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5 culinary life hacks with soda
5 culinary life hacks with soda

Baking soda is commonly used as a leavening agent in baked goods. But this is not the end of its culinary properties.

5 culinary life hacks with soda
5 culinary life hacks with soda

1. Prepare the perfect shrimp

A salt and soda marinade can significantly improve the appearance and taste of shrimp, as well as the speed at which they cook. This mixture traps moisture inside, making the shrimp more plump and juicy. Plus, baking soda allows them to brown and crisp faster.

What should be done

Prepare a dry marinade. A pound of shrimp will take a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda. Stir all ingredients, refrigerate and wait at least 15 minutes. After that, you can start cooking.

2. Quickly fry the onion

When frying, add a small amount of baking soda to the onion. This will brown the onion in just a couple of minutes. The proportions are the same as in the previous paragraph: for half a kilogram of product - a quarter of a teaspoon of powder.

However, this technique should be used with caution: soda can leave a specific aftertaste. Therefore, for the preparation of onion soup and other dishes with a high content of caramelized onions, it is better to refuse it.

3. Balance the acidity of tomatoes

Tinned tomatoes can add unnecessary sourness to food. A pinch of baking soda will help eliminate it without affecting the texture and overall taste of your tomato soups, sauces, vegetable purees, or other canned tomato dishes.

4. Turn spaghetti into ramen noodles

The ramen noodle dough contains an alkaline ingredient that is responsible for its yellow color and firm texture. Spaghetti can acquire similar properties if soda is added to the pan (before boiling).

Of course, you shouldn't expect a complete similarity between Italian pasta and Asian noodles, but in the absence of other options, this trick can be used.

There are two things to consider:

1. When adding baking soda, the water or broth begins to foam, so the pot must not be full, otherwise the contents will end up on the stove.

2. The more baking soda is added to the spaghetti, the more its texture resembles ramen. At the same time, there is an increased risk that the pasta will acquire an unpleasant aftertaste.

Therefore, it is worth adhering to the following rules:

  • if spaghetti is cooked in water or weak broth, you need to limit yourself to two teaspoons of baking soda per liter;
  • for a rich, thick ramen broth, you can increase the dose to two tablespoons.

5. Soften the chickpeas for hummus

Hummus will be smooth if its main ingredient, chickpeas, is very soft. Here again, baking soda will help.

What should be done

Mix a glass of dry chickpeas with six glasses of cold water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Refrigerate the mixture overnight. During this time, the beans will swell well, and during subsequent cooking they will soften perfectly. As a result, grinding them to a puree state will be easier than ever.