ideas to replace salt in cooking
My dad's on a low sodium diet until further notice. Are there ways of reducing sodium intake? He eats home cooked Chinese food so if suggestions could be made re adjusting the level of sodium added to Chinese dishes, that would really be welcomed.
It is a difficult transition to salt free cooking. Most prepared foods have copious amounts of salt. Mrs. Dash has a variety of seasonings without salt. Health Food stores will have a variety. Lemon juice is a great idea. And there are some faux salt substitutes out there even in main stream markets. You need to get out there and read labels for ingredients. Crushed peppers, hummmmmmmm, trying to think about Chinese food ingredients...it will be difficult and I wish your father well. Silly to suggest but have you googled low sodium Chinese food recipes? There may be some ideas out there. What a wonderful world the internet can be. Good luck.
MSG is a fantastic way of cutting back salt in food. Although MSG itself contains some sodium, when you add it to a dish, you're able to drastically cut back on the salt with little impairment in taste.
I think Candy has the right idea. Lemon juice is a great replacement, and really revs up the taste of vegatables. Great to put on cooked items, and used in stir frying or sauteeing. I think I could put lemon juice on almost anything !
There are several options. Kelp flakes, sesame salt, potassium chloride, even powdered lemon rind. And of course, plain old lemon juice.
although I can't help specifically with the lower sodium, home-made chinese food.. I will tell you what I can.
My DH is on a low-sodium diet, and I find the best way to limit sodium, is to try and cook with un-salted ingredients and then add a little to taste at the end. the more complex/more ingredients a recipe has, the easier it is to add a lot of salt without realizing it. particularly if using canned broths or tomatoes, etc.
low-sodium products have a vary wide range of sodium content... most of which tends to be just lower in sodium than the "regular" style, but still a grossly unhealthy amount of salt for those who need to watch their intake. you'll have to check your labels and make sure you measure everything carefully.
in my experience, most salt subs taste terrible. if you find a good one please post. the ones we've tried have a weird, bitter aftertaste, that we have decided tastes worse than not having salt.
penzey's and similar spice outlets make a wide variety of salt-free spice mixes. they tend to be a bit fresher and better tasting than mrs. dash.
fresh herbs, garlic, lemon... bright flavors help mask the lack of salt content. also, trust me, most food is grossly over-salted anyway... although at first it is difficult, he will get used to less salt in his diet.
and last but not least.. here is a resource you might try... they have some general guidelines for salt content in food and some suggestions for substitutes (though not always very creative).
and one of the "better" low-sodium cookbooks are published by the american heart association. I modify nearly every recipe in there (subbing fresh herbs, etc), but they are a good start. there are some truly terrible cookbooks out there.
sorry for the long post, low-salt cooking has been a personal challenge for me. good luck and good health to your father.
My father is also on a LS diet. I find that by adding vinegar or something sour just before serving in Chinese food helps.
I use seaweed flakes which you can get at an asian market. They sell it in a shaker. You will most likely find it in a japanese market.