As I’m about to tell you about the value of making your own sauces from scratch, I feel it’s only fair to also tell you I bought a not-insignificant-sized jar of Cheez Whiz last week. So please, don’t take me too seriously. I mostly make my own sauces because I don’t remember to buy them, not because I’m opposed to jars.
You know I believe strongly in healthy, balanced eating, and I believe just as strongly that dessert should be full of all the calories. (Remember last week?) Those desserty calories, though, should be things like real-deal butter, cream, and chocolate, and I generally draw the line at processed food (I’m looking at you, Cool Whip.)
(But not you, cake mix. You make my life so much easier and my cake so much fluffier.)
All of which to say, I basically make food choices to suit my convenience at least 50% of the time. SO. Make it homemade if you can, and don’t stress if you can’t, just buy the thing with the least unpronounceable ingredients and call it a day. We’re all human here, and we all have busy lives that involve more than worrying about dying from overconsumption of Cheez Whiz.
That stuff won’t kill you, it’s magic.
But seriously, honey garlic sauce? Super easy. Takes about as long as opening a jar, if opening the jar involves going downstairs to disturb your working husband so he can twist off the cap for you and make you feel safe with his muscular display.
What, just me?
You might wonder why, with this super-simple version already on the blog, I’m talking about honey garlic sauce at all. Or you might (more likely) not be wondering that at all, but hey, I’m going to tell you. It’s mostly because I only use that sauce with that recipe, and a little because I wanted a version with ginger and I had an excuse. You see, Litehouse came out with some new freeze-dried seasonings and kindly offered to send me a few to try out. Not one to turn down a bit of spice in my life, I said “Sure”, and behold!
The red onion is the one I use most often and which is basically gone, because I hate buying an enormous red onion for the inevitable tiny bit I need for a salad or a pizza or roasted Brussels sprouts or some such use where they add so much flavour but you really need so little. Ginger is another one I rarely have on hand in the fresh version, so these little freeze-dried chunks are perfect! They rehydrate during cooking and so the measurements are basically equivalent to fresh, and they add great fresh flavour without the stress of using the excess within the next 5 days.
This honey garlic sauce thickens as it cools, so if you’re using it right away things will be a lot saucier than if you keep it in the fridge overnight. It will be runnier than it looks in the post-refrigeration pictures, is what I’m saying :) I don’t recommend freezing it – I did, to see what would happen, and while it still tasted good, the texture never recovered. I used the thawed sauce on chicken, which tasted great, but a lot of the sauce slid off.
So instead of making all my mistakes, this sauce is best used fresh. Then it is perfect for stirfry and for tossing chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, wings) after pre-baking
them. Bake your chicken until almost cooked through, toss in big bowl with the sauce to coat, and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for another 5-10 minutes to finish the chicken and caramelize the sauce a bit. Finger-lickin’ good!
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger root (1 tsp dried)
- 2½ cups water
- 5 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅓ cup water
- Mix together the brown sugar, garlic, ginger, 2½ cups water, honey, and soy sauce in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and ⅓ cup water in measuring cup or a small bowl; whisk into the sauce mixture and let simmer gently until slightly thickened. Sauce will thicken further as it cools, but as-is it is perfect for a nice saucy stirfry or for tossing with a batch of wings or chicken drumsticks!
Adapted from Krista’s Sticky Honey Garlic Wings.