Lye water, also known as Lime water, is a caustic liquid used in small amounts during cooking because it is strong and safe.
However, the liquid is very dangerous if you swallow it undiluted. Some of the effects are corrosive burns on your throat, permanent damage to the stomach if swollen, and esophagus.
If you swallow lye water accidentally, you will need immediate medical attention, especially for children.
According to the law, lye water must meet safety requirements to be sold in the market for household usage.
Lye water in Chinese
lye water is very popular in Chinese. To Asian people, lye water is commonly used as an ingredient in cooking.
In recent years the liquid has gained popularity in some parts of Africa.
Meanwhile, in China, it is used as an ingredient when cooking meat, noodles, rice, beans, vegetable corns, and okra to add flavor, soften and maintain the vegetable colors.
It is normally added to the recipe in small amounts, say spoonful. In some instances, it is used to manufacture cleaning agents and soaps.
The lye water is also used in Chinese for brewing and baking because it helps raise the dough’s pH.
Additionally, lye water used to make food is made of ashes obtained from burnt woods and is then soaked in water using a jar for 3 months. This makes it a very strong liquid that is likely to burn your throat if not used well or dilute.
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Lye water ingredients
lye water is a very powerful liquid that is usually made at home. It is easily made because it does not require many ingredients.
To make pure lye water, you only need water and baking soda. Then you will need to mix them in a ratio of 1:4, and boom, you are good to go.
lye water uses
There are several uses of lye water. But the most common one is that it is being used as a food ingredient commonly used in Asia and some parts of Africa.
Chinese people use it in meat, rice, maize, vegetable corns. The main purpose of using it as an ingredient is to add flavor and help maintain the original color of foods, especially vegetables.
Industrially, it is used to make soaps and some cleaning agents because of its capability to increase the pH of the product or substance it gets in contact with.
Lye water mooncake
Mooncakes are Chinese pastries usually eaten during a Mid-Autumn festival, but they can be eaten any season or period of the year.
Mooncake contains thin pastry crust surrounded by sweet fillings and dense like lotus seed paste and red bean.
Making mooncakes is not easy because they require ingredients that are not easily found. To make a mooncake, you will need to use or make lye water.
Lye water is an alkaline solution made of water and baking soda. The mooncake requires at least 2g of lye water to make.
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Lye water noodles
The multipurpose nature of lye water has made it a popular and commonly used alkaline solution.
To make ramen noodles, you will need an alkaline solution which lye water is the most alkaline solution used in making noodles.
We use lye water to make noodles to help noodles become springy, elastic, and slightly yellow. On top of that, it prevents them from becoming mushy when added to soups.
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Lye water for pretzels
The strong alkalinity nature of lye water makes it dangerous and very useful if utilized properly.
Lye is used in making pretzels because it enhances the Maillard reaction of the dough on the outside.
One advantage of using lye water is that it is very natural and acts like yeast that offers instant reaction or result. It gives pretzels their awesome color, flavor, and texture.
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kansui vs. lye water
We are speaking about the same thing but slightly different among them.
When you add potassium carbonate and sodium carbonate, you create the difference.
But much the same, they are both alkaline solutions used as ingredients.
However, Kansui powder has a weak pH value compared to lye water. This means that you will get great flavor and nice taste with lye water as opposed to kansui.
Lye water substitute for mooncake
There are few substitutes for lye water for those uncomfortable with lye water. You can substitute with a boiled cup of water mixed with 3 grams of sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda.
Then boil it for about 8 minutes.
There is no doubt that lye water is a useful ingredient capable of doing magic if utilized properly.
However, if you use lye water wrongly, it can be dangerous, and sometimes, the damage might be irreversible.