Sweet and Sour Asian Sauce and Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad
This recipe makes a great sauce that doubles as a glaze. You can use it as a dressing for an Asian version of cold chicken salad (recipe below) or as a glaze brushed on chicken or pork during the last 10 to 15 minutes of grilling. With high sugar content, the sauce will burn if grilled longer. You can even use it as a sauce for stir-fry!
For authentic flavor, the chili garlic paste is essential. It gives it a kick of heat. Found in the Asian aisle of the grocery store, the sauce may be called chili garlic paste or chili garlic sauce. Either way please read the ingredient list and check to see if it contains both chili and garlic!

Sweet and Sour Asian Sauce- Makes 1-1/2 cups

1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon microplaned ginger
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (I used Brer Rabbit)
1/4 cup clear corn syrup
1/4-cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup sherry
1/2 tablespoon chili-garlic paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

In a medium bowl combine molasses, corn syrup, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice and cider vinegar, sherry, and chili-garlic paste. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water. In medium saucepan heat sesame oil over medium high heat until the oil begins to ripple. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for 3 minutes making sure the garlic does not burn. If it burns start over! To stop the garlic from cooking, add molasses mixture. Bring to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch water mixture. Continue whisking for 5 minute while simmering. The sauce will thicken slightly. Refrigerate. Best if used in 2 weeks.

For a mayonnaise free chicken salad this Asian version is best if refrigerated for 24 hours to develop maximum flavor.

Asian Chicken Salad

1-1/2 cups chicken breast, cut in 1/2 inch dice and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup red pepper, 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup red onion, 1/8 inch dice
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup Sweet and Sour Asian sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup toasted cashews, rough chop

Heat olive and sesame oil in skillet on medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes. Add ginger and broccoli. Cook 3 to 5 minutes more, until chicken is done. Pour in a large bowl to cool. While the chicken cools prep the rest of your vegetables and toast cashews. Add vegetables, rice, cashews, soy and Asian sauces to chicken. Stir to combine. Refrigerate 24 hours before serving.

Published in the News and Neighbor on February 23, 2013

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