Why do Chinese use baking soda?

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has been utilized in various cultures for its versatile properties, including in traditional Chinese practices. In Chinese culture, baking soda has found applications in both culinary and non-culinary contexts.

Culinary Uses:

Baking soda is used in Chinese cuisine for several reasons:

  • Tenderizing Meat: Baking soda can help tenderize meat by breaking down proteins, resulting in a more tender texture.
  • Alkaline Agent: It is used as an alkaline agent to enhance the texture and color of certain vegetables, such as in the preparation of Chinese noodles.
  • Leavening: Baking soda is used as a leavening agent in certain Chinese bread and pastry recipes.

Non-Culinary Applications:

Beyond the kitchen, baking soda has been used in traditional Chinese practices for various purposes:

  • Medicinal Use: Baking soda has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its potential antacid and alkalizing properties.
  • Household Cleaner: Baking soda is an effective and natural cleaning agent, and it has been used for cleaning purposes in Chinese households for generations.
  • Personal Care: Baking soda is sometimes used in traditional personal care practices, such as for oral hygiene or as a natural deodorant.

Baking soda’s multifunctional properties have contributed to its presence in various aspects of Chinese culture, from the kitchen to traditional medicine and everyday household practices.

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