Is Your Sauce Boss?

Want to have a chance to win $1,000? Before we go any further, we wanted to share with you a contest Kikkoman is holding now until September 13th. Get your game face on – The Master Sauce Contest is here! Show us what you can do with soy sauce. Share your best marinade, salad dressing, BBQ sauce or stir fry sauce recipe and you could win up to $1,000. Check out Kikkoman’s Facebook page to enter the contest. https://www.facebook.com/kikkomanskitchen/app_694076060608385

While you’re on the computer, check out our recipes under our Home Cooks section of Kikkomanusa.com. You might be surprised to find out how quick and easy it is to turn a trend, like the one we are talking about below, into a nightly staple. Tweet your favorite recipes to us and we can compare and contrast our street food fare!

Speaking of street food. Do you live in a big city? Have you seen food trucks tearing through the city streets? Street Food is one of the hottest trends in dining. But what does street food mean? Well, it’s everything from a hot dog stand on a busy Manhattan corner, a curbside chat stall in Bombay, or a pushcart peddling roasted corn on the cob slathered with chile-lime mayo on a plaza in Puerto Vallarta, to a hip Asian Taco truck or an upscale cupcake-mobile in L.A. Street food’s been around since before there were streets.

So why the sudden explosion in popularity? It’s partly due to the broadening of our horizons as it becomes easier and more popular than ever to travel to more “exotic” countries where street food is part of the culture. With the rise of food TV featuring adventurous dining and out-of-the-way specialties, travelers are seeking out more unusual dining options. Back in the U.S., immigrants are serving up ethnic street food specialties that also appeal to a broader market. It’s a great way for people to sample foods they might be intimidated to try in other countries because of the language barrier or concerns about food safety.

Inexpensive yet interesting dining options are a hot commodity in today’s economy—social media buzz from Twitter feeds and blogs drives diners to be the first to try (and “Yelp” about) a new food stand. And for cash-strapped entrepreneurs, a street food cart is a great way to start a business on a shoestring or to increase the profile of an existing restaurant.

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Dim Sum

With back to school on the horizon, meal time is perfect chance to gather the family back around the table. Shared food, shared experience—that’s what strengthens the connections between people. Food forges social bonds in every culture, but the Chinese dim sum experience takes it to a whole new level. There are countless varieties of dim sum, with new ones invented every day. In fact, there’s a teahouse in the Canton region of China that offers two thousand different dim sum on a rotating basis! Here’s a sampling of some of the more common ones you might enjoy:

Dumplings: Savory pork, seafood or vegetable filling wrapped in tender wheat or rice flour wrappers, then steamed, boiled or pan-fried—however they’re made, dumplings are ubiquitous on the dim sum cart. Pork-stuffed potstickers are pan-fried, then boiled or steamed until tender. Delicate steamed shrimp shu mai are wrapped in a thin skin that lets the pink filling show through. Chinese chives often add flavor and color to shrimp or pork-based fillings.

Breads: Bread dough is another favorite way of enclosing fillings, which are then baked, pan-fried or steamed. Bao buns, made from a raised dough filled with savory char sui pork or sweet bean or lotus seed paste, are steamed until light and fluffy. Baked bao are brushed with egg glaze to make a golden crust. Pan-fried scallion pancakes are chewy and satisfying with a flaky, layered texture.

Rice Dishes: Rice and rice flour figure in many dim sum dishes. Sheets of rice flour batter are steamed and wrapped around meat or vegetable fillings, or simply rolled and topped with sweetened soy sauce. Packets of sticky rice mixed with mushrooms, chicken, shrimp and Chinese sausage, wrapped in lotus leaves and then steamed are fun to unfold as well as to eat. Thick congee (rice porridge) makes a satisfying breakfast.

