Archive for SAUCES & SEASONINGS

Ahi Tuna Poki Salad

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This is a new twist on Ahi Tuna Poki. Marinate good quality cubes of ahi tuna in my Japanese Vinaigrette dressing and serve with your favorite salad greens and diced cucumbers.

It’s oh-so-good, trust me.  🙂

You can find my Japanese Vinaigrette recipe here.

Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Ahi Tuna Poki Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Seafood, Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 1 serving
 
A new take on Ahi Tuna Poki that's served in my tangy and slightly sweet dressing with your favorite salad vegetables
Ingredients
  • Lettuce leaves (I like hearts of Romaine), as much as you like
  • ½ cup diced cucumbers
  • ½ cup diced red onions
  • ½ cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup diced ahi tuna
  • ½ cup Japanese Vinaigrette
Optional:
  • Red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Make my Japanese Vinaigrette as directed in my recipe (see the link above).
  2. Marinate the ahi tuna in the vinaigrette for 10-15 minutes. Pour the tuna and dressing over the salad greens and other vegetables. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the salad (optional).
Serve and enjoy!

 

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Japanese Vinaigrette

I love salads, but it’s all about the dressing for me. I’ve been experimenting with various salad dressings but I always seem to migrate toward vinegar and oil mixtures.

I call this a Japanese vinaigrette because of the addition of rice wine vinegar and aji mirin seasoning. Traditional Japanese dressings, however, usually use plain vegetable oil, but I love the flavor sesame oil imparts, so that’s my oil of choice in this version.

This is a quick and easy recipe. Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl, whisk, and serve.

This dressing is delicious with mixed salad greens, over cucumbers, or use it to make one of my many versions of Ahi Tuna Poki.

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Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Japanese Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauces and Dressings
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2.5 cups
 
A tangy and slightly sweet dressing perfect for salads, seafood, or used as a marinade.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup aji mirin sweet cooking rice seasoning
  • ¼ cup white, granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Pour over salad greens, cucumbers, or use as a marinade. This is also a delicious dressing for my version of Ahi Tuna Poki.

 

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Easy Lemon Garlic Aioli

My super simple aioli is tangy from fresh lemon juice and packed full of flavor from chopped garlic and cajun seasoning.

It takes a few short minutes to make.  It’s perfect with my Salmon Cakes or as a dipping sauce for fish sticks.

Give it a try today. 🙂

Salmon cake

Here’s how to make my super-simple lemon-garlic aioli.  Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.  Refrigerate any unused aioli.

Enjoy!

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Easy Lemon Garlic Aioli
 
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

 

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Garlic Ginger Vinaigrette

Good salad dressings are quite simple to make.  One of the simplest to make is a vinaigrette, of which the basic components are vinegar and oil.

You can be very creative with this versatile dressing.  Use different flavors of balsamic vinegars, champagne vinegar, or for an oriental flair, try rice vinegar.  If you’d rather have a citrus base for your dressing, try lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice instead of vinegar.

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Various oils can give your vinaigrette a whole new dimension.  Use classic olive oil, or try truffle, sesame, avocado, or spicy chile oil.

Now here’s where you can go wild with the depth favors you can create for your vinaigrette.  Add optional ingredients such as crushed garlic, honey, dried or fresh herbs, fruit purées, or grated cheese.

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If you’d like a creamy vinaigrette, add Dijon mustard, mayo, or try a bit of mashed avocado.  The variations are virtually endless.  Use your creative imagination and go wild.  Who says salad dressings have to be boring?  An added bonus ~ by making it yourself, you know that you’re putting wholesome, natural, quality ingredients into your body.

The inspiration for this vinaigrette is from a favorite Japanese restaurant. To give it that oriental flavor, I use sesame oil, rice vinegar, aji mirin and honey for some sweetness, and for that flavor punch, I add lots of crushed garlic and grated ginger. I also added grated carrots for a bit of added sweetness, and salt and pepper to taste.

imageYou can find my complete recipe below.  Here’s how to make it.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, aji mirin, honey, garlic, ginger, carrots, salt and pepper.  You can add as much — or as little — garlic and ginger as you like.  If you like your dressings sweeter, by all means, add more honey.  That’s the beauty about this type of recipe.  It’s all up to you to add/decrease ingredients to suit your taste.

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What you do need to remember is that basic vinaigrettes contain a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. I actually prefer less oil in my vinaigrettes so I use a 1:2 ratio instead.  My recipe uses a one-part mixture of rice vinegar and aji mirin with a two-part mixture of sesame and vegetable oil.

