It's cold, it's dreary, its drizzly. Time to make some nourishing food to warm the soul and belly. This is a recipe for a soup and entree, but really it's just a recipe about Secret Sauce. Secret Sauce comes from my childhood - it was a household favorite and a recipe that taught me to love the strong flavors and perfect triad of garlic, ginger, and green onions in Asian cooking. My dad would get a whole chicken, cook it on the in a big pot on stove with a few slices of ginger, some scallions, a couple of cloves of garlic, salt, a few carrots, celery. After a few hours of simmering, a light chicken broth would be created and the chicken would come out of the pot and cooled until it could be touched and shredded. Then to the simmering pot of broth, veggies were quickly cooked. Veggies changed depending on the season, but celery, carrots, green beans, napa cabbage, & baby bok choi were regulars. The veggies would be pulled out when lightly cooked, placed on a platter and the shredded chicken put on the top of the veggies. Bowls of rice were given to everyone and a small bowl of broth as well. But now, all we have is boiled chicken, veggies and rice. That is until the secret sauce is poured, dumped, spooned and drizzled all over the meal.
The sauce is made from ginger, garlic, green onions, salt and oil mixed together and warmed slightly. As a child, my dad made the sauce much tamer - more oil, less veggies and we drizzled the flavored oil over our rice. As we grew to appreciate the seasonings as a family, the sauce became chunky like a chimichurri and we made multiple bowls full.
The other evening it was cold and we were just back from a road trip and all I could find to cook were garden veggies, rice, frozen bone broth and a carton of tofu. So I defrosted the broth, added a few slivers of ginger, a clove of garlic, some white pepper and quick cooked the veggies and tofu and cooked the rice in a little of the broth. I served small bowls of the broth with veggies and tofu and rice and drizzled the Secret Sauce on my kids bowls and slathered mine with tablespoons of the sauce. It was garlic, salty, gingery nirvana.
Fair warning - nobody else is going to want to be around your family if you eat the Secret Sauce alone.... You might eminate the garlicy essence for a few hours. But if everyone around you enjoys some Secret Sauce, you will be in good company.
Here's my basic recipe for Secret Sauce. This will make a sizable bowlful for 2-4 people. Make more as needed. Use more oil if you'd prefer to have a thinner sauce or leave out more to make it thicker...
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and and diced finely
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced finely or grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (or more) sesame oil
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and warm slightly on the stove or in the microwave. Serve warm over veggies, rice and chicken or add to a broth to brighten the flavor. And enjoy!