Saturday, April 12, 2008

All-Purpose Sweet and Spicy Sauce

I've been making this sauce right and left, as it's a quick and easy addition to a slap-dash meal of noodles and steamed or stir-fried vegetables. You could also use rice, but I find it particularly well suited to noodles. I won't presume to tell you what kind of vegetables, noodles, preparation method, etc. you should use--so far the sauce seems very versatile, and you can do just about anything you want with it. It is a simplified, modified-to-what-I-have-at-home version of the one found here, and it's quite easy to remember as the quantities are almost all exactly the same. I use tablespoon as my base unit (this makes a little more than is needed for one person), but I'll write the recipe in "parts" as it should scale up very easily.

1 part sugar
2 parts rice wine vinegar
1 part soy sauce
1-2 parts chile-garlic sauce, to taste
1 part grated ginger

Wasn't that easy? Anyway, you put everything in a bowl, whisk it together, and use however you like. Enjoy!


Brave Sir Robin said...

I have all those things handy!

I will report back with results!

Anne said...

How did it go?

I wouldn't normally post something as basic as a sauce like this, except that I have very little intuition about cooking outside of the western European sphere. I'm learning, but making up this sort of thing doesn't come naturally to me (yet). Hope you and the kids liked it!

Brave Sir Robin said...

I haven't made it yet.

(life got in the way)But I will this week.

Have you been OK? I haven't heard much from you. I hope you're just busy.

Funny you should say that about the western European Sphere, because Asian seems to come pretty easy to me.

I guess all those years of Yan Can Cook paid off.


Anne said...

Oh, I so understand.

I've been feeling bad about being so quiet in the comments on your blog (and Bee's). Things have been very busy, not least because it's time to submit the thesis and things that were supposed to be straightforward are going to hell in a handbasket. Okay, I guess it's not as bad as all that, but it's stressing me out quite a bit. I might be taking an impromptu trip to Houston early next week to sort half of it out; if I don't get the other half sorted out, I won't be able to submit the thesis until next term. Which would suck in a number of ways that need not be enumerated here.

I used to LOVE watching Yan Can Cook when I was a kid! I still love it, but it could much more reliably be found on tv when I was younger.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I understand - Anne, you don't ever have to feel guilty about not commenting, I was just making sure things were ok.

When I disappear for a while, I'm usually in a bad place emotionally.

Houston was beautiful last weekend, about as perfect weather wise as it's ever going to be.

Clear skies, (no smog) high 60'/low 70's afternoons with NO HUMIDITY!! I didn't make it to the Farmer's Market, but I did go have lunch downtown. (disappointing)

Bee said...

My dear Anne,

I bought lots of stir-fry veggies at the store today -- just so I could try this sauce! Actually, the veggie stir-fry thing also corresponds nicely to my current nutritional requirements. I think that I might be a little depleted on the nutrients provided by FRESH food.

It's a shame that I couldn't do the Houston to Austin bike ride thing last weekend -- as I have certainly been carbo-loading. I have eaten chips and tortillas like I will never be able to get them again. I have also eaten/drunk lots of childish things like cheetoes, hot tamales, coke icees and Sonic orange cream slushes. That is not to mention the fried shrimp and fried catfish that I ate last weekend at the beach.

So . . . tomorrow is a new day. One that will include an 8 mile walk and some veggies!!

Try to keep us posted on that pesky thesis if you can -- and if you can't, fingers crossed over here for a successful early completion.

Anne said...

Thanks, BSR. Mostly I'm just under a lot of stress, which sometimes does include being in a bad place emotionally, but in a different way. I'm trying to keep a lot of plates spinning, and since I'm concentrating so much time and energy on one particular plate, others are falling down (which in turn creates more stress).

I did take some time this weekend to make strawberry jam with some of the first of the year's strawberries at the farmer's market, and some oatmeal bread to go with the jam. The berries, it must be owned, were not so great. Thus, the jam is a little lackluster. I will have another go at it later in the summer, when the berries are more reliable.

