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Hetty McKinnon uses soy sauce in udon, chow mein and … brownies?

Soy sauce brings depth of flavor to everything — even brownies.
/ Source: TODAY

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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Soy Sauce Chow Mein

Soy Sauce Chow Mein

Hetty McKinnon

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.

Life-Changing Udon with Soft-Boiled Egg

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.

Flourless Soy Sauce Brownies

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.

If you like those umami-packed recipes, you should also try these:

Prawn and Chicken Fried Noodles (Mie Goreng Udang)