It irks me when something store bought tastes as good as my homemade. Why put my heart and soul into preparing dinner when simply opening a jar can yield practically the same results? Time would be the popular answer — or more concisely, the lack of it. As much as I enjoy being in the kitchen, some days it just isn’t meant to be. So I have my trusty list of “Karen Worthy” products. Those that I can and will use in a pinch and wouldn’t be mortified if company stopped by.
Heading that list is Trader Joe’s Soyaki, a unique all-natural part soy/part teriyaki sauce made with fresh ginger, garlic and sesame seeds. This stuff is simply incredible! You can use it as a marinade or sauce for meat, poultry, fish, tofu or vegetables, and liven up an otherwise boring entrée. If you have no time to marinate, no problem! Simply baste while grilling and be rewarded with mouth-watering goodness.
Soyaki’s rich, tangy flavor is also perfect for a quick and easy stir-fry. Just sauté meat, vegetables or what have you, add cooked rice or rice noodles and pour straight from the bottle. No measuring, mincing or thickening required.
I’ve heard that TJ’s offers another variety called Island Soyaki, the same vegan-friendly sauce but with pineapple juice and whole sesame seeds added for texture. Holy cow, will these people never stop! Now I’m having visions of beating back a cold winter’s chill with a tropical chicken, pineapple and Island Soyaki crock-pot creation. Ahh, I can hear the waves already!
Time-saving Soyaki sauce is easy to use, low-fat and at three bucks a bottle it’s a remarkable deal. If your own love affair with the kitchen is fleeting at best, give it a shot. If they keep producing naturally made, no-preservative products with this much flavor, I may very well turn my apron in for good.
What’s your favorite time-saving store-bought product? —Karen