Living in southern California, we are spoiled by our great weather and abundant organic produce. Making a crappy salad is actually hard. On weekends, ladies would descend upon our farmer’s markets in their Lululemons and grab their fill of antioxidants packed greens. I would head to my favorite strawberry vendor from Oxnard and whip up a batch of strawberry sauce. I love making berry sauces because I can add alcohol. Blueberries pairs beautifully with gin and strawberries with grand marnier. Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream, layer it with custard in a trifle or spoon it over scones, the options are endless.
- 2 pints of strawberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and cook over medium heat.
- Use a potato masher to crush strawberries and release juices.
- Cook until mixture is thick and bubbling.
- Turn off flame and add 1 Tbsp of favorite liqueur.
This is the tangy garlic ginger chili sauce that made Hainan Chicken Rice the super rockstar dish that it is today. Fortunately it does not need to stay monogamous and pairs well with grilled pork and beef too.
- 8 red jalapeno peppers, de-seeded
- 1 small thumb of peeled ginger
- 2 – 3 gloves of garlic
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp of calamansi lime juice (if unavailable use regular limes)
- 2 Tbsp of sugarcane vinegar (if unavailable use white vinegar)
- 1 tps sesame seed oil
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add some chicken stock or water to thin out the sauce if too thick.
- Taste and adjust accordingly.
I created this sauce as the herbier sister to the ginger sauce, a must-have companion in eating Hainanese chicken. View it as a pesto or chimichurri but with an Asian twist. It is versatile and pairs well with roasted chicken, grilled beef and steamed fish. What a great way to use up leftover herbs!
- A handful of cilantro (use the amount that it is sold in)
- 10 scallions (use both white and green parts)
- Thumbs of peeled ginger
- 2-3 gloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp of fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp of Japanese “tsuyu”, a seasoning soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- Remove roots from the cilantro and scallions.
- Rough chop cilantro, scallions, ginger and place all ingredients into food processor. Pulse 10-12 times to finely chop the herbs. Do not create a paste.
- Transfer herbs into a glass bowl.
- Heat one cup of canola oil in pot till smoking.
- Add fish sauce, Japanese tsuyu, sesame oil, brown sugar to the herbs.
- Slowly pour the searing hot canola oil over the herbs. Mix as you pour. The mixture must sizzle as the hot oil hits the herbs.
To develop the key flavor in this sauce it is important to sear the herbs with the hot oil. It also helps tone down the sharpness of the ginger. Do not use olive oil due to its low smoking point. “Tsuyu” is a Japanese seasoning soy sauce and often used diluted to form a soup base for udon, soba or soy noodles. If neither fish sauce nor soy sauce is available just use salt and it will taste delicious too. Play around with the herbs to develop your favorite ratio or add jalapeno for spice.