013 at 12:20
  • Saj is right, no salt will move into the vegetable by osmosis, no matter what concentration is provided. And water always moves from low to high concentration, so if you put vegetables in brine, osmosis will move water out of the vegetables, not into them.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 22, 2013 at 14:59
  • Thanks for clearing that misconception about osmosis, then. Should I delete this answer or should it stay? I'm not really sure.
    – Anpan
    Nov 23, 2013 at 19:20
  • It is up to you to decide whether you want to delete it or not. Our rules only say that answers which are not made in good faith (such as joke answers) should be removed, and we moderators take care of them. As long you are addressing the question, you are free to express any opinion you wish, and edit or delete it later if you feel like it. There is no pressure from us for either option.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 24, 2013 at 21:56

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