Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Like the Super Bowl Wings, this is not really a Chinese recipe, but it does go great on salads or veggies if you’re looking for an Asian twist on a meal – yummy on seaweed salad, also great with grilled salmon – use as a marinade, then drizzle a little fresh dressing on after it’s grilled! The recipe is based on what is really a “template” for a basic vinaigrette: 1 part acid to 3 parts oil, plus 1/3 part emulsifier (the mustard) and some seasonings. With that in mind, you can now create a variety of vinaigrettes to pair with any theme – you’ll be saving lots of money on salad dressing AND you’ll avoid the massive amounts of artificial ingredients most store-bought dressings contain!

ingredients:

  • 2 T rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T fresh ginger root juice – you can grate the ginger and squeeze it or use a juicer if you’re going to be making more for another use.
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce or miso paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried or Dijon mustard
  • 5-6 T neutral-flavored oil, such as safflower
  • 2-3 T sesame oil
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds – a mix of black and white is nice, or just one type is fine.

method:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, ginger juice, soy sauce or miso (optional), and mustard, whisking well to combine thoroughly.
  2. Combine the oils in a measuring cup – start with the lesser amount, in case you don’t need it all.
  3. You’ll need both hands next, so be sure your bowl in not moving around by placing it on a kitchen towel. As you tapidly whisk the vinegar mixture continuously, GRADUALLY add the oil mixture, first a drop at a time, then in a thin stream. The oil should be incorporated into the dressing immediately – if it is separating, stop adding oil and whisk rapidly to get the emulsification set up before you start adding oil again. Taste for acidity – if it’s too acid, add the remaining oil, still whisking rapidly.
  4. Adjust seasoning, add the sesame seeds, and you’re ready to use your dressing. A properly emulsified vinaigrette should stay together, but if it separates, you can either shake it well in a tightly covered jar or pour off the oil and re-emulsify it.

do ahead:

This recipe makes a lot of dressing, so if you’re not going to use it all, leave the sesame seeds out until you’re ready to use it; otherwise, they’ll become soggy and tasteless.

Advertisements

Cantonese Barbecue Sauce

This barbecue sauce is truly all-purpose: ribs, pork, chicken all taste great with it!

This concoction uses considerably more processed ingredients than most of my other recipes, but even these can be part of a healthy lifestyle if used in moderation and on rare occasions – like that perfect late-summer barbecue. They can all be easily found in the Asian section of a conventional market.

The amount will work for approximately 2 lbs of meat. Because the sauce contains honey, you need to be very careful when grilling – it will burn easily, so after you sear on the initial grill marks, move the meat to an area of the grill with low heat to finish cooking.

ingredients:

  • 2 T light soy sauce
  • 2 T dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 c honey or light molasses
  • 2 T oyster sauce
  • 2 T Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2 T hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp five-spice powder (optional) or anise seed

method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the meat you intend to barbecue, then rub all over with the sauce.
  3. Refrigerate the meat in the sauce at least 3 h or overnight, turning once or twice.
  4. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill to desired doneness – don’t forget the sauce will burn easily, so turn down the heat or move to a cooler section after the initial sear.
  5. While the meat grills, bring the sauce to a simmer on the stove and simmer on low for 4-5 m. It will now be safe to use this sauce either to give the meat a final coat when it’s cooked or to serve on the side as a dip. If you have any left over, you can freeze it and reuse it.