Honey garlic sauce probably originated in China. It’s a delicious, healthy, low-calorie sauce. In the U.S., it is most popularly associated with chicken wings, but it can be used with any meat dish, grilled, baked or stir-fried. Brush it on barbecued meats or vegetables, or simply pour it over steamed vegetables. It’s even good on baked potatoes and on steamed rice!
A good honey garlic sauce begins with fresh, local, organic ingredients, especially locally-made honey if possible. Get a garlic crusher if you don’t have one — this sauce is worth it, and so is your health; garlic is proven to have a number of benefits for your health. This recipe also includes ginger and cayenne pepper, which have many beneficial properties.
- 1/4 cup olive oil (some people use unsalted butter)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium okay)
- 1 tbsp ginger, fresh, minced very fine
- 1 tsp rice wine
- 1 tsp red wine or rice vinegar
- A tiny amount (less than 1/8 tsp) of cayenne
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (not flour)
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- A bit of thyme or marjoram
- Green onions, cut up fine, or regular sweet onion, minced — about 1/4 cup
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Sesame seeds (maybe a teaspoonful — not too many)
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the crushed garlic (and cayenne pepper and onions, if you plan to use them). Cook until soft, stirring constantly. Be very careful not to let it burn. Two minutes is plenty.
Stir in the ginger and cook for another one or two minutes, stirring constantly.
Put in the honey, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, brown sugar (sprinkle this in slowly), ginger, and sesame seeds, onions and herbs if you’re using them, and stir well until completely blended. Cook for about ten minutes over low heat, with no cover.
Meanwhile, put your cold water in a bowl and slowly add the cornstarch while stirring. Beat the mixture with a fork until thoroughly dissolved and you are sure there are no lumps. Cornstarch in cold water is the secret to a lot of great recipes; take time to master this technique, as you’ll need it often if you intend to cook a lot of homemade dishes!
Now, slowly add the dissolved cornstarch to the sauce and stir well until blended. Simmer for about seven to ten minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce is good and thick. Your sauce is finished! Store it in a jar in the refrigerator.
You will find that this sauce tastes much different from the commercial honey garlic sauces sold in Asian groceries. Although many of them are very good, there is no substitute for fresh-made sauce. When you’ve gotten comfortable making this honey garlic sauce, you can experiment with different herbs, more garlic, more ginger, etc.
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