Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My go-to Asian Marinade

About 15 months ago I stumbled upon a great Soy Sauce-based marinade for fish and chicken. It's my go-to. It's so easy and tastes great.

It consists of 3-4 central ingredients and then I make minor tweaks based on what herbs/spices I have left in my kitchen.  I primarily use it on chicken thighs, NFL-ready chicken wings, and grilled or smoked salmon.

The Original Recipe
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I prefer the low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup minced green onion
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Most guys don't have all of these ingredients but you don't have to embarass yourself looking for a funny root called "ginger." The key components are the soy sauce and sesame oil.  I *know* you have pepper. But from there, the marinade has some options.

  • Add Heat - I like adding cayenne pepper to give some heat to the dish. (A little!) Cayenne will give heat briefly but won't burn your mouth forever
  • Add Orange Zest (read: Orange peel) - If you want to look like a professional grate a 1/4 of an orange's bright peel. Orange-flavors always go well with Asian food. (Remember that $5-Orange-chicken-rice-eggroll-soda-hangover remedy in college? Yes Yuan Ho of Charlottesville, I'm looking at you)
  • Keep the green onions (or chives, or skinny, green-topped onions thingys) if you can - Good texture, good flavor

Don't worry if you don't have:
  • Ginger
  • Minced garlic
  • Honey (Although I think this adds a lot to it)
  • Actual measurement utensils.  Start with soy-sauce. Add a lot less sesame oil. Put in some herbs. Taste frequently. 

Actually Marinating the Food
  • I've marinated wings and chicken thighs (recipe coming later) anywhere from 30 minutes - 4 hours.
  • Salmon will pick up this marinade in about 30 minutes

Marinating Tips
  • Don't use your marinade as the sauce later! That marinade has been sitting with raw chicken
  • Use a zip lock bag and put the marinade and chicken in it together
  • Marinade fish fleshy-side down

    1 comment:

    1. FYI--- ladies and gents--- I have used this twice now on salmon and it is KICK ASS.


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