How should baking soda be used to tenderize meat?
At some Chinese restaurants, I've had beef dishes where the meat was unusually tender. It also has a somewhat unusual texture, which is hard to describe. I understand that this is a result of using baking soda to tenderize the meat.
How should one use baking soda to tenderize meat? And can the technique be applied to other tough meats like chicken or pork?
You may be disappointed with the results from the answers below. The texture you're after does not come from tenderizing (or tenderizing alone), but from a process called velvelting. Here is an article on water-velveting for home cooks: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/07/chinese-velveting-101-introduction-water-velveting.html
Add the baking soda to the cut meat and then wash it off. Measure about a teaspoon in your palm and then sprinkle it over the thinly sliced meat from high up. This way you get a thin layer over all the meat. Wash after some time (you can do it overnight). There is an eHow that you may follow
The baking soda will work like other meat tenderizers, by denaturing the proteins on the surface of the meat, so it should work on pork or chicken as long as the baking soda is on the meat (and not the skin or fat). The tenderizers penetrate the meat very slowly, millimeters per day at refrigerator temperatures, faster at cooking temperatures, so in practice it will only work on thin slices. If you use thicker pieces, you will still change the meat's surface texture.
If you use the baking soda straight into the dish in the same proportion (some people like it this way), adjust your salt accordingly, as the baking soda will make the dish salty.