The Best Asian Pan SaucePosted: August 14, 2013
I thought about calling this post “The Little Asian Pan Sauce That Could…Be Put on Everything”. But ultimately, I thought simple was better, because this sauce is exactly that: simple. And, yet, it is extraordinarily delicious on everything I have brushed it onto: chicken, shrimp, pork, pineapple, roasted vegetables. These photos are from the beginning of the summer, before the camp craziness, but I have made this sauce several more times throughout the past weeks. Even after an 11-hour work day, the fifteen minutes spent to create this sauce were well worth it. Though I rarely remembered to take photographs over the last seven hectic weeks, I still have a respectable list of recipes (and even a craft or two) waiting to be posted. But this sauce tops the list.
Camp is an interesting time in my life. I keep hoping that I will be better adjusted each time that summer rolls around, but even after three years, camp is the sprint of my occupational race. This year, with our move, we were up by 5:30am to walk the dog, pack breakfast, dress and get out the door to beat traffic. M’s schedule had him outside for five hours of the day, and running around in between. My schedule had me warming-up, stretching, dancing, writing, filming, improvising, acting, blocking, and directing 30 teenagers for seven hours straight, before joining M for the final hours outside. Besides the physical energy needed to keep up with our campers, the mental energy needed also surprises me. We are monitoring allergies and health issues, and students’ preferences, behavior, and participation. We are leaders, mediators, teachers, and examples, whether we are behaving correctly or not. Especially with teenagers, the moment that their teachers disengage in an activity, their interest is lost, as well. We eat with the students and take breaks with them; every moment between when they step out of their car, until they climb back in, is under our eyes.
So I suppose it isn’t so surprising that camp, while exhilarating, entertaining, and uplifting; is also entirely draining. Though I jumped at the chance to participate in any opportunities for stretching during the camp day, I come out of camp craving long walks and yoga. I find myself needing a nap by midday, and still climbing into bed early each night. I yearn for the contemplative time spent kneading gnocchi dough, simmering soups, and slow-roasting vegetables. I need to savor the meditative smells of rising yeast bread, caramelizing onions, and fresh-chopped herbs. The end of camp sends me running to the kitchen and also induces cravings for the heartier, slower autumn dishes, in spite of the August heat. Luckily, butternut squash is already starting to appear in our farmer’s markets, and the summery tomatoes and peppers lend themselves towards these fall flavors as well. I’m alternating between long, involved dishes and quick sautés and stir-fries as I settle into this self-imposed time of renewal. I’m looking forward to my mornings of walking and yoga, with more slow-paced stretches of work before I come to evenings of cooking, writing, and learning. I finally have time to truly delve into my Lynda.com subscription, and I am very excited at the variety of program tutorials waiting for me.
I suspect that this Asian sauce will be showing up in my kitchen again, very soon. The full flavor, so simply made, is too perfect to ignore. I hope you will make some, too! Let me know what you try it on–I’ve yet to be disappointed. Shrimp may be my favorite meat to glaze with this sauce, but it was absolute divine on the peppers and pineapple in these skewers.
Asian Pan & Glazing Sauce
Adapted from Bonefish Grill
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. finely minced ginger
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 3 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari*
- 1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1/2 c. gluten-free oyster sauce**
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 2-3 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp.-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1-2 tsp. sriracha sauce (optional)
*Please always check labels. The vast majority of tamari used to be gluten-free, but I am finding more and more that contain gluten. San-J is a reliable gluten-free brand.
**Wok-Mei makes a gluten-free oyster sauce. For vegetarians/vegan readers: several veg. brand are available. Lee Kum Kee’s Vegetarian Oyster Sauce is, in fact, vegan, but contains wheat. Please let me know if you find a reliable Gluten-free AND Vegan Oyster sauce.
Saute ginger and garlic in the olive oil in a small saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk together tamari, ketchup, oyster sauce, lime juice, vinegar, and honey/agave. Once ginger and garlic is fragrant (1-2 minutes) and just barely beginning to brown, add sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes and sriracha sauce. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it cools. If too thick, add up to 1 Tbsp. of warm water.
Brush sauce onto grilling or frying meats and vegetables, basting with every turn. Or, use as a marinade. Sauce will keep in tightly-sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.