Thankfully, I never have the happening like the terrible dry, tasteless, rubbery chicken (breast), turkey, and pork chops, since I use my secret brine with baking powder.
Surely, you have ever brine the meat in your way to make tender meat.
Yet, have you ever been bothered by measuring meat, calculating saltwater concentration, and getting salty dishes when missed the brining time?
I really want to share how I brine the meat in my secret way, which you don’t have to worry about any measure meant and you never get salty meat for dinner.
You will need baking soda, salt, and water. In my way, brining meat should be from 8 hours to overnight. Besides, it will be done for 4 hours with a small portion or thinly sliced meat.
Today, dive into why baking powder can tenderize the meat and my brine recipe for everyday cuts of meat and holiday meals.
- How I Found The Baking Powder Brining
- Why Baking Powder Can Tenderize Meat?
- How Long To Brine Meat With Baking Powder Solution
- My Secret Brine Recipe With Baking Powder
- Don’t Be So Meticulous About The Ratio
- Do You Need To Rinse The Brined Meat?
- How To Use Tender Moist Chicken Breast
- Japanese Cooking Hacks From My Kitchen: Brine The Meat In The Baking Powder Solution
- The Supreme Tender Moist Japanese Pan-fried Teriyaki Chicken Breast
How I Found The Baking Powder Brining
Since it is not so common to cook a whole chicken in Japan, I didn’t know the brining method in my cooking life!
So, I started to brine the meat, but I was not happy about the measuring process, and results-sometimes dry, sometimes salty.
The Japanese often use baking soda in any situation from cooking to cleaning, so I researched if there was a way to use it as tendering meat.
I combined the wet brine with baking soda and the classic salt brining, and better result!
The chicken breast at that time came out tender and moist!
However, one issue-I was disappointed with the unique (unpleasant) bitter taste of baking soda that had penetrated to the meat!
So, I got the idea to use “baking powder” instead of baking soda!
It was successful-unbelievably tender and moist meat without an unpleasant bitter taste!
Why Baking Powder Can Tenderize Meat?
Simply, make use of the power of food science, you can easily get the best chicken breast, turkey, and a monster pork chop when using this method.
So, you can skip here if you want to keep away the cooking science from you.
Meat has the property of improving water-holding capacity by acidity and alkalinity levels.
Sodium bicarbonate contained in baking soda (powder) acts on the meat protein to tender.
It is even more effective when used in combination with water!
For example, white meat easily becomes dry when it is cooked since the part is made up of muscles (fibers).
Sodium bicarbonate expands fibers and makes room for moisture.
Therefore, the white meat will be tender and moist with both action of Sodium bicarbonate-tenderizing and moisturizing.
How Long To Brine Meat With Baking Powder Solution
In this method, you don’t need to worry about brining time so much since the salt concentration is low. (my brine is 1.5% and the general brine is seemed to be 5-10%.)
In my experience (or maybe I just was lucky,), I have never gotten the salty meat even after 48 hours.
Anyway, officially, how long should you brine the meat?
Basically, marinating the meat overnight (8-24 hours) is an easy rule to remember.
Besides, you can reduce the brining time with a small portion of meat or small chunks or sliced meat for 4 hours.
Also, piercing the meat before marinating in the baking powder solution help to tenderize and moisten the ingredient quicker.
Only when using this method on beef steaks, you may want to consider the brining time since it can over-tenderize them if you like the “meaty” texture.
My Secret Brine Recipe With Baking Powder
What Is the Baking Powder Brine Ratio? The basic ratio of baking powder and salt to water for a brine is 2 tablespoons of baking powder, and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt per 1 quart (4 cups) of water.
If you are using fine table salt or depending on your natural salt, reduce the amount to 2/3 tablespoons.
I am not so picky about the baking powder since it will not be fully dissolved anyway.
Flip over the meat occasionally while brining.
Don’t Be So Meticulous About The Ratio
Please relax your body and mind, and release muscle tension on your shoulders about the ratio of the brine water and the meat weight.
