You may recall my love of the versatility of fermented soy bean pastes, such as using them in stews or dressings. There are numerous types of fermented soy bean pastes in Asian cuisine and this recipe introduces one that you may not have encountered before. Nam-Yu (Cantonese pronunciation) is used in many regional Chinese cuisines and is most renowned in Shanghai. In English, it is usually labeled as red bean curd or red bean sauce. It is usually stored in ceramic jars and it just so happens that this one has cute pandas on it. What distinguishes this fermented bean paste from others is it contains red rice and rice wine. The result is an insanely fragrant, robust, and vividly red bean paste that is frequently used on barbecued meat. It can also be used to flavor stews, such as brisket or vegetable stews.
This marinate penetrates the meat with a complex, almost cheesy flavor and its saltiness is balanced by a honey glaze. I roasted my chicken in the oven but it would be much tastier if grilled over charcoal. This marinate can be used with all types of meat and would go especially well with duck or pork. Try this with chicken wings for a unique, finger-licking snack and I promise your guests will beg to know the flavor’s secret.
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
toasted sesame seeds
Marinate chicken pieces overnight in the marinate.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread chicken pieces in a single layer over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Bake for 10 minutes, then flip, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced. Brush chicken with honey and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until the honey caramelizes.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over steamed rice or rice noodles or in a pita bread with sliced cucumbers.
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