Saucy Secret Revealed: One Sauce, Several Uses

This sauce is must add to your regular rotation. It acts as a marinade for grilled meat (pork, beef, bone in chicken) or even vegetables. Then, instead of being discarded, it can be boiled down to use as a sauce to serve over the main course or incorporated into side dishes (I love it mixed into rice, quinoa, or bulgur w/ grilled vegetables, chopped scallions and a few toasted sesame seeds).

Developing an umami packed sweet flavor, this sauce is sure to be a hit with your family. It’s also elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.

Basic Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 head of smashed garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Additional Options:

  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger
  • 1 thinly sliced hot pepper (seeded for less heat) OR
  • 1tbsp Sambal olek OR
  • 1tbsp Sirarcha
  • 1 thinly sliced onion or shallots


  • Agave syrup in place of brown sugar
  • canola oil in place of sesame oil
  • eliminate the rice wine vinegar
Photo via Flciker, Courtesy of Steven Depolo
Photo via Flickr, Courtesy of Steven Depolo

Mix all ingredients in a sealable bag, add meat or vegetables, shake to coat and refrigerate at least 2 hours(the flavor intensifies the longer it sits).

While meat/vegetables grill (a grill pan works in place of an outdoor grill), pour remaining sauce into a pot, bring to a boil and reduce until you reach your desired thickness. Serve atop meat or vegetables or mix into your favorite side dish.

You can play with the quantities in a large bowl to reach the flavor you desire. Or transform this sauce into a salad dressing by mixing the same ingredients in the following quantities.

Salad Dressing Adaptation:

  • 1/4 cup oil (canola, vegetable, olive)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp maple syrup or brown sugar (to taste)
  • Chopped scallions (optional)

If additional heat is desired add a pinch to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or a squirt of Sirarcha. Use to top green salads, or as a dressing (increase recipe to accommodate amount) for coleslaw or mix with your favorite grain.

Now you have one sauce that will pass the kid test, impress your significant other and wow your friends.

-Sharing a saucy little secret weapon to transform you into a kitchen pro, Jess

Share your final product with us! Find Amazing Matriarch on Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  #amazingmatriarch. 

Armed with an undergraduate degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Teaching, Jessica began a career as an advertising executive before spending nine years as an 8th grade English teacher. In 2009, Jessica opted out of the workforce to be home with her kids.

In need of an intellectual outlet, Jessica was offered the opportunity to start a third career as a freelance travel & lifestyle writer and has never looked back. Having contributed to travel & lifestyle outlets: Nile Guide, Tripology, USA TODAY & 10Best Jessica is excited to be part of the Amazing Matriarch where she hopes she can encourage other women to channel the amazing within.


  1. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

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    1. We’re so glad you enjoyed our saucy secrets! We’re big fans of eating home cooked, healthy food that tastes great!

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