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Old 07-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
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Sour Salt vs Citric Acid

I was reading Copeland Marks' book, Indian and Chinese Cooking from the Himalayan Rim. There are a couple of recipes that use sour salt. Can one substitute lemon juice (freshly squeezed) if one doesn't have citric acid on hand?
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:24 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with that ingredient, but one of my favorite Asian-inspired food blogs has a recipe for citrus salt that might work (there are a few other salt recipes on this page, so scroll down): Asian-Flavored Sea Salts
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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CWS, if you are anywhere near a winemaking supply shop (and since you're in Canada, there's an excellent chance that you are), you can pick up a small jar of food grade citric acid for next to nothing. Around here I can buy a 2 oz. jar for $1.50.

If not, I would think that lemon juice would suffice, though it will obviously add its own flavor.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I'm not familiar with that ingredient, but one of my favorite Asian-inspired food blogs has a recipe for citrus salt that might work (there are a few other salt recipes on this page, so scroll down): Asian-Flavored Sea Salts
I love that blog too! I missed the flavored sea salts page! I have a lot of different salts, but none that would qualify as "sour." A search indicated that sour salt and citric acid are one and the same. I use citric acid for other things (bath bombs), but not for cooking. I am wondering if the stuff I buy for bath bombs would be food grade or if flavoring sea salt would work or if just lemon juice would work?
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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I don't know if this will help you at all. I used citric acid for flavoring when I was making homemade Lime Chili Doritos--or something similar in flavor. It is like lemon but also like lime, to my taste buds.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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I don't think I have any left from the last time I made bath bombs...not sure if it is food grade or not, I think I got it at the drug store. But, there is a wine-making place in the little village here. Thanks, Steve, I'll swing in there soon and pick some up. I did read that one can substitute lemon juice or 5% vinegar when canning instead of citric acid, but one needs to use more of it than one would use if using citric acid. Now, the lemon juice mentioned was reconstituted, which I abhor. I always use freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice and usually add a bit of zest for good measure (when cooking). For canning, I use just the juice.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #7
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Lemon juice and salt won't work as a substitute for lemon salt IME. Any decent Mediterranean market should have lemon salt. It's ubiquitous in Turkish food.
Makes a killer addition to flour/batter for seafood before cooking.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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You could try:

How to Make Sunkist Meyer Lemon Salt

You have to read the video as well as watch it.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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As far as I can Google "lemon salt" is a misnomer for citric acid. You can always add more salt if you want saltiness. It looks to me like the citric acid is the essential bitterness component.

Is this like garlic salt, where garlic powder is often the answer?
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #10
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My understanding is that citric acid = sour salt. Lemon/lime salt is not citric acid. It is called "sour salt" because it looks like table salt, not because it is a combination of salt + lemon/lime. Given the origins of "sour salt" and the region the cookbook represents, I'm guessing the N.A. equivalent is food-grade citric acid. Maybe I've misunderstood?

What Are The Differences Between Sour Salt & Citric Acid? | LIVESTRONG.COM

Citric Acid (Sour Salt) - Great American Spice Company

Citric acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's a link to a recipe calling for sour salt (not from the book):

Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage Soup Recipe
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