If the brining water is not enough to cover the meat, go ahead adding water. You don’t need to add the extra baking powder or salt.
I usually use the basic ratio for up to 2 pounds of meat, and the double recipe for anything over that.
Do You Need To Rinse The Brined Meat?
It is not necessary to rinse off the solution since the baking powder is a less bitter taste.
Repeatedly, the baking powder is tasteless and not salty.
According to USDA, rinsing raw meat is not recommended. (*1)
This does not help get rid of all the bacteria. It also causes bacteria to spread to the sink and other surfaces.
However, you can tap dry if desired.
General Safety Tips For Brining The Meat
Follow these important food safety tips.
- To avoid bacteria, always brine the meat in the fridge.
- Make sure all meat is fully soaked in the solution.
- Do not brine any longer than 48 hours.
- Do not reuse the brine
How To Use Tender Moist Chicken Breast
Japanese Cooking Hacks From My Kitchen: Brine The Meat In The Baking Powder Solution
- 1 quart water
- 2 tbsp baking POWDER
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 lb Meat *Up to 2lb of the meat
- Dissolve salt in the boiled water if needed.*Boiled water is not on the list. Use ½ cup or less boiled water to dissolve the salt. You can skip this step.
- In a large mixing bowl, add water and salt, and mix well until the salt is dissolved.
- Add baking powder, mix them well.
- Let the solution cool down if needed when using boiled water to dissolve the salt.
How To Brine The Meat
- Pierce the meat on both sides as much as you can with a fork.
- Soak the meat in the baking powder solution. If the water is not enough to cover the ingredient, add water without adding extra baking powder and salt.
- Brine the meat for 8-24 hours while flipping the ingredients occasionally. (You can reduce the bringing time down to 4 hours if you use a small portion or small chunks.)
- Rinsing off the baking powder solution is not really necessary. Wipe off the solution with kitchen paper before use if desired.
The Supreme Tender Moist Japanese Pan-fried Teriyaki Chicken Breast
- 1 non-stick frying pan/skillet
- 1 lid for frying pan/ skillet
- 1½ lb Chicken breast
- ¼ cup wheat/ rice flour OR potato/ corn starch
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Japanese sake/ white wine
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 0.1 oz ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp Japanese sake/ white wine
- ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
Homemade Authentic TERIYAKI SAUCE
- 2 cups dark soy sauce
- 2 cups Japanese Sake
- 2 cups Raw cane sugar
- Dashi kelp (2 X 5 inches)
- Make TERIYAKI SAUCE the day before. The full recipe↓↓↓Homemade Authentic Japanese Teriyaki (Yakitori) Sauce
Tenderize The Meat
- Trim and butterfly chicken breast. Pierce the meat as much as you can on both sides with a fork.
- Make the baking powder solution in this post.
- Marinade the meat overnight, for up to 48 hours, in a fridge.
Marinate The Meat
- Remove the chicken breast from the baking powder solution. Towel dry. Cot the meat into chunks.
- In a large bowl, add chunks, grated ginger and garlic, Japanese sake/ white wine, sugar, black pepper, and combine them well. Marinate the meat for 20 minutes.
- Add soy sauce, and mix well.
- Add wheat/ rice flour or potato/ corn starch, and mix well. Be sure all chunks are coated with powder.
Pan-fry The Meat
- Oil the non-stick frying pan/ skillet. Arrange the piece in one layer and cook the bottom until it gets light brown over medium heat, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the piece. Add the oil if needed. Cook the bottom for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp of Japanese sake or white wine, immediately place the lid on the pan. Reduce the heat to low, or turn off the heat, and continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the lid, turn on the stove or increase the heat to medium-high. Toss the chicken to evaporate the moisture, for about 1-2 minutes.
- You can cook to coat the chicken breast with TERIYAKI sauce at this point, or transfer the dish to a platter and drizzle the sauce.