Somehow I don’t think so.
I was making chicken teriyaki for Sunday dinner and thinking that it’s pretty easy to make and wondering why I didn’t think of making it more often.
The last stage of preparing it calls for you to mix a little cornstarch with some cool water, then pour it into the chicken and soy sauce mixture, and stir for just a little while until the sauce thickens. It usually only takes a few seconds for the sauce to get to just the right consistency.
So I poured my concoction in and, instead of the gently, slowly thickening sauce, POOF — a foamy mess instantly formed and rose almost to overflow the pan. I thought, “What in the world….???” as I took the pan over to the sink to skim off the foam.
Then I realized….I had used baking soda instead of cornstarch.
If I had been really smart I would have called my kids in for a teachable moment in chemistry. When we discussed it later and my husband was explaining to them that the baking soda reacted to something in the soy sauce, my oldest said, “Just like those little volcanoes we used to make for science class.”
Yep. Neat for volcanoes. Not so good for dinner.
When I told my husband what happened (and yes, he laughed, and I can’t blame him), he came upstairs to look at it. By that time the bubbles had died down. He stirred and tasted it a little and said he thought it was ok to still use. I thought it might taste too salty, but it seemed ok. I had heard you could add a potato to soups and stews to counteract excess salt, but this was ready-to-serve except for the sauce, so I didn’t know if that would work. I didn’t have any more soy sauce to make new sauce, so I just added the right cornstarch and water concoction this time. It looked fine. It smelled terrible. It tasted way, way salty. None of us could finish our serving.
It took two tall glasses of iced tea to begin to relieve the salty feeling in my mouth. It might have helped if my tea had been sweetened.
It’s a good thing none of us is on a low sodium diet.