Food writer Hetty McKinnon is joining TODAY to share a few of her favorite soy sauce-filled recipes from her new cookbook, "To Asia, With Love: Everyday Asian Recipes and Stories From the Heart." She shows us how to make chow mein with dark soy sauce, "life-changing" udon noodles with soft-boiled eggs and flourless brownies with a dash of tamari.
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This simple chow mein dish is most commonly served at dim sum restaurants, where the noodles are fried on the spot in the traveling hot trolley. At home, this is a breakfast staple, made from scant pantry ingredients. I adore the addition of bean sprouts — I have vivid memories of my mum sitting in her cavernous armchair, diligently tailing each sprout (a step I usually skip because I lack her dedication). My mum also adds garlic chives, so when they are in season, throw in a handful for a distinct aromatic flavor. The dark soy sauce adds the signature caramel color to the noodles — if you don't have any, just use regular soy sauce or kecap manis. I've added a fried egg to amplify the breakfast feeling.
In a diminutive noodle shop called Shin Udon, a short walk from Shinjuku station in Tokyo, I savored a bowl of udon noodles that would ruin me for all other noodle experiences. Perhaps it's unfair to compare all noodles to this — the thick, chewy strands are made fresh, moments before they are served (we spent half an hour watching the noodle maker at work while we waited for a table). My bowl of udon with hot soy, soft-boiled egg, butter and black pepper blew my mind and entranced my taste buds. As I slurped the toothsome, salty strands, I knew I was having a life-changing experience. While there is no way to truly replicate this unforgettable experience at home, my humble rendition of Shin Udon's incomparable noodle dish is still satisfying and crave-worthy.
The use of this yeasty, salty condiment in a brownie is surprising, but it brings a complex depth of flavor to this classic sweet treat. The soy sauce amplifies the chocolaty flavors, bringing a rich caramel glow. The taste very much resembles salted caramel. This brownie is gluten-free, by way of nutty almond meal and a gluten-free soy sauce.
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