Maybe this is a question/doubt dumb enough.

I've been doing a mashed cassava and put salt only at the end, when all the ingredients were homogenized. Consequently, asked me (to put the salt) if adding salt would be present in any scoop of mashed cassava that I was taking.

So, my question is: Given X any food, as a guarantee that the salt will be well distributed throughout her?


There are a few things I can think of that would help:

  • Sprinkle the salt over the surface rather than dumping a blob in one place.
  • Add the salt in multiple additions, stirring between each.
  • Stir sufficiently to distribute.

I made pancakes a few months ago and forgot the salt. After eating the first couple, I realized the mistake and added salt to attempt to give it some flavor. Unfortunately, I didn't follow the three points above and ended up with salty patches in my pancakes, so some pancakes were still unsalted and others were so salty it (literally) made me feel like I was going to throw up.

Other than promising myself to never wait so late to add the salt in the future, I thought about solutions and came up with the points I mentioned.

If you add the salt to one spot in the mixture, it will be much more difficult to evenly disperse the salt throughout. So, sprinkling it on the surface makes it less likely there will be clumps of overwhelming saltiness.

With something like mashed cassava or potatoes, you can taste for saltiness, so adding small amounts and tasting between additions is a great way to be sure you get the level of salt you want and since you stir between the additions, the part of the mixture that the salt is applied to, is likely to be different with the subsequent additions.

Stirring sufficiently is the final point... if you only stir once or twice, it's unlikely that the salt will reach all points in the mixture, likely remaining towards the top. Be certain to stir enough and do it well, being sure to pull the mixture from the bottom to fully incorporate.

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  • There are some cases when you might want to salt late. You'll often see folks giving things an extra sprinkle of salt when plating -- partially for texture (crunch from a large salt crystal), but because only the salt that comes into contact with your tongue will taste salty. If the salt is well mixed, it actually requires more salt to get the same perceived salt levels. (large crystals are also a problem, as only the dissolved salt will taste salty; I think it was Lays potato chips that cut down their salt by using smaller crystals. – Joe Apr 22 '16 at 16:34
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    @Joe But the OP is specifically talking about a mixture like mashed vegetables and is specifically trying to make the salt evenly distributed. Neither of those points address the OP's request. – Catija Apr 22 '16 at 16:41
  • I disagree. salt on the outside of a bite of mashed potatoes will be more significant than the salt on the inside of the scoop. It's actually important to consider in mashed items, as you don't have the issue in solid foods (unless it's breaded, layers or had once been liquid) or liquids (where it's difficult if not impossible to control variations) – Joe Apr 22 '16 at 17:01
  • @Joe So write an answer addressing these points... If the OP is specifically asking how to homogenize the salt, that's not asking whether it's OK to add salt when the food is on your plate... so I personally don't feel like that's part of the answer because that's specifically not what the OP wants. If you follow your points (which I don't disagree with), it's arguable whether it's necessary to add salt at all before it hits the plate... but that's not what the OP is asking for. – Catija Apr 22 '16 at 17:03
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    @Suhany You should mix salt for dough/batters into the dry ingredients long before you ever add liquid to cause gluten formation. This is generally part of every recipe. With a dough, it's going to be difficult to tell if the salt is sufficient when it's still raw... most of the moisture will leave when baking, so that can change how much of the salt you can taste. – Catija Apr 22 '16 at 18:25

Dissolve the salt first in a bit of liquid.

With solid salt, even after sprinkling and stirring, you will probably have some difference in saltiness, as each salt crystal will dissolve into a small zone, and in a thick food like a mashed vegetable or a puree, even lots of stirring won't break up all the salty zones perfectly, unless you really beat it a lot (maybe putting it through a blender, but that will change the texture). A little bit of salty water or milk will mix much more evenly. At the lower end, a teaspoon of water should be sufficient to dissolve 2-3 pinches of salt, but the more liquid you use, the better the salt distribution at the end, so use more if it doesn't get your food too liquid.

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