What lovely weather for Houston! I remember three years ago we had a gloriously mild spring, just as you describe, that lasted all the way through May. Sorry to hear that your lunch downtown was a disappointment! Where did you go?

Bee, wonderful to hear from you. Are you back home now, or still in Texas? I certainly understand the need to concentrate on (or, as some say, detox with) fresh fruits and veg after a long trip.

I had forgotten that the Houston-Austin MS150 is in April. I never did it when I lived in Houston, but I am hoping to do the northern California equivalent this September (the Waves to Wine).

The thesis: long story short, it is 99.9% there, and has been ever since the defense; but with other things going on, I haven't had time to do the last bits of work that it requires in order to be completed. Those bits are taking longer than expected, plus there are several bureaucratic hoops through which I need to jump in order to get the thesis submitted officially. And the submission deadline is a week from today.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Making Noodles right now, will get back with results.

Brave Sir Robin said...


I didn't get the ratio of noodles to sauce right, next time i think I need more sauce, but it was great.

The boys loved it.

Bee -

I know what you mean. It feels like the veggies just soak up all the bad stuff huh?, but 8 miles? Be careful, don't over do it and be sore.

Anne said...

So glad you liked it, BSR! I keep getting the ratio wrong, too. Tonight my noodles were swimming in sauce, and it was a bit much.

Bee, I hope you've invested in a good pair of shoes for all that walking you're doing. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes (especially over long distances) when one's shoes fit properly.

Bee said...

Oh dear! I had my veggies all ready, and then realized that I possessed neither rice wine vinegar nor fresh ginger. Had to make do with a more basic combo of wok oil and soy sauce. Will try again soon -- once needed ingredients have been procured!

The 8 mile walk was, I'm pretty sure, closer to 10. Walking partner and I were walking through all manner of countryside -- some of it hard-going terrain. I was practically hallucinating at the end as I have not had a decent night's sleep in days. My feet felt okay, though. You are right about the shoes!! (I never replace mine frequently enough -- as I like them "broken in.")

I am going to try and summon up the energy to write a new post now. Jet lag is hitting me hard.

Brave Sir Robin said...

The noodles were amazing for lunch today!!

I had them cold and slashed a few drops of sesame oil on them.

Sort of a noodle/vegetable salad. I think I liked them better cold than hot.

Anne said...

Bee - The fresh ginger is a key component, I must say. But perhaps that's just my affinity for ginger. You might find otherwise! I hope you still enjoyed your veggies.

Do you take water with you on these long walks? And food? I don't know how fast you walk 8-10 miles, but personally, I bring water on any run over 30-40 minutes, and food (so to speak) on runs longer than an hour and a half.

Also: do you know about It allows you to trace out your route and determine the distance, elevation changes, and so on. Very handy.

BSR - Very encouraging to hear that the noodles were as good (or better) as leftovers. I've been worried that they wouldn't hold up very well overnight, so I've only been making enough for one meal. What kind of noodles did you use? And what veggies? The sesame oil sounds like a great addition--I've been considering doing that myself.

Brave Sir Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brave Sir Robin said...

I used canton (wheat) noodles, that cooked in just a couple of minutes. I'm pretty sure they had been fried like ramen, but they were thicker than ramen.

With one pound (2 packages) of noodles, I used about half a cabbage, (julienned), one smallish onion, about half a bundle of asparagus, chopped, and a package of Broccoli slaw (julienne carrots, broccoli stems and red cabbage.

I used 3 recipes of sauce. 4 might have been better.

Bee said...

No, we did not bring food OR water. Very bad move. It's funny how you don't need either for six miles (our usual), but you definitely need both for six plus. Because it's cold here -- it is so cold and windy here today that it boggles the mind that I was at the beach last weekend -- water is not quite as much a necessity. On the last mile, when we were back in semi-civilization, we stopped at a "newsagent's" (their lingo for convenience store) and got some water -- plus we split a small package of peanut M&M's.

I'll have to check out the pedometer thing.

Good luck today with your coding business. I'm off to the charity shop to drop off some clothes and shoes. Any new stuff from the U.S. requires closet clearing!