Baking Soda

Discussion in 'Cooking Forum' started by Native NV Ducker, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    So, I love to cook, but Chinese cooking has always vexed me. Oh, sure, I can get the flavors, but not the texture of good Orange Chicken, Szechuan Beef, or Sweet n Sour Pork. You know, that 'hubba bubba gum sitting on the dash, in the summer' kind of texture. Melt in your mouth stuff.

    I watch America's Test Kitchen a lot, and they did Chinese last week. They mentioned the restaurant method is using MSG, and they didn't like that. So, their answer was soaking in a baking soda slurry. About 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda, with 1/2-3/4 cup water. Cut your meat fairly thin (1/4 slices, or 1/2" chunks) then mix into the slurry. Let it soak for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse off. That was it.

    Now, for the coating, they used 2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar, with 2 teaspoons corn starch (another slurry) After getting the pan hot, with a little oil, pour the starch slurry over the meat, mix, and drop into the pan. You might do it in batches, if you have a lot of meat. You don't want to over fill the pan. Heat till browned, then add your sauce of choice. Simmer for a minute, and serve.

    I tried this on pork and chicken, and it is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I will get some duck out (if I can find any) and try it on those, but I expect the result to be the same.

    Finally, good Chinese. :grvn
     
  2. Luigi Daniele

    Luigi Daniele Elite Refuge Member

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    Interesting stuff. May have to try it myself.
     
  3. NWRINGNECK

    NWRINGNECK Elite Refuge Member

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    So Native NV D one question if I may? Are you then using bottled sauces (from the grocery store) like sweet and sour, etc or are you rolling your own sauces?

    The reason I ask is a friend of mine once did a fried chuker dish and used a bottle sweet and sour sauce and it was an exceellant cap to a day on the Snake breaks but your way would have been even better I think.

    I watch that show but missed that episode I guess. Thanks for the info.
     
  4. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    It depends. This is what I wrote in the OP:
    Now, for the coating, they used 2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar, with 2 teaspoons corn starch (another slurry) After getting the pan hot, with a little oil, pour the starch slurry over the meat, mix, and drop into the pan. You might do it in batches, if you have a lot of meat. You don't want to over fill the pan. Heat till browned, then add your sauce of choice. Simmer for a minute, and serve.

    Think of this as the 'brining' process. When we brine, we are adding moisture to the meat, and maybe some flavor. The baking soda process breaks down the meat (they explain the technical process on the show, but who really cares, if it works :nutz )

    After you take it out of the soda, and RINSE IT OFF (can't stress this enough, don't skip this step) the meat has been broken down, and is ready to cook. You can do what you want from there. THEY used the vinegar/corn starch slurry, to give it a coating. That coating also holds on to sauces very well.

    On my first attempt, I made my own sauce, with fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy, vinegar, sugar, and maybe some other stuff. It was close to what they did in the recipe, but not exact, as I didn't have everything (sesame oil)

    On the chicken, the wife bought an Orange Sauce in a bottle. It was pretty darn good. I also like the sauces that come in a foil pouch, found in the Asian section. Wife can't handle spicy, so my selection is limited. I am doing Beef Broccoli tonight, with a foil pouch sauce.

    On trips, I am camp chef. In fact, you have to subdue me to get to the pots and pans. You can ask IGO4DUX75 how that works out. Ready made sauces are quick and easy for those trips.

    Here is a site that talks about it, though they rub the soda directly into the meat. I think my way is easier...
    http://forkranawaywiththespoon.blogspot.com/2013/04/baking-soda-as-tenderizer.html
     
  5. NWRINGNECK

    NWRINGNECK Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the info. When I get home I'll give this a try. Believe that I have a package or two of Scaup in the freezer.
     
  6. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I used the process on the Beef Brocolli tonight. Just some cheap cuts of boneless chuck.

    Just before I took it out to serve, I wanted to taste a piece. I was able to cut it with my plastic utility fork.
     
  7. TL Decoy

    TL Decoy Senior Refuge Member

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    sounds like just the ticket for some goose breasts cut thin.

    I have a pair in the fridge now, may try this tonight.
     
  8. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Litmus test: Goose

    Wife said she got out some duck, so I was excited to try the technique. Thought TL and I could compare notes. Turns out, it was goose.

    So, with all the silver skin already off, I cut it up into mostly 1/2-3/4" pieces. I purposely left in some chunks larger than 1". Followed all the same instructions, and finished it off with some store bought Orange Sauce.

    There was a notable difference between the big chunks, and the rest. The larger chunks still had a little of that 'pressed sawdust' texture common with overcooked goose. I made no attempt to just cook to rare/medium rare. It was all cooked to medium. I did that to try to put some 'char' on the outside, and with small pieces, there is almost no way to keep it med rare.

    Result? Best goose I have ever had. REALLY good. Yes, there was a hint of that liver flavor common to goose, but just a hint. Smaller pieces, it was not really there.

    There are lots of ways to cook goose well, but most involve a longer marinade, or slow cooking/dutch oven. I like this because from the first cut to serving on the plate, 25 minutes.
     
  9. TL Decoy

    TL Decoy Senior Refuge Member

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    I tried the goose last night, per the recipe , it came out great, I bought some store bought orange sauce and a ginger garlic sauce from the supermarket.

    cooked to rare/ med rare, the ginger garlic sauce was the best, served over rice

    the one remark is keep it rare , some of the smaller pieces cooked a minute too long and were noticeably tougher than the rest.

    all in all a great way to cook some geese, the wife ate it up
     
  10. nemont

    nemont Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks for this tip. I had some deer steaks I used last night and it turned out great. The kids ate it up and had seconds.

    Finally can get that texture that I like with Chinese food. Goose is next.

    Nemont
     

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