Karen/NoCA wrote:Yes Jenise, it is to tenderize. The baking soda will help neutralize the amino acid in the meat fiber, making the meat tender. I have never done this but have seen recipes calling for it. It is used in Chinese cooking along with cornstarch.I ruined a recipe once by throwing in baking soda. It foamed up and made a mess. I don't recall the details now, but I still shy away from using it.
Mark Lipton wrote:Yes, the intent is to tenderize the meat with baking soda, a traditional Chinese technique. I have my doubts as to its efficacy, but it does seem to have some effect. Papaya or pineapple juice will do a much better job of tenderizing IMO.
Karen/NoCA wrote:I think I mentioned on here one time about seeing a meatball recipe where baking soda was called for. I have been meaning to try it.
Carrie L. wrote:I remember my Mom asking a server in a Chinese restaurant a VERY long time ago (I think I was a teenager) how they keep their broccoli and other veggies so nice and green when they have been stir fried, and the reply was "baking soda."
Paul Winalski wrote:Thanks to Carrie for jogging my memory on this. Baking soda can indeed work as a preservative of green color when cooking vegetables. I think that is why it was employed here. The only other use of baking soda that I know of in Chinese cooking is its more conventional use as a leavening agent in deep-fry batters and in breads.
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