Tips To Use Baking Soda In Cooking That Is Beyond Baking
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Baking soda has always been associated with two things in our kitchens – baking and deodorising. However, not many people are aware that the uses for baking soda go beyond just acting as a leavening agent in cakes or to make your fridge smell neutral. Here are some ways to incorporate baking soda in cooking, that have nothing to do with adding it to your cakes, cookies or pies.


Leaving deveined and cleaned shrimp to soak in a solution of baking soda, salt and water ensures that your seafood stays juicy and moist, without turning too rubbery while cooking. The briny solution gives the shrimp a crisper, snappier texture, adding more bite to it than usual. Using a teaspoon each of salt and baking soda, for every 300 grams of shrimp is one of the best ways to poach, stew, fry and even sear the shellfish, without losing its textural integrity.

Browning Onions

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Adding just a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to your pan of onions give it the shade of brown it would have otherwise achieved after hours of slow-cooking and caramelisation. However, using this technique where the recipe uses browned onions as a foundational ingredient isn’t too advisable. But if you plan on using caramelised onions as part of a larger recipe like a French onion dip or even to add as one of the ingredients for meatballs, then by all means, go along with this.

Acidity Of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are many things great but consistency is hardly their virtue. That being said, sometimes tomatoes can be a tad too acidic for anyone’s liking and adding a pinch of baking soda to your sauce or chopped tomatoes, can help neutralise the acidity considerably. If using ground tomatoes for a sauce, stew or soup is the idea, then mixing in the soda with the puree is better before it is added along with any other ingredient.

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Spaghetti To Ramen

We’ve all heard of Jesus turning water to wine but did you know that adding a teaspoon of baking soda to boiling water before adding in angel hair pasta or spaghetti will transform the texture of the noodles to as springy as ramen noodles, while also giving it a pale yellow hue. That would not only save you a trip to the grocery store, if you’ve run out of ramen noodles but also let you play with recipes a lot more creatively than you would otherwise.

Softer Beans

Perhaps one of the best ways to make sure that hard beans turn mushy and cook through thoroughly is to add a pinch of baking soda to the cooking liquid. While most pulses like chickpeas and rajma can take forever to cook despite being soaked overnight, adding baking soda increases the pH levels of the cooking liquid, helping to breakdown the proteins more easily than usual. Use this technique to achieve the most creamy rajma or silky smooth hummus.