Garlic Sesame Sauce ✠

Martin Yan is a Chinese-American chef and food writer who has published at least 15 books on Asian cuisine and its preparation. He has hosted and been featured in countless TV shows, including his own award-winning PBS-TV show Yan Can Cook that began in 1982. His style is almost comedy, showing how much fun one can have in the kitchen while preparing amazing dishes. I have watched him on YouTube completely debone a chicken in 18 seconds! So he is not only a great chef but a great showman, as well.

The following recipe was adapted from Yan's “All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce” in his Chinese Cooking for Dummies. In his words, “The culinary equivalent of a simple white shirt, this sauce goes with just about anything.” I have renamed it here so as to describe its principal flavors and reoriented its ingredients somewhat for my diet.

  • 2/3 cup lower sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 3½ tbsp <sugar>
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp cooking sherry
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Combine the soy sauce, broth, rice wine, <sugar>, sesame oil, and white pepper in a bowl.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the ¼ cup water.

Spray a sauce pan evenly with oil and then swirl in the cooking oil to coat the pan while raising the heat to a sizzling temperature. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, constantly stirring with a spatula, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Cool down to prevent spattering in the next step.

Add the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cornstarch solution, raise the temperature slightly, and cook, stirring continually, until the sauce boils, thickens, and the taste of corn starch disappears.

Whisk in the sherry and sesame seeds, cool, and put in a jar for use. Use in stir fries, on vegetables (try it with Zoodles), and, if you are not carb-restricted, to rice and pasta.

Makes about 1¾ cups of sauce.