soy sauce

DIY Hoisin Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on July 2, 2018

Accidental Locavore DIY Hoisin SauceAre you a huge fan of hoisin sauce? If you’ve ever eaten Peking Duck or Moo Shu Pork, it’s that delicious dark sauce that gets painted onto the pancakes.

I’ve always been a big fan–Frank and I often make pork roasts smothered in some mix of hoisin and whatever looks Asian in the fridge. So when bon appétit ran this recipe for pork chops with hoisin sauce that you make yourself, I was skeptical at first—why make it when the stuff in the jar is just delicious? But then I saw how easy it was and became interested.

Accidental Locavore Ingredients for Hoisin SauceDIY Hoisin Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • Salt to taste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, honey, vinegar, tahini, and Sriracha and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper and let it cool. The sauce will keep about 4 days, covered, in the refrigerator (if you don’t eat it all first).

I used half the hoisin to marinate the pork chops overnight, but if you’re impatient, you can do them for as little as an hour. The way I’ve been cooking pork chops recently is really simple, it just requires “standing over a hot stove” but you can catch up on email etc… Click here for the recipe.

Accidental Locavore Hoisin Marnated Pork Chops (2)My verdict: We were both really surprised at the addition of tahini which I’ve never thought of as Chinese, but hey, they travelled.

This was really good and the hardest part was coaxing the honey from the container. They just don’t make those bears like they used to!

I’m about to make another batch to coat a pork loin that will get roasted (unless the weather warms up and we can grill). I forgot to do a taste test with our old standby, but there will be other chances. What do you think the results will be?




Shanghai Short Ribs With Ginger and Soy

by Anne Maxfield on March 10, 2016

Accidental Locavore Shanghai Short RibsAlthough the short ribs from Hammersley’s Bistro (sadly no longer) are one of my go-to recipes, every now and then you need to step out of your short rib comfort zone. The Accidental Locavore saw this recipe in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal, and gave it a try. I halved the recipe to serve about 5 people. If you skip to the end, you’ll see what I did with the leftovers.

For the ribs:
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 5 (16-ounce) beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
• 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger (about 5 ounces), thinly sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, sliced
• 1/4 cup finely-chopped lemongrass
• 1 dried Thai chili
• 3/4 cups soy sauce
• 5 cups water
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoons kosher salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of five-spice powder
  • 1 dried Thai chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, Thai basil and/or chives, for garnish (optional)

Make the ribs: Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven with a lid over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook ribs until golden-brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.
Decrease heat to medium and cook ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilies until golden and fragrant, 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, water, sugar, salt and ribs to pot. Cover and gently simmer until ribs are tender, about 1 hour.
Accidental Locavore Rib PrepWhile the ribs are cooking, make the glaze. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer hoisin, garlic, soy sauce, honey, five-spice powder, chilies, orange zest and vinegar until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Remove ribs from liquid and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush glaze all over ribs, reserving extra, if there is any. Broil until glaze starts to bubble, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to a platter and brush with extra glaze, if you have some. Garnish with chopped cilantro, serve and enjoy!
Accidental Locavore Beef Soy BrothMy verdict: These were really good! I served them with steamed jasmine rice and some broccoli that I steamed, tossed in a little sauce and stuck under the broiler for a minute after the ribs had cooked. You might want to line the baking sheet with parchment to keep the clean-up easier. The glaze is delicious and would probably go well with anything pork (but that’s kind of an easy call). Since my pantry doesn’t have any Champagne vinegar, I just used white balsamic and white wine vinegar would be fine too.
We didn’t want to dump the leftover liquid down the sink because of the fat content, so I put the pan in my auxiliary fridge, aka the back porch overnight. When I went out to grab it, it occurred to me that there was some fine “bone broth” in that pan, so I took the fat off, strained the ginger and garlic out, packed it in one-cup servings and froze it. It will make great stock for cooking rice or stir-fries etc. However, do not use it in anything that you would reduce it in! Because of the soy sauce, reduced it will become unbearably salty. Just saying. The two leftover ribs were stripped, went with the leftover rice and broccoli and made a terrific fried rice lunch!



Chipotles in Adobo

by Anne Maxfield on September 11, 2014

Accidental Locavore Chipotles in AdoboWhen the Accidental Locavore was picking peppers the other day, Jes, one of the farmers at the PFP, suggested I take a bunch of jalapenos and make chipotles. If you’re not familiar, chipotles are smoked jalapenos. Before long we had a lot of jalapenos and I took them home and tossed them on the smoker for an afternoon, along with some tomatoes I was experimenting with. Because I use chipotles in adobo more than straight-up chipotles, I looked online and put together a couple of recipes for making your own. This made two 1 pint jars:Accidental Locavore Jalapenos for Smoking

  • 7-10 chipotle peppers, stemmed and slit lengthwise
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 3 cups water

Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, on low heat until all the liquid is reduced to about a cup. This took me a little over two hours. Cool, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locaovre My ChipotlesMy verdict: Tastes great and can’t wait to use them! If I had used a broader, shallower pan, it would have reduced in a lot less time. The whole process, from smoking the jalapenos to making the adobo is a lot more time-consuming than jumping in the car and buying a couple of cans at the supermarket, but it’s not at all hard and doesn’t require much more that an occasional check on its progress. To store them, put in jars and refrigerate, or you could put in ice cube trays, freeze it and put the cubes in a freezer bag. This recipe for albondigas is one of our favorites and chipotles play a big part in it.

To make the chipotles, cut the stems off cleaned jalapenos, and cut them in half lengthwise. Place on a rack and smoke for at least 6 hours. You can then dry them out further by putting them on a rack in a low oven, 200° for a few hours until they are totally dried out.

Be careful handling jalapenos, even dried, they pack plenty of heat. Wear rubber gloves, or wash your hands thoroughly or you’ll do something stupid, like rub your eyes and regret it!