Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holy Sauce.

The most perfect day ever. I just spent 4+ hours rocking out to excellent music while making a mess in my kitchen and creating delicious things. Oh, and eating Peanut M&M's out of my apron pocket. Because that's what life is about.
A bazillion different things: olive bread proofing in the microwave, soup stock simmering, sauce going in The General, and a messy prep counter.
In researching Asian cuisine and wok use it seems that the most time consuming part of stir frying is making the sauce. When the actual act of stir frying is so simple and quick no one wants to come home, take out a bazillion ingredients, and whip up some sauce before starting up the wok. Today my mission was to bake bread and make soup. These activities require a lot of down time between proofings and stock boilings. Problem solved. Let's sauce it up and make a collection of stir fry sauces that can chill out in the freezer.
I wasn't joking about the M&Ms.
Take a peek at the sauce recipes!

All cooled off, labeled and ready for the freezer!
First up was some General Tso's sauce. I made it before and it was delicious. The first time it wasn't as spicy as I wanted so this time I added 2 teaspoons of sriracha and I think it's perfect!
General Tso's Sauce
(adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce such as Sriracha
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1. Add the tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny.

Next up was Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce. It didn't make a lot but you won't need it. I have a feeling this one might make us cry. It was spicy, spicy, spicy!
Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce
(adapted from
1 1/ 2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/ 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/ 2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/ 2 cup chicken broth
2 whole anise stars (I omitted this)
1 1/ 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce (didn't have, so I added a spot of honey)
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/ 8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/ 4 teaspoon pepper
1/ 8 teaspoon 5 spice powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water
1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic and saute 1 minute until softened but not browned. 
2. In a bowl combine the remaining except for the cornstarch mixture. Add them to the saucepan andbring to a simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove star anise. 
3. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and let boil 1-2 minutes. 

Mr. Lawyer was a fan of the Brown Garlic sauce from my first stir frying attempt so I whipped up a batch of that. I decreased the amount of soy to 1/3 so it wasn't too salty. You can really taste the sesame oil in this one.
Brown Garlic Sauce
(adapted from
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry
3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, broth, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper.
2. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup water.
3. Heat a pan over high heat; add the cooking oil, swirling to coat; add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
4. Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens.

Lastly, I decided on some Sweet and Sour sauce in order to balance out all the spice. Many of the Sweet and Sour recipes called for pineapple juice which would have been amazing but it's cold out and I wasn't about to run to the store for that.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
(Adapted from
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1. Bring 3/4 cup water to boil. Add sugar, stir till dissolved.
2. Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute.
3. Meanwhile blend cornstarch, soy sauce, and remaining cold water. Add to sauce, stir until thickened.


  1. That does look like a fun day. Your kitchen is busy and full. Good times.

  2. I think we should have a mother/daughter cooking reality show. What do you think?