You've seen the Heinz Chili Sauce bottle in the condiment aisle of every supermarket; it might even be a staple in your own home cooking. Its base ingredient is tomatoes and the thickness of the sauce makes it a good enhancement for soups, stews, barbeque sauces and marinades.
However, when dealing with Asian cuisine, tomatoes are not high on the list of ingredients, if at all. The sauces tend to be thin to medium thickness and colors range from yellowish to a deep brown. Seeing many of the ingredients such as garlic and hot peppers lets one know what may be in store for the taste buds.
Thai Chili Sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used for dipping cooked foods into or as a marinade before cooking, mainly grilling. It awakens four tastes within the mouth: sweet, sour, spicy and salty; basically enhancing a food four ways.
1/2 cup rice vinegar (if not available, use white wine vinegar)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup fish sauce (if not available, use light soy sauce)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
dried hot pepper flakes (1 tsp=mild, 2 tsp=medium, 1 Tbsp=hot)
2 Tbsp corn starch
Mix together all ingredients, except corn starch, in a small sauce pan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until liquid reduces by half.
Reduce heat to low; whisk in corn starch; continue to cook for 2 minutes to allow sauce to thicken..
Makes about ¾ cup.
When frying foods, use Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) as it holds onto sauces without losing its crunchy texture.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko
2-3 cups canola or peanut oil for frying
1 lb cut up food items
Prepare dredging station; bowl one is the flour, corn starch and salt; bowl two is the beaten eggs; bowl three is the Panko.
Heat oil on medium-high heat; amount is determined by what kind of pan or skillet being used for frying; oil should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep.
Dredge food into bowl one, shake off excess before coating with egg; thoroughly coat with Panko. When oil is ready (water drops will sizzle), carefully place 6 to 8 pieces in the oil. Cooking time will depend on what foods are being used; chicken takes about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and repeat until all food is cooked.
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However you serve it up, you'll make a great impression.