Sunday, April 26, 2009


Marinade, Tasty morsels on parade
Marinade. Soon no-one will ever find you

Byron is visiting again, and I asked him to grill a couple of chicken breasts for us. He was almost done when he asked me if I remembered how I made the marinade.

"Could you make it again?" it okay?

"Oh, my god."

So, anyway, the chicken turned out really well. The marinade ingredients were (in descending order of proportion):

dark cane vinegar
(sukang iloko)
soy sauce
chili garlic sauce
fish sauce
garlic powder

nước mắm is a useful ingredient, especially for cooking Asian or Asian-influenced dishes. It is a powerful flavoring that is essential for Thai or Vietnamese cooking. Every fish sauce I've tried has worked fine, and it is incredibly inexpensive. I think I paid $1.69 for a 24-oz bottle that will take me months to go through, if I use it weekly. Be aware that fish sauce usually has a good bit of sodium, so don't add any extra salt if you're using fish sauce in a dish.

I have used several brands of fish sauce, including Tra Chang, Tiparos, and Three Crabs. (These are all Thai sauces.) Of the three, Tiparos is probably the easiest to find. I would be least likely to use Three Crabs, because of the hydrolyzed wheat protein. I've had good luck with fish sauce. Every brand I've tried has worked fine in my recipes (I've used it most often in Thai curries), so if all you can find locally is a brand in Kroger or Publix, don't worry. Also, unless you do something silly like ordering it through the mail or you live in Alaska, fish sauce is inexpensive. Unless you do a lot of Asian cooking, you may be able to find a small bottle of fish sauce for $.99 that will be excellent for your cooking needs, so don't be afraid to not spend much on it.


Tam said...

I am going to try this...

(Me and cooking are still at the point where that's like "Cover me, I'm going in.")

J.R.Shirley said...

For two chicken breasts, the proportion was probably about 80% vinegar to 19% soy. Big spoonful of chili garlic, about a tablespoon fish sauce, a good bit of garlic powder, slightly less ginger, and a big pinch of sage.

Good luck, and it's going to be hard to screw this one up. ;-)


J.R.Shirley said...

Oh, and the chicken was marinated most of the day.

Old NFO said...

Ah.. Nuc Mam and Chili sauce... Brings back a few memories :-)