Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Asian Experiment

Always on the quest for a new recipe, I have been browsing an Asian cookbook I received as a gift come years ago. It's one of those glossy paperbacks with a generic title that you see on remainder tables. It contains literally a 100 or more recipes, but I've only tried a handful and found only one that I really like.

Going through the book again, I came across a recipe that met my criteria for a weekday meal: Tasty and quick. It called for marinating cubed chicken breast in sesame seed oil, freshly grated ginger, soy sauce and honey, skewering the cubes and broiling for about 10 minutes. All flavors that my family loves and it can be put together the morning before for quick cooking. Sounded ideal.

In the morning, I followed the directions, a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, two tablespoons each of honey and soy sauce and one tablespoon of sesame seed oil whisked together, and added the chicken. That evening I skewered and broiled.

The result looked appetizing with a pleasing caramel color and aroma. Success!

Not so fast. The cubes, while tender, had surprisingly little taste. In a word, it was somewhat bland with none of the marinade flavors -- saltiness, sweetness, the ginger, that wonderfully nutty sesame taste -- coming through very strongly. Not to exaggerate, the meal was entirely edible and had some flavor, but on the whole it was a major disappointment.

More ginger might have improved it, as well as some Thai fish sauce. But I suspect this is a lost cause. I doubt I will make it again. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.