For some reason in our house, Asian flavors tend to get neglected. I’ve never been crazy about Chinese take-out the way some people are, and if we go out to dinner at an Asian restaurant, 9 times out of 10 it’s for sushi. And I don’t tend to cook with those flavors at home very often. Maybe I am a little intimidated by them.
But a few nights ago, I had a hankerin’. I had just bought some chicken thighs and frozen stir-fry veggies at the store; I thought it was a match made in heaven. So at work (ha), I set about finding a decent recipe for a marinade, which I then adapted to be real-food friendly.
This sauce is so versatile. I baked the chicken and veggies, but you could easily stir-fry them on the stovetop. Or turn this into a fried rice. Or grill the chicken. I’m sure each adaptation would be equally delicious! I happened to have some romaine hearts and decided to make mine into lettuce wraps — because who doesn’t love handheld food?
(Sorry for the lack of photos, this wasn’t a particularly interesting or pretty dish to make. But it was super easy and only used one dish for baking and one pot for some rice! What’s not to love?)
What are some of your favorite Asian dishes to make at home?
Makes 2/3 cup, enough for 2 people.
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (I use low-sodium tamari)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sriacha
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
Combine all ingredients in a mixing vessel, stir well to combine. Marinate veggies and protein for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Cook as desired.
My protein this evening was chicken thighs (2 per person) cut into 1-inch strips, and I added half a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies. You could of course use fresh (but I am lazy and didn’t want to have to buy 6 different kinds of vegetables for one meal). I marinated in a large zip-top bag and then baked at 425 for about 2o minutes.
To thicken the sauce after baking, start with 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 3 teaspoons of cool water. Then drain the sauce off into a microwave-safe dish (I used the same one I made the sauce in the first place), add cornstarch slurry and stir well. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir some more. It will thicken before your very eyes! Pour this back over the meat and veggies.
I served this with brown rice and large lettuce leaves for Asian tacos! I garnished with cilantro, and I wish I had thought to top it off with some toasted sesame seeds. Next time!