My favorite balsamic salad dressing seems to have been discontinued, so I decided to make my own. In doing so I added far, far too much xanthan gum and am now left with 350ml of oily herbed balsamic gel. I tried adding oil to thin it out, but of course had no luck. I have not yet tried an immersion blender (it's too late at night here to run it).

How can I recover from this, either moving ahead with the salad dressing or finding an alternate use for the gel, or should I just cut my losses and start over?

  • 1
    Potential alternate use, little slivers used as a garnish. It just seems like it'd be neat.
    – Megha
    Jul 15, 2018 at 8:26
  • This is stupid, but if you know any small children, you could add some more gum and let them play with it. :P
    – kitukwfyer
    Jul 15, 2018 at 22:05
  • @kitikwfyer well, all these "molecular gastronomy" folks are doing stuff like that so it can't be that stupid, no? Jul 15, 2018 at 23:39
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    You certainly can't render it ineffective chemically while still keeping the dressing edible: quora.com/How-do-I-get-wet-xanthan-gum-out-of-my-sink-disposal? :) ... (add the dang question mark to the url....) Jul 15, 2018 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


Well, adding more of everything but xanthan gum would of course have the effect of diluting the xanthan gum. The problem is, it's possible that you used way, way too much xanthan gum (easy to do, the amount you need to slightly thicken a dressing is minuscule), so unless you've got a few 50-gallon drums of balsamic vinegar lying around, I wouldn't advise that you go that route. Instead, I'd suggest that you make a new dressing with no xanthan gum, then add the old dressing a bit at a time until you like the result.

As for finding an alternate use for (the rest of) your balsamic xanthan slime: I wouldn't. Xanthan gum is texturally quite unpleasant except at very low concentrations.


Not knowing how much xanthan gum you added it's impossible to guess if you should start over or not. The recipe for Easy Garlic Balsamic Salad Dressing uses 4 oz olive olive oil, 2 oz of balsamic vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum. So those would seem like reasonable starting proportions. If you can't use at least half of your original batch (so say you end up with 1.5 batches) it would seem better to just start over.

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