Honey soy sauce is having a bit of a moment. Used to make deliciously sticky honey soy chicken, yet it also has many other uses. Here’s how to make honey soy sauce, and some ideas on what to do with it.
What is honey soy sauce?
More Western than authentically Asian, honey soy sauce is a sweet savoury sauce that can be used as a dipping sauce, as a marinade, or as a cooking sauce. Reduced down a little it makes an excellent glaze for brushing and it can also be thickened up to make a serving sauce.
Ways to use honey soy sauce
Honey soy sauce goes especially well with chicken thighs or wings and salmon fillets, but can also be used with pork. Think ribs, or sticky belly pork. Enhance the inherent sweetness of vegetables by using as a stir fry sauce, a dipping sauce for simple vegetable tempura or spring rolls, or as a glaze for grilling.
How to make honey soy sauce.
Essentially it begins life as a marinade. A simple, non-thickened blend of soy, honey and garlic. Apart from the addition of honey, it is a lot like teriyaki sauce.
(btw, if teriyaki is more your style, check out our guide to making great teriyaki chicken.)
You could use this very simple sauce as a dipping sauce, but it is through cooking and the alchemy of honey, soy, and garlic, that it really comes into its own.
The point of the sauce is the honey. Yes, its sweetness and powers of caramelisation, but also its flavour. So use the best honey that you can. Also this is not honey added to soy; it is soy added to honey. The honey is the greater part.
Garlic seems to be non-negotiable. But you do need to be careful with garlic. In the oven it will cook down to a beautiful sweetness. On the grill it can burn and leave an unmistakeably acrid taste. So we add a greater quantity of whole cloves and let those infuse, rather than chopped garlic.
Although the quintessential trio of soy, honey and garlic works well, you can boost it a bit from there according to taste. We added…
- Rice vinegar for a little acidity.
- Sesame oil for toasted warmth.
- Chili (flakes or fresh) for a back end bite.
- Shaoxing wine for a more rounded depth.
- Slices of fresh ginger for more complexity.
Basic recipe for honey soy sauce
Use this as a marinade for grilling or as a bake in sauce. For a dipping sauce, let the flavours infuse for several hours before serving.
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing wine or water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
2 slices fresh ginger
Sliced fresh chili (as desired)
- Peel the whole garlic cloves. To lightly smash, use the flat of a knife and smash down with the heel of your hand. The clove should remain whole, yet split to release its flavour.
- Stir all of the ingredients together and add the ginger, garlic, chilli. The longer you leave this before using, the more intense the flavours will become.
To create a glaze, add the above sauce into a small pan and simmer gently to reduce by about one third.
To create a thicker serving sauce, add the above sauce into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Whisk in a heaped teaspoon of cornflour, mixed with a little water to form a paste. Whisk for a few minutes until thickened.
Recipe for baked honey soy chicken thighs
1 quantity of honey soy sauce (see above)
8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone-in
6 spring onions, in 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 spring onions, chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Place the chicken thighs in an ovenproof dish or roasting tin and add the spring onion pieces.
- Pour over the sauce.
- Bake in the oven for about an hour, until the chicken is tender and the sauce is sticky.
- Scatter with the chopped spring onion and sesame seeds before serving with some plain rice or noodles.
Why not try using the sauce as a simple marinade for chicken wings before grilling. Or if you thicken the sauce slightly to create a glaze, you can brush it over salmon fillets or vegetables whilst they cook.
Our guide on the food and ingredients of South East Asia is an excellent overview of this massive topic. Or why not explore our range of authentic Asian sauces.
This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Asian Organic Foods Suppliers”.
See original article:- How to Make Honey Soy Sauce