Deep-fried Dishes: Deep-frying adds satisfying crunch to breaded shrimp paste wrapped around crab claws. The same mixture, spread on toast triangles and deep-fried, is transformed into the ever-popular shrimp toast.  And who doesn’t love deep-fried spring rolls—crisp flour wrappers enclosing savory meat or vegetable fillings?

Meat: Char siu, or hoisin-marinated roast pork, fills pork bao and rice noodle sheets, enlivens sticky rice and is delicious thinly sliced on its own. Pork spareribs seasoned with soy sauce, hot chilies, garlic and fermented black beans before steaming, are rich and tender. Though pork is the meat most often found in dim sum dishes, roast duck and foil-wrapped chicken are also favorites. The more adventurous diner can sample tripe, chicken feet and even duck tongues!

Vegetables: The freshness of gai lan (Chinese broccoli), tender pea shoots or baby bok choy makes a nice contrast with dough-wrapped buns and dumplings. These greens are quickly sautéed and often finished with oyster sauce or soy sauce. Mushrooms and bell peppers are stuffed with a shrimp and pork filling, then pan-fried. Turnip cake, made with grated daikon radish, studded with scallions, cilantro and sometimes Chinese sausage, has a crunchy crust and creamy inside.

Desserts: Though sweets are not usually served after a Chinese meal, the dim sum experience is not complete without a little taste of something sweet. Typical choices include egg custard in a flaky pastry shell, refreshing mango or almond pudding, crunchy deep-fried sesame balls filled with bean paste, and beautifully cut and presented fresh fruit.

  CHINESE BBQ PORK BUNS

It’s easy to make Chinese-style pork buns, with bread dough from the refrigerator case and a quick trip to Chinatown for barbecued pork. Kikkoman Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce add rich, umami flavor to the filling.

 

2

tablespoons vegetable oil

1

small onion, chopped

1

clove garlic, chopped

1/4

cup Kikkoman Oyster Sauce

2

tablespoons Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce

1

tablespoon sherry

1

tablespoon cornstarch

2

teaspoons sugar

1

pound Chinese barbecued pork, chopped

2

(11-ounce) packages refrigerated bread dough

 

Heat oven to 375°F. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; stir-fry until onion is soft. Remove from heat; add oyster sauce, soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch and sugar, stirring well to combine. Add pork and mix well. Divide bread dough into 16 pieces and form each piece into a 2-inch ball. Roll balls into 3-inch rounds. Place 2 tablespoons pork filling in the center of each round. Gather dough up and around filling by pleating along the edges. Place buns, sealed side down, on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes or until buns have browned.

Makes 16 buns

 

 

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Sandwiches are ideal for packing in a lunch box when you’re looking to save money—and who isn’t, these days?

If you’re bored with the same old BLT and PB & J, look beyond borders for fresh inspiration. A little research in your favorite ethnic cookbooks will reward you with great new ideas for breads, fillings, condiments and sandwich-friendly sides.

Instead of mustard, slather spicy Indian chutney on your cheese sandwich. Wrap curried egg or tuna salad in puffy tandoori naan instead of white bread. A drizzle of chimichurri, Argentina’s bold herb salsa, will transform a steak sandwich from All American to South American. If you live in a town with Asian markets, check the shelves for Korean kim chee or Japanese radish pickles, a nice change from the standard cucumber pickles.

We’ve got some additional tips from Kikkoman Kitchens and savvy foodies to give your sandwiches extra appeal: When using sliced meat, fold or crumple it to give a sandwich more visual appeal and satisfying texture. If you don’t have a sandwich press, a cast-iron grill pan works well. After putting the sandwich in the pan, place a weight, such as a light skillet, on top of the sandwich to press it down. When the first side is nicely browned, turn the sandwich over and cook the same way on the second side.

