An old trick for preparing of juicy and tasty meat. Soda bicarbonate makes wonders with meat.
Surely making salty brine for your meat is not a secret practice for any of you. The idea of ​​all this lies in the mechanics of fluids and a concept called osmosis.
Described very briefly, osmosis is the passage of water molecules through a permeable barrier from where their concentration is lower (saline, brine) to where their concentration is higher (a piece of meat). That is, by soaking the meat in salt water, we manage to increase its water content, making it more juicy and tender, as long as we bake it the right way afterwards.
But the old Chinese chefs knows another trick. The trick is in covering the meat with baking soda, which also makes it more fragile and juicy, but in quite a different way. You probably know that sodium bicarbonate has an antacid (alkalizing) effect. With this feature, it increases the pH of the meat surface and prevents it from firing during baking.

They say that soda baking technique, unlike brine, works better for small pieces of meat. In recipes with minced meat (for meatballs, for example) a small amount of sodium bicarbonate (about a quarter teaspoon for 1/2 kg of meat) is mixed directly with the other ingredients.

When it comes to meat bites, however, the recommended approach is to dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a liter of water for every 500 grams of meat and soak it in this solution. Opinions about the end result differ, but my recommendation is to try first by rinsing the bites after soaking, because some cooks say baking soda changes the taste.

If you are wondering if it is important to try at all, I will tell you that it is by no means important, but it would be interesting for those of you who are more curious to experiment in the kitchen. The proponents of this technique advertise it not only as a better end result, but also as more effective than soaking in brine for two main reasons:

A shorter cooking time. While soaking in brine should last minimum 30 minutes (at least 2 and a half hours are recommended) in order to have an effect, leaving meat in bread soda rarely exceeds 15-20 minutes. On the other hand, experienced chefs have testified that the excess of soda time does not produce any negative effects, while salting in salty water can damage and loosen the meat.

Less raw material. Covering half a kg of meat with an alkaline solution requires between 1/4 and 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate. Soaking the same amount of meat in the brine, for comparison, requires a minimum of half a cup of salt per liter of water.
So, I tried this experiment with soda yesterday night. I had guest come over and pork cut in pieces and pork chops about 1,5 kg. First I washed the meat with water and sprinkled soda directly on each piece and each side. I left the meat for 30 minutes. Then, rinsed it well with water. Be careful here, you have to rinse it well or it may change the taste of meat. Then I aligned the meat in the pan, added spices and salt and a little oil. I covered the pan with aluminium foil and put to bake at 200 C degrees. I flipped the meat on the other side after 40 minutes. Then I noticed that it is already very juicy and soft. After flipping it on the other side, I removed the foil and it was ready after 30 minutes. This was the best, the most juicy and softest meat I've made in my life. My guests were thrilled and asked me how I made it. Should I tell them the secret? :)