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Recipes Index A-K

Recipes Index K-Z


Kansui, Ammonia 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 unavailable.
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 noodle.
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 eggs
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 sized box.

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 tastes nasty.
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 soda
in a contemporary recipe.
Depending on your recipe, ammonia bi-carbonate can be substituted in the following ratio 1:2, 1:3
½ tsp 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 = ¼ 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 bicarbonate.
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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