Ask ZenKimchi: Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

Picture 396
Korean baking soda

Here’s a question from Lori:

Hi guys! Love your blog. Wondering if you could answer me a question about baking soda and baking powder here in Korea? I heard that these are switched here in Korea and you should use BS if a recipe calls for BP and vice versa. I’ve been making some pretty flat pancakes lately, but haven’t yet tried the switch. This thought just came to me while at work. Thanks! Lori


Hi Lori,

My experience hasn’t been too bad with baking powder and soda.  They aren’t mislabeled.  I’ve tasted each, and they’re what they say they are.  The baking powder is a little more bitter than I remember it in America.  I’ve stopped using it in my pancakes and waffles because it gives them a metallic taste.

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate.  Baking powder has sodium bicarbonate with an acidifying agent (cream of tartar) and drying agent (starch).

I do have a little trouble with cooking times and rising from what I believe are the high altitudes.  The substance you’re using may also be a bit old and has neutralized.  Also, with leavening agents, don’t let them sit around too long in a liquid mixture or they’ll lose their punch.  I’m pretty sure the baking powder in Korea is single acting baking powder, meaning that it needs to be used right away.  If you’re still having trouble, a possible solution could be to use baking soda and put in a little something acidic, like lemon.

Readers, have any of you been having this issue?

Previous

Surprising place to buy fresh coffee beans

Banchan: Ko-Chi in NYC, Gagnaire Pics, Maangchi, and a Seoul Eats Valentine

Next

3 thoughts on “Ask ZenKimchi: Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder”

  1. I’ve wondered the same about baking soda/powder in Korean recipes

    I tried following a cookie recipe but the “baking powder” looked more like baking soda. Since the powder tends to look powdery, and the baking soda looks like fine sand.

    I wasn’t sure what to use..

    Reply

Leave a (somewhat civilized) Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: