In honor of National Poultry Day, I am reviewing a way to use one of my easiest, tastiest, fastest ways to cook America’s staple meat: chicken. Some time ago I impulsively found Soy Vay’s Marinades and Sauces at the grocery store. Initially I just like the design of the bottles: little boats and fun looking writing on a larger-than-usual bottle. I was further intrigued when I discovered that not only are all the sauces completely organic and preservative-free, but they’re also completely kosher because, in their cute little story, “Jewish Boy Meets Chinese Girl and SOY VAY! A Sauce is Born!”. Nutritionally, they’re relatively low-calorie, although the sodium content is very high (although expected in soy-based sauces). My personal favorite in the line is Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki. In fact, this stuff is so good it’s not only the only teriyaki marinade I use now, it’s also the only teriyaki sauce that Trader Joe’s even sells.
Initially I used this alone just to figure out how it would taste cooked when chicken was marinated in it. It’s a little thicker than regular teriyaki sauces, and you have to shake the bottle pretty well to ensure that all the sesame seeds that aggregate at the bottom are mixed in. I had some chicken thighs, so I dumped them in a plastic bag with a generous amount of the sauce. About 2 hours later, I removed them from the bag, put them on a baking dish with some of the sauce and cooked them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. What I ended up with were honestly some of the best chicken thighs I’ve had. The sauce is slightly sweet, although the saltiness and tartness of the soy base really shines through. The sesame seeds add a delicious nuttiness and the ginger balances the entire flavor out with a really nice tang. After tasting the chicken alone I even ended up heating up more of the sauce for dipping madness. You can use it for anything: stir-fries, baking, roasting, cooking rice, as a sauce, on top of sandwiches, even mixing it with a snack mix of things like rice-based cereal, sesame sticks, Goldfish and peanuts and baking. You can’t go wrong with grilled spareribs marinated with this and served with honey. Whenever I cook with it now people are always surprised to find out that I used a pre-made sauce base given it’s unique flavor (if I even tell them). Honestly, this is the only teriyaki sauce you ever need to buy. You can’t beat it even if you spent all day chopping garlic and ginger!
The second Soy Vay sauce I highly recommend is the Hoisin Garlic Asian Glaze and Marinade. For those of you who haven’t been introduced to the wonderful world of hoisin sauce, this is a good place to start. If you’ve ever had Peking Duck, chances are you already know what it tastes like. While “hoisin” literally translates to “seafood”, there is actually no seafood in the sauce itself. It is characterized by being both sweet and spicy and is generally made from a mixture of soybeans, flour, sugar, water, spices, garlic, and chili (although recipes vary). Soy Vay’s Hoisin Garlic sauce is a slightly different take on this with a touch of caramel. The garlic taste is strong but not too overpowering, and there is a definite sweetness and smoothness (from the caramel) that lingers on your tongue and balances out the tanginess of the soy perfectly. It is fairly thick, although the sauce will thin once you start cooking with it. Like the Veri Veri Teriyaki, the possibilities with the Hoisin Garlic sauce are endless, although I love marinating meat in it for kabobs or using it in a stir fry. Another easy delicious use is to marinate some New York strip steaks overnight and then throwing them on the grill.
One of my personal favorite (and fun!) use for the Hoisin Garlic sauce is a take on what they recommend doing on the back of the bottle: I cube some boneless, skinless chicken breast and marinate in the fridge for as long as possible. Then I tear some squares of aluminum foil and put some of the cube in them along with some coarsely diced or chopped onion and some freshly minced garlic. I wrap up the packets and bake for about 20 minutes in the over at around 400 degrees. Meanwhile, I steam some broccoli florets (in a steamer or in the microwave) and cook up some white rice. When the packets are done, I remove them from the oven, place the entire packet (foil included) on top of some of the broccoli and surround the while thing with some of the white rice. Serve as is: people always have fun opening up the steamy packets and mixing everything together as they please. If you don’t want to steam the broccoli, just throw it in the packet with the chicken and onions. I steam them only because I tend to like my broccoli a little more on the crisp side (sometimes I mix the steamed broccoli into the packet about 5 minutes before removing them from the oven).
The moral of the story is that you absolutely have to go buy these immediately. Not only do they pretty much guarantee a delicious and easy dinner in a pinch, but they’re also massively fun to experiment with. So to celebrate National Poultry Day without the effort, pick up some chicken and dump some Soy Vay on it. Cook, enjoy, and toast to the staple of the American diet!
Soy Vay is now carried in most supermarkets, but if you can’t find it you can buy everything online. They also have a compendium of awesome recipes to try (trust me, I’ve tried most of them)!
Veri Veri Teriyaki Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon, 35 Calories. 10 Calories from Fat. 1g Fat. 0g Saturated Fat. 0g Trans Fat. 0mg Cholesterol. 490 mg Sodium. 6g Carbohydrates. 0g Dietary Fiber. 5g Sugar. 0g Protein. 1 WW Point.
Hoisin Garlic Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon, 40 Calories. 10 Calories from Fat. 1g Fat. 0g Saturated Fat. 0g Trans Fat. 0mg Cholesterol. 400 mg Sodium. 7g Carbohydrates. 0g Dietary Fiber. 7g Sugar. 0g Protein. 4% Vitamin A. 1 WW Point.