Chinese Orange Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or grapeseed oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger

Sauce mix:
1/2 cup loosely packed dried tangerine peel (or grated orange zest)
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup rice vinegar (or distilled white vinegar)
1/4 cup light soy sauce (or soy sauce, or tamari for gluten-free)
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or Japanese sake, or dry sherry, or chicken stock)
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Add dried tangerine skin in a small bowl and add hot water to cover. Let soak for about 20 minutes, or until the tangerine skin softens. Drain and finely slice. Transfer 1/4 cup sliced tangerine skin into a bowl, and save the rest in a airtight container in the fridge for next time. If you do not use dried tangerine peel, grate about four fresh orange skins to make 1/2 cup orange zest.

Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and the rehydrated tangerine skin to a big bowl. Stir until the cornstarch is fully combined.

Heat oil in a saucepan until warm. Add garlic and minced ginger. Cook and stir until you smell a strong fragrance.
Stir to mix the sauce again to completely dissolve the cornstarch. Pour into the pan. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens, just enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Transfer the sauce into a bowl immediately, so it won’t continue to cook in residual heat.

Transfer the sauce in a airtight jar or container once cooled down. Store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 2 to 3 month.

Microwave sauce (1/3 cup to 1/2 cup) by 30 seconds increments. Then stir it and continue to heat until the sauce just turns hot without bubbling.

If you heat the sauce on stovetop, always use low heat and stir the sauce frequently to prevent scorching.

If you freeze the sauce, some of the liquid might separate and the thawed sauce looks like jelly. Simply stir to mix the sauce together and reheat in microwave or on the stove. You can restore the sauce to the previous consistency.

How to use the sauce

Simply reheat the sauce in microwave, you can add the sauce in stir fry or on roasted vegetables and protein!

(1) Recommended Protein and how to prep for stir frying

Beef (flank steak or short ribs) – thinly slice (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick), or cut to strips
Chicken (skinless boneless breast or thigh) – Diced to 1-inch pieces, or sliced to 1/4-inch thick
Shrimps – peeled and deveined
Tofu (firm or extra firm) – Diced to 1/2 to 2/3 inch pieces
For each pound of meat or seafood, mix with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or peanut oil), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Let marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.

To create a crispy crust, restaurant-style, see Omnivore’s Cookbook for a method to achieve the goal without deep-frying.

For tofu, marinate with 2 tablespoons soy sauce for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and coat with a thin layer of cornstarch.

(2) Recommended vegetables and how to prep for stir frying

To make a quick dinner, my favorite way is to only use one type of vegetable. You can use two, but no more.

Recommended vegetables

Asparagus – Chopped to 1-inch pieces
Baby bok choy – Tear off large leaves and halve lengthwise, halve or quarter the rest
Bell peppers – Sliced or chopped
Broccoli (fresh) – Divide to small florets; steam or blanch (see Omnivore’s Cookbook to learn how to blanch the broccoli quickly in the same stir fry pan)
Broccoli (frozen) – Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the quantity), so the broccoli is thawed and luke warm, but not heated up.
Brussels sprouts – Roasted (see Omnivore’s Cookbook for how to roast Brussels sprouts).
Cauliflower (fresh) – Divide to small florets; steam, blanch, or roast.
Cauliflowers (frozen) – Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes (for stir fry), or roast (see Omnivore’s Cookbook to learn how to crisp up frozen cauliflowers in the oven)
Carrot – Sliced into pieces or stripes (by using a julienne peeler); or cut to chunk and roast
Eggplant – sliced (see Omnivore’s Cookbook to learn how to prep eggplant so it crisps up during stir fry)
Green peas (fresh or frozen)
Onion – Sliced
Snow pea

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