How do you counteract too much sugar in tomato sauce?
To counteract too much sugar in tomato sauce add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and mix. Or add a little lemon, or wine vinegar, or even mustard, which will spice up the sauce. You can also add a little crème fraîche. You can also add a little curry, or water, or coconut milk.
The best thing to do is to prevent and to test the sauce as we cook. A dish can be too sweet for two reasons: either we added more than the recipe called for, or the original recipe had too much, either due to a typo or personal preference.
Hence, it is so important to taste food while we cook it. When it comes to sauces, soups, or broths it is better to start by adding only half of what you ask for, taste and if you need more, add the rest little by little, testing after each addition.
Find a balance: If we have not done the previous step and we already have the problem of excess sweetness on top, it is time to find a balance by adding ingredients that are either acidic, bitter, or spicy. Of course, we will avoid adding other sweet ingredients. It’s also important to be careful with salty ingredients, as these actually bring out the sweetener in the food.
How to counteract the acidity in tomato sauce
There are times when, even following a recipe to the letter, the result may not be as expected. It often happens when ingredients such as wines, some fruits or tomatoes are used, whose acidity can vary a lot, and that considerably affects the final flavor of the recipe to the point that we can be disappointed when trying the finished dish.
If our sauce has been too acidic, there are two ways to fix it with which it is possible to correct that excess acidity very efficiently and without hardly affecting the flavor of the dish.
- Add sugar – The best-known trick and, in fact, many recipes already include it as an ingredient is to add a small amount of sugar, preferably brown, sprinkle it as if we were adding salt over the sauce, and cook for a few minutes over low heat to prevent the sugar from burning.
I insist that you have to start by adding a minimal amount and trying until you find the amount you need because excess acidity will not always be the same and because if we go over it, it will be too sweet.
- Add sodium bicarbonate – It may be the case that we cannot take sugar or we are not interested, or we do not like that the sauces have that sweetish point; another ingredient that can be used to neutralize the acidity is bicarbonate, and we will use it in the same way, with the sauce over low heat, add a pinch of bicarbonate in the form of rain, mix, taste, and repeat the process until the sauce has lost the necessary acidity.
Both tricks are effective, and it is good to remember them.
How to counteract the spiciness in tomato sauce
Your sauce may be too spicy for reasons that don’t necessarily have to do with your recipe or procedure. Generally, this happens because the peppers you used were much more intense than you imagined. To save it, many add water and salt, but instead of fixing it, they end up with a bland and still spicy mixture.
- Add more tomatoes – Add about one half more in proportion to what was initially added.
- Add a little cream – It is undoubtedly a difficult decision, but if you are willing to modify the texture and color, you can add two tablespoons of cream to dilute the itch. It will not be the same, but you will have a perfect option to complement your pasta or meat. This option is recommended when your sauce is a complement to a dish.
- Add cilantro – Mix coriander and a few drops of lemon. Adding these ingredients will reduce the spiciness without changing the preparation much. It will give it a fresher touch, and the itching will decrease considerably.
- Double your recipe – If you are not willing to change your original recipe, it is best to make another batch of sauce without any chili or seasonings and mix them. You will have enough sauce for several days, but well, you can use it in different ways to vary your favorite dishes.
How to fix tomato sauce
If it is too liquid: if the problem is that the sauce has been too liquid, the best option is to remove the solid ingredients, then reduce the excess liquid and over high heat until it thickens. Then we add it back to our plate.
If it is lumpy: Most of the time the cause of finding lumps in our sauce is that the flour was not appropriately cooked at first. Another reason is that we have heated a sauce that was cold too quickly. The best option is to undo the lumps to beat our sauce with the blender and strain it into a new container to reheat it over a very low heat.
Insipid sauce: to correct a light sauce, we have several options: adding a small portion of a chicken stock cube or white wine (let it evaporate slightly over low heat). We can also incorporate a pinch of a spice such as nutmeg, cayenne, fresh herbs, or a small portion of butter just before serving to give it a final touch.
In a thicker sauce, we will have the option of incorporating tomato concentrate, a few drops of Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, or mustard.
Salty sauce: if we have added too much salt to our sauce, the best option is to rectify it by adding a pinch of sugar, which will reduce the excess salt. Another option is to dip some slices of peeled raw potato and wait until they are cooked before removing them. The potatoes will take care of absorbing the excess salt.
The bottom line
There are multiple ways you can counteract too much sugar in tomato sauce: add dairy products, water, use acid or bitter ingredients or double the recipe. Of course, the best method is to follow the recipe and to taste the tomato sauce while we are making it.
What alternative options have you used in the past to counteract too much sugar in sauces?