Of course, kids love sandwiches, too! Cut their favorite sandwich into fun-to-eat shapes with a large cookie cutter. Soft bread works best for this. Make grilled cheese sandwiches with grated cheese instead of sliced—the cheese will melt more evenly. Leave butter out to soften so it won’t tear the bread. When it’s spreadable, beat in some Kikkoman Soy Sauce, mustard or chopped fresh herbs for extra flavor. Crusty breads like baguettes and ciabatta can stand up to moist fillings without getting soggy, making them great for sandwiches like the muffaletta and pan bagnat. In Europe, cured meats like serrano ham, prosciutto and salami are popular in sandwiches. Because of their lower moisture and higher salt content, they keep better at room temperature than fresh meat sandwiches, making them ideal for travel or lunch boxes. Spice up back the back to school lunch pail this year—and try bringing one of these delicious sandwiches to the office for a bite of midweek relief!

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Noodles—Exploring a World of Pasta-bilities

Getting burned out on the hot grill? Return to pantry staple: the noodle. It’s hard to imagine a food more simple—or more versatile—than noodles. After all, they start with nothing more than two ingredients: flour and water. But then, the sky’s the limit! Add eggs, herbs or puréed vegetables to the dough, roll it into thin sheets and layer with cheese and sauce in lasagna. Cut the sheets into thin or fat strips, cook the fresh noodles or dry them for longer storage, or cut the sheets into rounds or squares to wrap a tasty dumpling filling in. Use a machine to form the dough into all kinds of shapes, from hats to wheels to bow-ties, then bake, boil, sauté or deep-fry. The pasta-bilities are endless!

One of the great things about noodles is their versatility—perhaps that’s why noodles are found across the globe, from steamy tropical countries to colder European climates. When temperatures rise, cold noodles are refreshing in salads or with a citrusy ponzu dipping sauce; in the colder months, noodle soups and stir-fries or a hearty noodle casserole will warm you up quickly.

Noodles are true culinary chameleons, adapting easily to the flavor palettes and agricultural products of every country. In Northern Europe and America, noodle dishes go hearty, incorporating butter, cheese and other dairy products—think of the classic macaroni and cheese casserole. In the dairy-rich north of Italy, pasta also gets the butter, cheese and cream treatment or is served with a Bolognese meat sauce, while in southern Italy, pasta is sauced with local tomatoes and olive oil. In Asia, the savory umami richness of soy sauce and fish sauce, the tang of citrus and rice vinegar, the sting of hot chiles and the sweetness of sugar all play a role in seasoning noodle dishes.

Since noodles have been around for thousands of years, it’s not surprising that they have become thoroughly steeped in superstition and folklore.

In Chinese culture, long noodles symbolize long life, and people avoid cutting noodles before serving, which would symbolize cutting life short. This tradition is especially important on auspicious occasions like the New Year’s celebration and birthdays.

In Japan, a steaming bowl of toshikoshi (year-end) soba is enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. In addition to bringing longevity because of its long shape, soba is thought to attract wealth, from the old custom of metal craftsmen using balls made of kneaded buckwheat to pick up scraps of gold and silver.

When someone moves into a new neighborhood in Japan, it’s customary to present soba to their new neighbors, since the word for soba sounds like the word that means ‘near’ or ‘next to.’

In Iran, noodle dishes are eaten when a change or important decision is imminent, since the shape of the noodles suggests the “reins” of one’s life that are about to be taken in hand.

As we mentioned before, Kikkoman Ponzu, a citrus-seasoned soy sauce and dressing, is the latest Japanese flavor to reach the shelves of American supermarkets. In Japan, it’s used as a dipping sauce to add a splash of savory flavor to hot pots or griddle-seared meats, but ponzu’s perfect balance of salty, tangy and sweet gives it the versatility to enhance all kinds of cooking.

Original Kikkoman Ponzu is seasoned with lemon juice, and now there’s also Kikkoman Lime Ponzu. Either one can be used right from the bottle as a dipping sauce or as an ingredient in dressings, marinades and sauces. Whisk ponzu with a small amount of sesame or vegetable oil to make a refreshing dressing for green salads or cold noodles. Or use it to flavor hot and sour noodle soup or to add a citrusy note to steamed fish.

