Cooking Adventures! (1) Butter & Soy Sauce

There are two types of people in this world.  Those who eat to live and those who live to eat.  I live to eat (which is pretty evident based on my physical appearance and other attributes), and since I started going to college, I’ve also dabbled in cooking.  Some context: my parents both love to eat and cook and have never hesitated to share that passion with my brother and I.  Growing up in locales such as Singapore, Japan and Taiwan, has exposed my brother and I to some really amazing cuisines.  While I must say my ability to cook Asian much less Chinese food is still very limited,  I have found it quite easy to cook Western food.  In the beginning, I had focused on using recipes and videos to help guide my cooking forays.  Over time, I’ve been able to use the skills that I’ve seen on videos as well as experimentation to cook on my own without relying on recipes.  One video that I have watched over 50 times is Gordon Ramsay’s “Perfect Steak Recipe“.  Because I’ve seen and copied his method, I’m able to make some really amazing steaks while also incorporating some of the skills I’ve picked up such as adding butter and other things to a pan to help marginally cool things down and extend cooking time.  Anyways, today I want to talk about cooking with butter and soy sauce.

Before this post, I had been thinking about this combination for quite some time.  First off, it’s not an original food combination, though it is one that is not often showcased.  There’s just something really rich and flavorful about the earthiness and nuttiness of the butter combined with the savory, salty flavors of soy sauce.  It blends very well and when poured onto rice or as a pasta sauce base, it is almost like a savory caramel.  I first tried the combination on some rice with a little bit of bacon and a fried egg, and dang it was awesome. You actually can’t see it in this picture, but just imagine it.

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The second dish I incorporated butter and soy sauce was in my Lobster Ravioli with Butter Garlic Soy Sauce Shrimp.  I have used the Food Wishes (insert Link here) Garlic Shrimp recipe many times and have found it to be quite successful.  It’s a really tantalizing recipe in both the cooking process as well as just eating it at the end.  The lobster ravioli I purchased from a homemade pasta stall in the Harvard Yard Farmers’ Market that happens every Tuesday.  The market is a bit expensive but the quality of ingredients there is worth it.  That being said, I don’t go and purchase things often, maybe once every two or three weeks.  Anyways, I started off the sauce but first cooking the shrimp in olive oil, garlic, chili flakes and a small knob of butter.  As the shrimp finishes, I add some more butter and then I finished it with a couple dashes of soy sauce and let that cook.  By the time my ravioli is done, the sauce has cooked off and I’m able to add some pasta water to thicken and toss with the ravioli.  What resulted was an amazing garlicky-soy sauce mixture that reminded me of some Chinese shrimp and garlic concoctions.

This combination is really fun to use and I hope to explore it more with different proteins and different quantities of butter and soy sauce (I hear scallops is really good with this).  I don’t know if this is going to be a series or not, but I certainly like cooking so it may.  Also please don’t expect this to be a recipe post because I never measure anything and I always cook to taste.

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