bi-carbonate and Alum
What is kansui?
Kansui also known as "akaline water or lye water" and is sold
is some oriental Asian stores. It may be omitted in most recipes if
Kansui helps maintain texture and taste in noodles. The main
components of this liquid were sodium and potassium carbonate and
phosphate. Typically it is used in some noodle preparations to
create a slightly chewy noodle rather than the conventional soft
Accelerate gluten bonding, improve elasticity and noodle
flexibility. Keep yellow color of product bright
Direction for use:
Add in water used to mix flour, stirred to dissolve together with
Usage level: 1.5 -> 3g / kg dry powder.
5 grams dissolved in a small amount of water would allow you
to make 500 grams (1 lb) of a final dough mixture.
1½ tsp kansui powder mix with water for 4 cups of flour
¾ tsp Kansui powder mix with water for
2 cups of flour
Nowadays Kansui is mainly used to refresh dry
squid and sea cucumber (Hoi Sam). Mixed 1 part of solution to 50parts or water.
Wash thoroughly after soaked in this solution!
Can we substitute kansui with Bi carbonate of soda?
Doesn't work the same. Bicarbonate of soda (e.g., Arm and Hammer) is
used as a quick leaven to rise dough. Kansui is to make curds, like
rennin, and designed to congeal liquids.
Soda will make flour mixture crumbly as it's designed to make a fine
crumb for bread and cookies, and the crispness for crackers.
Rennin is a substitute for Kansui though (you can find it in the
grocery store with the ice cream toppings). It comes in a Jello
What is Alum ?
The alum or Pak fun is a dry acid and reacts slowly to make your baked goods
rise in the oven. It works slower than the other baking powders so
it is good for things that will sit a while before baking. You also
use less of it than you would other baking powders. Besides, alum
Therefore, I would substitute double-acting baking powder in your
recipe and get it in the oven quickly after mixing. Eliminate the
baking soda in the recipe too. You might want to add a bit more of
the double-acting powder (like 1 1/2 x ) because you need more of it
than you would the alum based leavening. I would definately add more
if the item needs to sit before you bake it.
Alum is normally sold and available in Chinese
Medical drug stores overseas as Pak fun.
Recipes requires Alum:- Pak Tong Koh
What is Ammonia bicarbonate?
Ammonia powder is ammonium bicarbonate, a leavening agent that is a
precursor of today's baking powder and baking soda; it must be
ground to a powder before using. It is also known as hartshorn,
carbonate of ammonia or powdered baking ammonia. It is still called
for in some recipes especially for cookies.
The ammonia will make dry fry skins of dough very crispy.
Ammonia is normally sold and
available in Chinese Medical drug stores overseas as chow fun.
Recipes requies Ammonia:- All deep fry recipies, banana
fritters, Yam puff etc
If baker's ammonia is un available it can be substituted with baking
powder or soda.
but don't use baker's ammonia as a replacement for baking powder or
in a contemporary recipe.
Depending on your recipe, ammonia
bi-carbonate can be substituted in the following ratio 1:2, 1:3
ammonia = 1 tsp baking powder (ratio of 1:2)
½ tsp ammonia = 1½
tsp baking powder (more leaven ratio of 1:3)
½ tsp ammonia =
tsp baking soda plus ½ tsp of baking
powder (even more leaven in the ratio of 1:3)
1 tsp ammonia = 1¼ tsp baking
soda (more leaven ratio of 1:3)
1 tsp ammonia = ¾ tsp baking
powder plus ¾ tsp baking soda
(even more leaven in the ratio of 1:3)
Hartshorn is also called baker's ammonia or ammonium
Hartshorn is a leavening agent, and a precursor to the baking soda
and baking powder that everyone uses these days. Hartshorn’s virtue
is that it readily breaks down into a gas when heated (causing the
leavening), but unless it escapes completely, it leaves a hint or
more of the smell of ammonia. For that reason, it is generally used
only in cookie recipes where it doesn’t have to fight its way out of
a deep batter.
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