One of my best finds last year was a bottle of sauce in the condiments section of a supermarket that was simply called Wok Sauce.
At first I was wary about buying it. Would it be too salty, too sweet, too spicy or too bland? Nevertheless, I took the risk of buying a bottle and was soon experimenting with it in my kitchen.
It was a risk well taken, as it turns out. Such an unpretentious brand name belies the numerous uses this sauce offers. A product of Thailand, it’s made with spices, sugar, soybean oil, coriander and rice vinegar (among other ingredients) and has a mildly sweet flavor. Best of all, it has none of the dreaded MSG.
I have since used this sauce to stir-fry beef, chicken and vegetables—and it has always made the dish more appetizing. Better than trying to figure out the right combination of sauces, Wok Sauce is like having just the right flavor in one bottle. It has, in other words, simplified my cooking. I’ve even used it to cook ampalaya because its sweetness cuts the bitterness of the ampalaya, making it more palatable.
Here’s a dish that I’ve recently cooked using this amazing sauce: stir-fried green beans with diced pork. This is a dish you can easily cook when you’re pressed for time. And because of its appealing flavor, it may yet persuade the kids to eat their vegetables.
Sauteed Green Beans with Diced Pork
4 tbsp cooking oil, divided
¼ k diced pork
½ small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ k green beans or sitaw, cut into 2-inch pieces
½ c Wok Sauce (See tips.)
¼ c water
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or skillet to medium. Add the diced pork and sauté until pork is cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan and transfer to a clean plate.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil to the same pan. Over low heat, saute the onions in the oil until the onions are tender, around two minutes. Add the garlic and continue sauteing until the garlic becomes light golden brown.
Stir in the green beans and season with salt. Return the diced pork to the pan. Pour in Wok Sauce and water, and stir-fry just until the beans are tender but still crisp.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve while still hot. Makes 3-4 servings.
For more tips, recipes and stories, visit author’s blog: www.normachikiamco.com and facebook fan page: www.