The native guide; All about unique JapanHow Do The Japanese Make Tough Meat Tender At Home
Sponsored Link

How Do The Japanese Make Tough Meat Tender At Home

how do the japanese make though meat tender at homeFood & Drinks
Food & Drinks
Sponsored Link

With Baking Powder

marinate meat with baking powder

You may have heard about tenderizing meat with “baking soda” before.

I have tried “baking soda dissolved water” a couple of times, but I didn’t like the characteristic bitter taste of baking soda.

So I substitute “BAKING POWDER”instead of baking soda, I got the same result, which means it tenderizes any kinds of meat without the flavor transformed.

Especially when I cook poultry, I marinate it overnight. Surprisingly juicy and tender.

My husband doesn’t like chicken breast much, but he can eat it in this way.

The ratio for the solution is

Water : Baking Powder : Salt = 1 Litter (4.2 us cup) : 2 tbsp : 1 tbsp

You don’t have to follow this ratio exactly, it is OK when enough water covers whole meat.

I am not a neat person, so I just add water if the meat isn’t be covered.

When you marinate whole chicken or big family amount of meat, make the solution double, you know.

Also, be careful the amount of salt when using “sea salt” or “natural mineral salt such as Himalayan pink salt”. Reduce the amount of salt a little bit because compared with regular salt, they have a strong salty taste.

baking powder and salt

The salt and baking powder hardly is dissolved in the water so I use boiled water to dissolve them first, then add rest of cold water.

Make sure the solution is not warm when soaking the meat.

Usually, I don’t wash off the solution since I switched to baking powder, but if you care, you can wash off too.

I recommend soaking the meat overnight, although you don’t have time, better do at least 4 hours to 6 hours.

Tenderize meat with baking powder

How to tenderize meat with baking powder dissolved water


  • 1 litter water
  • 2 tbsp baking POWDER
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • hot water for dissolving salt


  • Dissolve salt in the hot water first.
  • Soak the meat in the solution at least for 4 hours. (for overnight is preferred)
  • Remove the meat on kitchen towels. Wipe off excess moisture.
  • *Rince the meat if desired.
Keywordbaking powder, baking soda, marinade, tenderize

With Sio-Koji

shio koji

“Shio Koji” (塩糀) = “Koji Rice” is the fermented condiment from Japan.

The tenderizing effect of “Koji” is so powerful, the meat is going to be not only tender but also enhanced “Umami-the savory flavor”.

Moreover, it doesn’t take much time to tenderize meat, you need at least 30 minutes to marinate meat.

I always marinate pork chops with shio koji and freeze them.

When making Japanese pork cutlets (the recipe is here) with them, the quality will be much better.

Also, Koji rice has several health benefits.

I am very obsessed with homemade “Shio Koji” because I never get meat dried out since I marinate meat with it.

Although I am obsessed with Shio Koji, I don’t want strong “Koji” flavor, so wash off or wipe off if desired.

If you don’t wash off and grill the meat or fish with shio koji, it’s easily burned so be aware.

BBQ Marinade

I have tried most of the ways to tenderize meat by marinating with grated onions, pineapples, apple juice, pears, honey, sugar, Japanese sake…

So I make homemade Japanese BBQ sauce with using some of them.

Even beef chuck, flank steak will be tender if you marinate it in this sauce!

The Japanese BBQ Sauce (Yakiniku no Tare)

Japanese phrase 32

This is the Japanese BBQ sauce but I use it as marinade sauce.

If you are struggle for stir-fried tough sliced beef or pork, marinate meat with this sauce.

The meat comes always tender with Asian breeze.


Japanese BBQ sauce, Yakiniku no Tare, recipe

Japanese BBQ Sauce (Yakiniku no Tare)

This is the all-purpose sauce to bring Asian breeze to your dish.


  • 1/2 cup Japanese sake or white wine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic grated or pressed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger or powder
  • 2 tbsp grated pear or apple or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce (kikkoman)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • dried red hot chili pepper
  • 2 tbsp white roasted sesame seeds


  • Simmer Japanese sake (or white wine) and brown sugar with low heat until the color turns golden brown. (for about 10 min.)
  • When the color turns golden brown, turn off the heat, add the rest of the ingredients while it is still warm.
Keywordmarinade, Sauce

dried chili pepper

In Japanese cooking, we use often dried red hot chili peppers (Takanotsume aka hawk chili peppers) to add hot spice or just chili flavor.

Cut a chili pepper into 2-3 parts and throw in the sauce.

If you like hot spicy, add seeds too. (If you want a mild flavor, don’t put seeds.)

You can use a fresh one, of course- slice thinly if you use fresh.

• You don’t have time???

You can get Japanese style BBQ sauce online, if you don’t have time.

Lastly, Freezer Hacks

Chicken Breasts, Turkey Breasts

  1. Pierce breasts with forks as much as you can.
  2. Rub breast with per 1 tsp sugar for each side.
  3. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, 1 tsp sake or white wine, and rub thoroughly.
  4. Wrap each with plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag.

Chicken Thighs, Breasts, Pork

  1. Make the “baking powder” solution
  2. Set a freezer bag in a bowl, put the meat in it.
  3. Pour the solution until the meat covered.
  4. Keep the bag in the bawl even in the freezer until the meat and solution frozen. Or lay filled bags flat in the freezer

Pork Chops, Chicken breasts

Apply shio koji. For meat, the volume to use is 10% of the weight of the meat.

Thin Sliced Beef & Pork (chicken), Pork Chops

  1. Make the Japanese BBQ sauce.
  2. Slice Beefsteak, marinate with the sauce.
  3. Marinate Pork chops.
  4. Before cook sliced beef or pork, add 1 tsp of potato starch (or corn starch) and massage the meat on the bag. (Not necessary for pork chops.)
Sponsored Link
Sponsored Link


Copied title and URL