Some store-bought sauces and condiments make sense. Ketchup, mayo, and mustard can all be made, but in general, for your average home cook, the price and convenience of these prepared foods doesn't usually justify making them from scratch. The danger with grabbing a jar of relatively harmless Dijon is that just down that aisle you're going to pass by the "Asian" section, and be tempted by a colorful array of barbecue sauces and marinades.
The names are so exotic and enticing. The picture on the label shows glistening ribs, dripping with juice. The instructions say "just pour over meat and grill" - hey, that sounds easy! And then, you look at the ingredient list. The only words you recognize are "high fructose corn syrup," and "dehydrated garlic." But, it's already in your hand, and that meat in the picture sure does look tasty, so in the cart it goes.
Hopefully, when you see this video recipe for my basic Asian barbecue sauce/marinade, you will see just how simple these sauces are to make. Not only are they easy; not only are they MSG-free; but the flavor is far superior to any of those $3.50 bottles. The other goal of this video recipe is to inspire you to find some "skirt steak." Ask your butcher! This is the perfect cut of beef to use with one of these sauces. Enjoy!
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sambal, or other hot chili sauce
1/2 orange, juiced
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (or sub extra soy)
2 cloves mashed garlic
*Makes enough for about 2 pounds meat