What I'm Loving: 10.17.09

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I am a Whole Foods sucker.  I think there is a little Sarah Isenberg detector that goes off when I pull into their parking lot:  "Whoop!  Whoop!  Put out your most expensive munchies/probiotic supplements/seasonal chocolates/cheese!"  But today, my impulse-shop paid off in spades.  I have a new love.  This is not new to the market, but new to me . . . . WFM's own Thai Ginger Marinade.

I was in the Fresh Pond Whole Foods this afternoon and as I sidled up to the fish counter, I was overwhelmed by the tastiest aroma.  After I procured my cod (the Isenberg fish of choice, 24/7), I turned around and visited the nearby guy doing some grilling.  Turns out he had marinated either mah-mahi or swordfish (can't remember which, I know that neither were Isenberg-approved varieties) in WFM's Thai Ginger Marinade.  I bought the marinade, untasted, because it smelled so. damn. good.

I re-worked my whole menu tonight around this marinade - we were on deck for cod Veracruz and some accompanying sides in a similar vein, but I went Asian.  I used up some cabbage I'd shredded last night and made my cabbage slaw, then basted my cod fillets with the marinade and poured a little around them in a baking dish.  I baked them, basting every 10 minutes or so, for around 25 minutes.  I also steamed some green beans and made some lo mein.

This marinade knocked my socks off.  The ingredients are simple:  canola oil, shoyu, water, fish sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, ginger, cliantro, garlic and crushed red pepper.  It's got a great soy tang, but it's more complex than your usual soy-saucey sauce - probably because of the fish sauce.  It's also got a nice deep roasty flavor from the sesame oil, and it's got a kick to it.  It is strong on cod, so if you're a cod-purist, it might not be for you.  But it was so good that I put a teaspoon over my green beans.    I could think of 1,000 applications for this stuff - for instance, as a marinade for tofu - then do up a stirfry with loads of veggies and season the whole shebang with more of the marinade.  Or I'm pretty sure it'd be great thinned out a bit (to mellow the flavor, not because it's viscous) to make a dipping sauce for plain baked or fried tofu triangles.  Or dumplings.  Or to dress your plain Chinese noodles.