I received the Momofuku cookbook for Christmas this year and one of the recipes I was most excited about making was David Chang’s famous Ginger-Scallion Sauce — an essential condiment meant to be tossed on every and any kind of barbecued meat and noodle dish you can get your hands on. Unfortunately (well, fortunately, since it is exciting), Fashion Week is coming up and I’m trying to eat healthy so I decided to pair my sauce with some poached chicken. Result? Amazing.
I actually made the sauce a week after I received the cookbook and was really disappointed with the results. I blame two factors: 1. I decided to cut the recipe in half since it was only Kyle and I spooning it over two bowls of ramen, so it could have thrown off the feng shui of the end result. 2. I don’t own a food processor — and really didn’t realize the importance of mincing to the point of mush — therefore my matchstick-width bits of ginger made me shudder with each bite.
I’ve noticed I’m not the only blogger who was disappointed with their homemade sauce. It honestly didn’t taste like much of anything at all — well, except ginger. Big, honking hunks of ginger. But again, that’s my own fault.
So after doing a bit of research on the origins of the sauce — It’s considered the “Chinese pesto,” there’s no way it could be bad — I decided there must be another way and I found a common method of preparation included heating up the neutral oil used (in Chang’s case — grapeseed oil) and pouring it over the scallions and ginger to cut the bite of the two before mixing them with the rest of the ingredients. Deciding this would tame all my dragons, I went for it.
What happened next? I’m completely addicted.
3 large bunches of scallions, chopped, chopped and chopped some more
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 thumbs of ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 3/4 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs grapeseed oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Mix 2 cups finely chopped scallions and 1/2 cup (about 1.5 thumbs) minced ginger in a heat-proof bowl
Top with kosher salt and allow to sit while working with oil
Heat 1/4 cup grapeseed oil over medium heat until hot, pour over ginger-scallion mixture (it will sizzle)
Stir and add in soy sauce, sherry vinegar and sesame oil
Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes
Heat 1 Tbs grapeseed oil over medium-high heat
Add in smashed garlic, ginger and 1/2 cup scallions, allow to cook for 1 minute
Add in chicken breasts and fill with water until completely submerged
Raise heat to high until water comes to a boil, lower to medium-high and simmer for 15 minutes
Check chicken — if no longer pink — cover, allow to steep with heat off for 20 minutes more, otherwise continuing cooking over medium, checking every 5 minutes until chicken juices run clear before covering.
Slice chicken into strips
Stir sauce, adding in salt or soy sauce if necessary
Spoon sauce generously over chicken
Serve with white rice, over noodles or completely (and deliciously) on its own.