Spicy soy marinade

I’ve got a soft spot for street fest food.The gyros, corn dogs, turkey legs, and deep fried, well, everything, don’t attempt to woo your taste buds with subtle hints of flavor. They smack you in the face with salt, sugar, spices, smoke, and grease.

A while ago I was at a street fest in downtown Davenport Iowa, when my dad and I stopped at a stand from Woodfire Grill, a local “high end” steakhouse. If you don’t know why I have high end in quotes, you’ve either never been to Davenport or never been to a real high end steakhouse. Anyway, they were selling Sriracha marinated Tri-Tips. Not knowing what Sriracha or tri-tips were, I asked what it was before ordering. Tri-tips are a cut of beef, and Sriracha is a hot sauce that comes in deceptively large bottles. Their marinade was soy sauce, brown sugar, and sriracha, and I’ve used it on just about everything since I first tried it.

I start out filling a squeeze bottle about half full with soy sauce (3/4 of a cup or so), and adding about a teaspoon of Sriracha (go easy on this – it’s hard to lower the heat if you overshoot). Then I add about 3/4- to 1 cup of brown sugar (add some molasses for extra smokyness), add the lid, and shake to combine. The sugar doesn’t dissolve fully, but still a little taste should show you if it’s too sweet, spicy, or salty. Adjust till you’re satisfied, seal the lid, and refrigerate overnight for the sugar to dissolve.

What to do with this simple concoction? Marinade beef, use in place of soy on Chinese takeout, use on hot dogs… heck, anywhere you want an Asian barbecue sauce.


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