Ponzu’s blend of citrus and savory flavors makes it ideal for Latin cooking, too. It’s a convenient, all-in-one marinade for carne asada or grilled chicken, and adds the sparkle of lime juice and the savor of soy sauce to mango salsa. But that’s just the beginning—try it wherever you’d use a touch of salt and citrus. The “ponzu-bilities” are endless!

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Some Like it Hot ‘N’ Sweet Fruit Salad

Chiles come in hundreds of varieties and a wide range of heat, and can be used fresh or dried, raw, roasted or cooked. With all the flavor profiles that chiles offer, cooks love to get creative combining them with other ingredients that complement or balance their taste: from sweet spices like cinnamon and vanilla to acidic flavors like vinegar and citrus—and even other spicy ingredients like fresh ginger and peppercorns.

The grassy taste of fresh green chiles like jalapeños and serranos pairs perfectly with the tartness of lime juice and the herbal flavor of cilantro.

Roasted chiles have deeper flavor notes that go well with dried oregano and toasted cumin or woodier herbs like rosemary and thyme.

A sauté of chiles, garlic and ginger is the foundation of many a Chinese stir-fry and it’s a staple of Indian cooking as well. One whiff of this aromatic trio as it cooks and you’ll know why!

Mexican mole sauce is a blend of dried chiles, sweet spices like cinnamon, dried fruits, toasted seeds and nuts, roasted fresh vegetables, and even chocolate. No wonder its heady complexity is so addictive.

Round out your summer barbecue with a trio of flavorful salads. We’ve got one right here for you: the sweet heat of a Mexican-style fruit salad goes with just about anything you care to grill. Give it a try, we promise you’ll love it!

 SOME LIKE IT HOT ‘N’ SWEET FRUIT SALAD  

4 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved

2 cups mango chunks

2 cups watermelon chunks

1 cup pineapple chunks

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons Kikkoman Lime Ponzu

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Kikkoman Sriracha Sauce

 

In a large bowl, combine fruit. In a large jar with a lid, combine remaining ingredients and shake vigorously to blend. Refrigerate fruit and dressing until cold. Just before serving, shake dressing, pour over fruit and toss to combine.

 

Makes 8 servings

 

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Kikkoman Sriracha Butter for Steak, Seafood, chicken and Veggies

These days, more Americans than ever “like it hot.” Chalk it up to cooking shows, magazines, the global travel boom and the spread of authentic ethnic eateries all across the nation. Everywhere we go, flavors are getting bolder and foods are getting spicier. Spicy heat is, of course, an acquired taste. But you know how that goes—once you get into the chile groove, you start wanting more and more. It begins with a dash of hot sauce or a dish of spicy wings. And before you know it, you’re craving that fiery buzz in everything from chili con carne to chocolate. That’s partly because the heat of chiles causes your brain to release endorphins, which results in a pleasant state of well-being. Once you’ve been bitten by the chile bug, you find yourself wanting to spice up your own home cooking. Because adding heat to a dish is more than just tossing in some chile flakes. It’s about flavor, balance and technique, and the more you know about chiles and spicy ingredients, the more you can master the art of firing up your food with finesse.

Bring on the heat this summer. Spice up summer classics by adding a kick of spice. Want to set your world on fire? Grab a bottle of Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. With the distinctive flavor of marinated chili peppers and Asian spices, it’s versatile enough to use as a spicy condiment on fries and burgers, a hot addition to soups and dips, or a fiery mix in Bloody Marys. Low in calories, with no added MSG or artificial colors, Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is 100% food safe, unlike other high bacteria srirachas in the market.

 

                                                                SRIRACHA BUTTER

Cut this spicy, tangy butter into slices to top steak or chicken, or melt the butter and drizzle on steamed vegetables. For a deliciously different party snack, toss popcorn with melted sriracha butter. Spice it up using three of Kikkoman’s favorite sauces.