Sesame oil has a very intense flavor and can taste a tad bitter if you use too much of it. I don’t want the bold flavor of the sesame oil to overpower the other flavors in this vinaigrette so I use half sesame and half vegetable oil.

Once you mix your vinegar base together, slowly drizzle the oil into the vinegar mixture, vigorously whisking as you pour in order to emulsify the oil into the dressing.

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It’s the vigorous whisking that breaks down the fat molecules in the oil and allows the vinegar to mix with them, creating a smooth dressing that doesn’t separate. You’ve seen those dressings in the store before, the one where all the vinegar and spices have sunk to the bottom of the bottle and all the oil is floating on top.

TIP: To help with the emulsification, whisk in a spoonful of mustard or mayo.

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That’s it!  You now have a delicious vinaigrette in minutes!  This recipe makes a little more than 1 1/2 cups of dressing.  Refrigerate any unused dressing

Pour over your favorite salad greens and ENJOY!

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Garlic Ginger Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauces & Marinades
 
A vinaigrette packed full of the bold flavors of garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Delicious on salads, this dressing is also good as a marinade for your favorite cuts of meat.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup aji mirin
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more or less, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, aji mirin, honey, garlic, ginger, carrots, salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly drizzle the oil into the vinegar mixture, vigorously whisking as you pour in order to emulsify the oil into the dressing.

 

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Thai BBQ Pork

My Thai BBQ Pork is one recipe you’ll definitely want to try.  The secret is really in the marinade and basting sauce.  Cilantro, soy sauce, lots of garlic and fish sauce form the base for this yummy marinade.  Lime juice not only adds wonderful flavor to the meat, but the acid also serves to break down the meat, allowing the marinade to work its magic.

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The basting sauce, a mixture of rich coconut milk and some of the reserved marinade mixture gives you an added layer of flavor.  The heat from the grill caramelizes the basting sauce as the meat cooks, creating beautifully browned and juicy pork with a slightly sweet and savory coating.

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Now that I’ve got you drooling, here’s how to do it.

Place the cilantro (leaves AND stems) and garlic in a food processor along with the soy sauce.  You’ll need the liquid in there to help break down the cilantro.

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Pulse or grind the mixture until your mixture looks like the photo below.  You want the cilantro chopped as finely as possible.

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Place the cilantro mixture into a large bowl or pan.  Add the rest of the marinade ingredients to the bowl, stirring to combine it all.

Remove about 1/4 cup of the marinade mixture; place it into a small bowl along with coconut milk. This will be your basting sauce.

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Place the pork into the marinade.  Use your favorite cut of pork, but make sure you use something that has some fat; lean pork will dry out too quickly for this dish.  I like using pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into strips or cubes (for shish kabobs).  Let the pork marinate for 2 or 3 hours, longer if desired.  Keep the mixture refrigerated if you don’t plan on grilling this right away.

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To make shish kabobs, place several pieces of cubed pork onto a skewer.  I have metal skewers so there’s no soaking required.  If you use bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers for several hours (overnight is good too) before grilling.

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Skewer the meat AFTER it’s been marinated.

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Place on a hot grill and baste immediately.

Grill the meat over relatively high heat.  I have a Traeger grill that has a temperature gauge built into it.  I grilled this at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, basting and turning every 15 minutes.

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Turn the meat over occasionally, basting each time.

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The coconut milk mixed with the reserved marinade caramelizes into a lip-smacking coating that will have you oooh-ing and ahhh-ing (trust me, it’s that yummy). 🙂

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I know some people who absolutely won’t eat charred BBQ, but that little piece of charred goodness in the photo below was TO-DIE-FOR-delicious!!!

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Mmmmmm…soooo good served with hot steamed white rice and fina’denne’.

The next time I make this, I’m going to make just a little bit more marinade, reserving some to use as a dipping sauce when the pork is done.

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Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

Thai BBQ Pork
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 pounds pork (preferably boneless pork shoulder), cut into strips or cubes
Instructions
Make the Marinade:
  1. Place the cilantro, soy sauce and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Pour the mixture into a large bowl or pan.
  2. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, and lemon juice to the cilantro mixture. Stir to mix the ingredients together.
Make the Basting Sauce:
  1. Remove ¼ cup of the marinade mixture and place into a small bowl. Add the coconut milk; mix to combine and set aside.
Grill the Meat:
  1. Place the meat in the marinade mixture. Let the meat marinate for 2 to 3 hours (longer if you like, but refrigerate the mixture).
  2. Place the meat on the grill. Immediately baste with the reserved coconut basting sauce. Turn the meat occasionally, basting each time. Stop basting when
  3. Grill until the meat is done and nicely caramelized.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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