Lately I’m having fun trying new flavorings and ingredients to cook with. One of my new obsession is Ponzu. Ponzu is a Japanese sauce/marinade made from lemon or lime juice and soy sauce. It is so versatile that you can use it in so many ways.
Ponzu is great in a dipping sauce for sushi or potstickers. I have tried to use it as a base for Asian salad dressing with crunchy lettuce, carrots, cabbage, sesame oil, canola oil and green onions. I have to say I like the result.
As a meat marinade Ponzu works well with chicken, beef and salmon. I got some chicken thighs the other day and mixed Ponzu with olive oil, a little soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper. I marinated the chicken for about thirty minutes before grilling. It was delicious! I did the same for salmon before broiling it and it came out perfectly succulent. This marinade brought back childhood food memories. My mother always made a delicious meat marinade mixing fresh lemon juice and soy sauce.
For the beef, I add a little honey and red chili flakes to the marinade mixture. I wanted to recreate a sort of beef and broccoli dinner with steamed rice. I slice the beef sirloin thinly to about 2 1/2 inches long and marinate the beef before stir frying it with broccoli florets. Let me tell you, it’s my new comfort food.
Roasted Sesame Seeds is my other new obsession these days. Sprinkle it on salads and it gives it a nutty crunch. I use it in cucumber salad and Chinese chicken salad. It is also a perfect topping for grilled chicken and beef or stir fry. When I bake almond cookies with sesame seeds it’s divine.
You can find a jar of roasted sesame seeds and a bottle of Ponzu at any Asian market of the Asian aisle at your local supermarket. Try it and I hope you like these flavors as much as I do.