 

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons Kikkoman Sriracha Sauce

2 teaspoons Kikkoman Lime Ponzu

1 teaspoon Kikkoman Rice Vinegar

 

With a wooden spoon or electric mixer, blend all ingredients together. Line the top of a butter dish with waxed paper and spoon butter onto the waxed paper. Fold waxed paper over and refrigerate butter until firm.

 

Makes about 1/2 cup

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Hoisin Country Ribs

This week officially kicks off the start of summer. With the Fourth of July just around the corner, it’s prime time (if you haven’t already) to get the grill hot and serve up some grilled meats and veggies. Grilling styles vary all over the world… and they always have. It all began as live-fire cooking, with meat spit-roasted over charcoal embers.

Mongols brought this early form of grilling to China, favoring it, like many nomadic people, because there were no cooking vessels to carry from place to place, and because charcoal was lighter and more portable than wood. Grilling over an open-flame heat source has remained an important cooking technique in Asian home kitchens down through the centuries. Even today, you won’t find an oven in many households, where stovetop grilling is a common technique. And, like anywhere in the world where kitchens are small, meals throughout Asia are often bought and eaten at street stalls or markets, where open-fire grilling is one of the most practical and popular cooking methods.

The further south you travel in Asia, the more of this kind of open-air cooking you’ll find. In Southeast Asia, with its year-round warm weather, it’s ubiquitous, while in China, and Japan, indoor grilling and broiling are more popular. We all know that in the summertime, in the US, it’s commonplace to smell burgers, brats, and everything in between when you walk down a neighborhood street. No matter where you are this summer, take a night to enjoy the sweet, warm summer night outside by kicking up a meal Kikkoman style. These Hoisin Country Ribs are a great way to pay homage to the grilling

HOISIN COUNTRY RIBS

Prep time:  10 minutes

 

1

cup Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce

1/2

cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce

1

bunch green onions, thinly sliced

1

teaspoon garlic powder

5

pounds country-style pork ribs

Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, green onions and garlic powder; pour over ribs in large plastic food storage bag. Press air out of bag; close top securely. Turn bag over several times to coat both sides of ribs. Refrigerate 1 hour; turn bag over and refrigerate 1 hour longer. Grill ribs 45 to 60 minutes, or until done, turning ribs over occasionally. (Or, bake ribs, meaty side up, in large, shallow foil-lined baking pan in 325ºF. oven 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until done, turning over every 30 minutes.)

 

 

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Grilled Corn with Lime Ponzu Butter

Grills have been on fire for weeks, try changing it up and wow your family with delicious grilled vegetables like corn!

Roasting and grilling build umami into food thanks to the transformative effects of browning and caramelization. At high temperatures, the amino acids and sugars in proteins interact with each other to form new aromas and flavors in a phenomenon known as the Maillard reaction. Simply put, the grill marks on a kebab appeal to more than just the eye—the tongue also appreciates the burst of umami they add.

Grilled corn is a Mexican street food staple, and it’s sure to become a favorite at your barbecues and tailgates, especially when spread with a tangy lime ponzu butter that sets off the smokiness of the grill to perfection. Heading to a barbeque? Impress all of your family and friends with this knockout side dish!

 

8

ears fresh corn

8

tablespoons butter, melted

1/4

cup Kikkoman Lime Ponzu

4

cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and cayenne pepper

Prepare fire in charcoal grill or heat gas grill. Strip corn husks to the stem without removing them; remove silk to expose kernels. Soak corn in cold water at least 10 minutes. While corn is soaking, combine butter, ponzu and garlic. Remove corn from water; wrap husks back over kernels. Grill corn, turning occasionally, 15-20 minutes or until steamed through. Unwrap husks, spread butter mixture on corn and season with salt and cayenne pepper.

