How to Fix a Food That is Too Sour

It’s easy to add a little too much lemon juice or vinegar when finishing a dish. If this happens, all is not lost! There are different ways that this problem can be handled. Try whichever tactic listed below that would be right for your food that is too sour.

Below is a video where I discuss this topic. Following the video are my complete notes on how to reduce sourness in a food.

I hope this helps!

Add sweetener. Sweet and sour go hand-in-hand. A simple way to balance a food that is too sour is to add some sweetener of your choice. For example, when making a salad dressing, if too much vinegar was used, add a touch of sweetener to balance it out and transform your pucker into a smile.

Sometimes, homemade tomato sauce can be a bit sour or bitter from the tomatoes and/or tomato paste. Adding a little sugar will balance that out so your sauce will taste amazing. Even adding a fresh carrot to your tomato sauce while it’s cooking will do the trick, if you don’t want to add sugar.

Add salt. Adding a bit more of a salty component to your dish can balance the sour flavor. Example: If you’ve added too much lemon juice or vinegar to a stir-fry, simply add a touch more soy sauce to balance it out.

Add a little baking soda. When a food is too sour, it’s too acidic. Baking soda is a great neutralizer for acids. A little goes a long way here, so only add a SMALL amount at a time. If the food bubbles up, stir it and allow time for the bubbles to dissipate, and the baking soda to do its job. Taste the food after the baking soda is well mixed in. Adjust flavorings if needed.

Add some cheese. Adding a little Parmesan or ricotta to a sour sauce can help to balance the flavors and reduce the tartness.

Add some veggies. Adding some chopped vegetables, such as carrots or potatoes, will absorb some of the acid and help to balance flavors out in a soup or stew that is too sour.

Add some fat. Adding some fat such as butter, oil, ghee, coconut oil, or cream can help to balance flavors in a sour dish.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.


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