Friday, 25 June 2010

Chinese ginger and garlic marinade: basic and easy

Here's a Chinese marinade my dear old Dad taught me when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, Grasshopper.

It's a basic one made from crushed garlic, grated ginger root, brown sugar and soy sauce. Dark soy is usually used in marinades but, as this one is being used in a stir-fry with seared salmon, I went for the light soy. Remember that light soy is a bit saltier. I've also added a few crushed chilli seeds for variation on the theme.

UK Chinese often use Golden Syrup instead of sugar. You can experiment with a dollop of honey as well, although that's an interesting fusion rather than traditional Chinese cooking.

1 small bulb (whole bulb, not a clove) crushed garlic,
1 heaped dessertspoon grated ginger root (peel first)
1 heaped dessertspoon brown sugar
Half cup of soy sauce (light used here)
Optional: Half teaspoon chilli seeds

Chinese marinade with ginger, garlic and sugar
From the top, clockwise: crushed garlic, chilli seeds (optional), brown sugar, grated ginger root.

Chinese marinade with ginger, garlic and sugar
Note that the main ingredients — garlic, ginger, sugar — are in roughly equal proportions: third, third, third. Mix together with soy sauce to make a paste.

Chinese marinade with ginger, garlic and sugar
It should look something like this, a thick sauce. OK, you're ready for cooking.

USES: In stir-fries. To marinade meat or fish, make it a bit thicker by using less soy sauce, remembering to score the meat first. Make fresh each time, although the salt in the soy sauce should mean this is good in the fridge for a few days.

CHEAT POINT: If you are in a rush or have run out of fresh root ginger, you can use a dessertspoon of powdered ginger instead.


Yin said...

ahh, such a simple condiment, I sometimes add a bit of oyster sauce in if i'm feeling a bit down. LOL.

Gwei Mui said...

Mmmmm I use the thicker version to coat pork which I then stand upright in the oven and rost

Anna Chen said...

When I do the pork version I use Five Spice powder instead of ginger, and use dark soy sauce. About half the amount of Five Spice, though — it's damn strong.

Roast pork spare ribs (the steak ones, not the long ribs, although you can use them). Mmmmmmm! That's on my list of recipes to come.

Anna Chen said...

Hi Yin, does oyster sauce really cheer you up? Haven't tried that in this dish. Will try next time.

Yin said...

Anna; Yup, It reminds me of home, my family stick it in EVERYTHING. No joke.