How to counteract too much spice in a recipe? (+5 ways)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much spice in a recipe?”. We will discuss different ways that will help you counteract too much spice in a recipe. 

How to counteract too much spice in a recipe?

If you have added too much spice to your recipe and are desperately searching for ways to counteract it, do not fret, here we have prepared a long list of ways to help you counteract too much spice to your recipe, and to make it suitable to serve.

  • Add acid to tone down the spice
  • Add something sweet
  • Counteract the spice with fats
  • Add nuts 
  • Add oil
  • Dilute the recipe

Add acid to tone down the spice

If you have mistakenly added too many chillies in your recipe and want to counteract it, you can add lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, wine, tomatoes, and pineapple too.

These are all acidic ingredients that will help to neutralize the intensity of capsaicin present in hot peppers, whether they are fresh or dried.

Capsaicin is basically an alkaline oil that is accountable for the burning sensation that we experience, particularly when it comes in contact with the mucous membrane of our mouth.

The alkaline capsaicin can be neutralized with acidic ingredients that will help to counterbalance the pH levels of capsaicin and reduce some of that burning flavour.

Squeeze half a lemon or lime, or 1 to 2 tbsp of wine, vinegar, or tomato sauce, to your extra spicy recipe.

You can also add a quarter cup of chopped tomatoes or pineapple and increase gradually if required. 

Stir properly to allow the flavours to mix well for 15 to 30 mins. Taste afterwards and add more if needed.

Counteract the spice with fats

Casein present in dairy products binds to the capsaicin, helping to neutralize its effects. Among the dairy products, you can add butter, ghee, milk, sour cream, or plain yoghurt in your recipe, but do not cook after adding the dairy products over a high flame, as it may coagulate. To the dishes that do not require dairy, try adding some cheese.

Add oil

You can also counteract the spicy flavour in your dish by adding some healthy oil such as grapeseed oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. This method works as capsaicin is soluble in oil, so the spicy molecules of capsaicin will dissolve in the healthy oils. 

Ensure to add a neutral-flavoured oil or the one that will enhance your recipe. You only need to add 1 tsp at a time, then increase gradually if required to preserve the texture and consistency of the dish.

Add something sweet 

Sugars can also serve to offset the flaming heat by absorbing the capsaicin and improving the taste.

Add a tsp of sugar at a time to even out the spicy flavour in a dish. Then stir, allowing the flavours to mix well. Make sure to add gradually tasting after every addition or your dish will have a more sugary taste.

Add nuts 

Another way you can counteract too much spice in your recipe is by adding some amount of nut butter, such as almond or peanut butter. The best part is, adding a spoonful of these will not be actually noticeable in your recipe but helps to neutralize the spice. 

Double the recipe

If your recipe is too spicy or the suggestions above did not really work for you, you will have to decide between whether to dilute it or waste it.

In such a case, you can double the main ingredients. For example, if you are cooking spaghetti sauce and the recipe directs 2 tins of crushed tomatoes, add 2 more tins of crushed tomatoes but do not add any spice this time. 

You may have to add other flavourings and herbs, but by multiplying the number of tomatoes, you have directly divided the amount of spice in the sauce. This means it will taste halfway spicy. You may then reserve the extra sauce for a separate dish or store it for later use.

Similarly, if you want to counteract too much spice in a soup or stew, you can add more vegetables including onions, carrots and beans. These will help to even out the flavour profile of the dish.

We hope these tricks will benefit you. Still, if nothing works for you, don’t be sad. Learn from your mistakes and start all over again.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much spice in a recipe?”. We have also discussed different ways that will help you counteract too much spice in a recipe. 

References 

https://www.thekitchn.com/6-ways-to-tone-down-a-dish-thats-too-spicy-223776
https://www.allrecipes.com/article/how-to-make-food-less-spicy/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.