[Sca-cooks] lutefisk (highly offensive)

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jan 5 08:31:47 PST 2010

On Jan 5, 2010, at 10:16 AM, S CLEMENGER wrote:

> Speaking as someone who doesn't mind the "soapy" taste in, say, cilantro (the more the merrier there, as far as I'm concerned!), I suspect for some folks it is the taste, since I have friends who can't stand it.  For lutefisk and me, though, it's not any potential soapy taste, it's more the smell and the gelatinous nature of the beast.  I really don't like gelatinous things of almost any kind (even jello).  Just a personal textural quirk.
> Dunno that I've ever eaten an Asian dish for which the meat has been marinated in soda? What is the reasoning behind that?

You may have eaten something prepared that way and not been aware of it. It's pretty common in some Peking-style cookery (of which Orange or Tangerine Beef is either an example or a distant relation -- often some fairly tough meats are used, sliced and marinated in baking soda to tenderize it -- then coated with cornstarch, "velveted" or blanched in hot oil, then stir-fried with dried chiles, dried orange peel, and the sauce ingredients). The baking soda breaks down some of the connective tissue. It also leaves a fairly distinctive soapy aftertaste that is partially cut by the tang of the sauce, but also to some extent simply ignored, as if the eater knows his or her taste buds are playing tricks on them, and everything is sort of refocused and the sensation becomes less glaring.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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