I’ve had people ask me how I get some of the meats I cook so tender i.e. Chicken Breast , Pork Chops, Steaks, Salmon … just about anything. Also works on boiled cooked greens like Kale, Spinach, Asparagus, even Carrots … BEST way ever is..
BAKING SODA!!!! (maybe some know this already) if you don’t you’re missing out.
Once you’ve washed your meat , lightly sprinkle baking soda on both sides. (I either poke the box with a fork to shake or transfer to a shaker to make easier)
Let it sit for 10 minutes. No longer- RINSE OFF !!!
Then pat dry (I use paper towels) cook/season as you normally would. CHANGES EVERYTHING!!
Oh my gosh the first time I made sweet and sour chicken, it melted in my mouth, whereas many times the chicken just didn’t seem tender “enough” for my liking.
Remember too much baking soda makes your meat too salty!
Another great tip for Velvetting meat (Chinese & Japanese Style):
I use the Japanese method of velveting. Mix 1/4 soy sauce and 1/2 cup water and soak meat. Drain excess and then add cornstarch and oil for 15 minutes. Drain and cook. That’s way Chinese and Japanese meat is so tender
There is also Brining Meat (takes a little longer):
For moist meat..my husband makes a brine…4 cups water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, bit of cumin. Brine meat for 2 days. Drain , rinse, seasoning of choice. Cook. Super tender
Then there is the Yogurt (Plain Yogurt) way:
Also plain yogurt makes everything moist…leave product in baggie rinse off pat dry cook…marinate in yogurt for at least 6 8 hrs.
Other popular ways include:
Balsamic Vinaigrette mixed with your herbs, garlic, Worcestershire Sauce, and desired seasonings … Put in plastic bag (if possible), add meat, close bag … I like to message marinade into meat for a couple of seconds … Let sit one hour. (To really kick it up a knotch, add some Liquid Smoke! A complete game changer!)
Side notes: I’m huge on flavor and tenderness. So I’m all about mixing fresh garlic (even from jar for extra punch sometimes), and powdered garlic. However, I do not buy garlic with added salt, unless Sea Salt.
Seeing how I only cook with Sea Salt, or Kosher Salt, I am also a firm believer in Smoked Salts, and seasonings, that have Sea Salts. I have found one of the best places to buy good Sea Salt (almost always Coarse) is places like ‘The Dollar Store’, ’99¢ Store’, even ‘Mom and Pop’ neighborhood stores. You typically get lower quality salts (unless specialty) from your ‘Big Local Store’, ‘Costco’ might be an exception. Gosh, now you are getting awesome quality, and best pricing! I call that winning!
When it comes to Pepper, I have an endless assortment. Variety in seasoning and herbs will change what you eat, and how you eat it. I also recommend growing your favorite herbs and peppers (indoors if necessary), for the flavor.
Bonus tip: Tarragon and Arugula are HUGE FLAVOR ENHANCERS! I even substitute Arugula in Tacos, Burgers, Eggs, Fish, Butters, and more. They both have a peppery taste, and are very easy to work with.
I have included my pictures of some of my steaks, and other foods that include marinades, seasonings, herbs, Tarragon, Arugula, Garlic and more. As well as other purposes for Baking Soda.
Also remember, please adjust formulas/recipes for quantity of food.
Feel free to leave comments, questions, and suggestions in the comment box.