 

Makes 8 ears

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Tempura Dogs

Summer is in full swing and people are starting to head outside and hit the food trucks for delicious and easy meals. Bring the taste of the trucks home with this easy Tempura Dog recipe.

As street food and food truck cooking styles go, deep-frying definitely tops the list. Vegetables, fish, fritters, dumplings and even sweets all take turns in the fryer. Fried foods are often coated in lacy, golden batter or crispy breadcrumbs that add a savory crunch. Deep-fried morsels are ideal for dipping in sauces or sprinkling with spicy condiments. Deep-frying has the stigma of greasiness, but by following a few simple tips, home cooks can enjoy fried foods that are lighter and less oily:

Choose oil that won’t break down at high temperatures, such as peanut, safflower or canola.

If you don’t have a deep-fryer, use a deep, heavy skillet or fry kettle—cast iron is ideal. Leave a 2-inch safety margin between the oil and the top of the pan, since the oil will bubble up when food is added.

If the food is not coated with batter, make sure it’s well dried before adding it to the fryer.

Let breaded foods chill in the refrigerator before frying. You’ll get better adhesion, and avoid the off flavors and oil breakdown caused by bits of coating ingredients falling off.

Foods absorb less oil when the oil is the proper temperature. Use a deep-fat thermometer to make sure (350-375°F is the usual range). If you don’t have a thermometer, use a sprig of parsley or a piece of scallion green—it should start to bubble as soon as you place it in the oil.

Don’t overcrowd the pan. Otherwise, the oil temperature will drop, and food will cook unevenly and taste greasy or doughy.

Have a paper towel-lined tray handy for draining, and use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove food from the oil when it’s done.

Keep batches of fried food warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.

For an easy start, with a food that sure to please the whole family, give Kikkoman Tempura Dogs a try this summer!

12

mini all-beef hot dogs, or 6 regular hot dogs cut in half

12

chopsticks, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

1

cup Kikkoman Extra Crispy Tempura Batter Mix

1

cup ice-cold water

 Vegetable oil for deep frying

 In deep-fryer or deep, heavy pot, heat oil to 350°F. Wipe hot dogs dry with a paper towel so that batter adheres better. Insert a chopstick into the end of each hot dog. Mix tempura batter carefully with water according to package directions. Dip each hot dog into batter, swirling to cover the whole hot dog and a little of the chopstick. One at a time, dip into hot oil and fry 3-4 minutes or until crispy but not brown. Serve with curry mustard, “soyonnaise” and spicy ketchup (visit kikkomanusa.com for recipes).

 

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Udon with Wasabi Sauce and Grilled Pork

 

Looking for new ways to cook noodles? Kikkoman can help.  Join us for a global tour of noodles, from Asia to America and many points in between, and gather some fresh recipe inspirations along the way. This Udon with Wasabi Sauce and a deliciously grilled pork chop can liven up any summer night. Try it tonight and see what the family has to say!

 

UDON WITH WASABI SAUCE AND GRILLED PORK

 The kick of wasabi and ginger and the refreshing tang of Kikkoman Lime Ponzu season this hearty udon dish. Top with grilled marinated pork for a well-rounded meal.

1

pound pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

5

tablespoons Kikkoman Lime Ponzu, divided

4

tablespoons crushed garlic, divided

4

tablespoons sesame oil, divided

10

ounces fresh udon noodles

2

green onions, chopped

2

tablespoons white wine

1

tablespoon sesame seeds

1

tablespoon wasabi paste

1 1/2

teaspoons ginger powder

In a non-reactive bowl, combine pork, 2 tablespoons ponzu, 2 tablespoons garlic and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Cover and marinate 30 minutes. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Grill pork over high heat 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. In a large wok or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons garlic and the green onions; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons ponzu, white wine, sesame seeds, wasabi paste and ginger; stir. Add noodles and toss to combine. Serve topped with grilled pork.

 

Makes 4 servings

 

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