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The Best Marinade; Homemade or Store Bought?

LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered User Posts: 9,150 Senior Member
edited March 2009 in Parent Cafe
Salt & Pepper were my usual routine when cooking meat or fish. My cooking skill regarding beef steaks was particularly ordinary until I began to use marinades recently. I discovered an Asian brand called Mama Sita that's produced great tasting and tender results. I also like the "World Habors' brand, and a Latina friend recommended 'mojo criollo' marinade, which also has worked well for chicken and pork. However, a TV chef I watched last night recommended a homemade marinade of lime juice, olive oil and garlic for steak. Do you make your own or primarily rely on marinades and sauces purchased at the store?
Post edited by LakeWashington on

Replies to: The Best Marinade; Homemade or Store Bought?

  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Well, often the marinade and the sauce are the same thing. So when I make mojo criollo (a Cuban citrus garlic olive oil sauce), I make extra and use a bit to marinade the meat ahead of time.

    Mojo is great on pork and chicken and shrimp.

    Another popular Latin American sauce in chimichurra sauce. Millions of variations, but basically olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Also great for marinating and as a sauce. Turns any steak meal into a Nicaraugan or Argentinian steak house!

    You can get a good foundation in vinagrette sauces by cooking a couple dozen Bobby Flay recipes. Much of his cooking is based on vinaigrette sauces that can be used as marinades, sauces, and salad dressings. It doesn't take long to start winging it. Olive oil, something tart (lime juice, vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, whatever), and something flavorful and colorful (scallion, ancho chili powder, parsley, roasted red pepper, ad infinitum). Put it all in a blender and voila: a marinage, a sauce, and a salad dressing all in one. Drizzle some on your grilled scallops and serve a salad with the same sauce on the same plate.
  • archiemomarchiemom Registered User Posts: 1,616 Senior Member
    Make my own most of the time. Also like store-bought. Currently have Lawry's Steak and Chop and Lawry's Hawaiian in the fridge.

    Here's an excellent marinade for flank steak (marinate overnight for best results)

    Korean Steak
    3 Tbsp sesame seeds
    1/4 cup veg oil
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    2 cloves smashed garlic
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp powdered ginger
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    large onion diced
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,212 Senior Member
    Dry sake, soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar plus a flank or hanger steak is a happy combination. Ginger and lemon juice if you have them handy. The proportions don't matter much...soak it in a ziploc bag for a couple of hours and throw it on the grill or under the broiler.

    Now I'm nostalgic for this dish because I rarely cook beef. But it sure is fast and fabulous.
  • 3bm1033bm103 Registered User Posts: 4,209 Senior Member
    Best marinade I have tasted and I use it for chicken, pork and fish is:

    Italian dressing (the cheaper the brand the better)
    Lawry's seasoning salt
    chopped garlic
    tiny bit of water.
  • Columbia_StudentColumbia_Student Registered User Posts: 5,046 Senior Member
    I do my own because I have a lot of herbs, garlics, onions in my garden. All I have to do is add olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • LakeWashingtonLakeWashington Registered User Posts: 9,150 Senior Member
    Thanks all for the recipes. InterestedDad, I have long wanted to sample Argentinian beef. Didn't the USDA limit importation of it until recently?
  • lje62lje62 Registered User Posts: 5,551 Senior Member
    To me marinades are like salad dressings. Once you know how to make your own, you would never go back to a bottled type.
  • PanhandlegalPanhandlegal Registered User Posts: 574 Member
    Here's my favorite flank steak marinade. S requests this for his birthday meal every year!

    1/2 C soy sauce
    3 T Dijon mustard
    1 T freshly ground black pepper
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 C Worceshershire sauce

    Combine ingredients in a zip lock bag and marinate flank steak for 1-2 hours. (I've cheated and marinated for only about 30 minutes with good results.)

    I also use this when making beef fajitas!

    Somebody mentioned Italian dressing--it's great on chicken and beef.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,617 Senior Member
    I like making my own, but I have to say that I had a store brand citrus marinade from IGA that was excellent. I looked for something similar in the local supermarkets and there wasn't anything that looked similar.

    Another cheating marinade I use alot is the pork fried dumpling dipping sauce from the local Chinese take out. My son loves the dumplings, but never uses the sauce so there's generally leftovers and it's great on fish. It probably has soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and scallions.

    Finally another great marinade is the Bourbon Mustard Marinade from The elements of Taste. (Great and unusual cookbook BTW)

    1 cup whiskey
    1/2 cup coarse salt
    1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    4 tsp. paprikia
    1/2 cup honey

    Combine and marinate slices of pork tenderloin overnight. Serve with pears poached in a little white vinegar and sugar. Leftover sauce can be frozen.
  • toblintoblin Registered User Posts: 1,862 Senior Member
    A marinade consists of three basics, an acid to tenderize, spice(s) to flavor, an an oil to transport the other two. After trying many prepared brands we have used a simple homemade marinade for years that works great for beef and chicken. Really good for grilling.

    1 cup oil based Italian dressing (also contributes most of the spices)
    1 cup reconstituted lemon juice
    2 crushed garlic cloves
    1 minced shallot
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Marinade beef in fridge for 3 to 4 hours
    Marinade chicken in fridge for 5 to 6 hours
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,014 Senior Member
    We love Korean steak. I just emailed it to my husband.:)
  • anothermom2anothermom2 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    Even though I am not much of a cook, I have a good marinade. Leftover wine (white or red) add rosemary, garlic, and if you like soy sauce, good for beef or lamb. For chicken or fish use the white wine. I baste turkey with orange juice.
  • hmom5hmom5 - Posts: 10,882 Senior Member
    I make lots of marinades to cut down on the oil in the commercial ones, many of which are tasty but more fat than I want. I often use an inexpensive white wine with flavored vinegars and lots of herbs. Herbes de Provence can't be beat for chicken and pork, IMO, andalways lots of garlic in my house.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    If anyone wants an encyclopedia of marinades and sauces, check out The BarBQue Bible. It's a NYC phone book sized cookbook on grilling and cooking over fire from around the world. It has virtually every marinade and sauce known to man. It's where I first tried made chimmichurra sauce, although I had eaten it in a Nicarauguan steak house iin Miami. The book has, I think, four completely different versions of the marinade/sauce.

    I got my mojo criollo recipe from a Cuban cookbook. It's the sauce served with the classic fried pork dish. However, it is beyond belief on a pork roast cooked outside on the Weber grill or on pork chops.
  • dragonmomdragonmom Registered User Posts: 5,632 Senior Member
    For chicken or steak for fajitas:
    juice of one large lime
    2 T worchestershire sauce
    dash of "Liquid smoke"
    marinate for 30 minutes or more, then broil. Makes it taste like you smoked over mesquite.

    Still in my recipe file, written on the back of a postcard about ordering college graduation announcements (mine, not kids!)
    Juice of one large lemon
    1/8 c olive oil
    2 cloves of garlic, mashed
    4T grated white onion
    1T fresh thyme (which I couldn't afford and used dried)
    Grill on 70's era hibachi perched on steps of apartment... or any other grill you may have graduated to! I still use this regularly, just don't marinate beyond a few hours or the meat gets too lemony.
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