October 29, 2020

Verba ex Machina

Words From The Machine

Spice Up Your Chili Recipe With This Secret Ingredient

4 min read

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The secret ingredient in my world famous chili recipe is soy sauce: it’s my secret sauce. I like to give it a little extra zing with the spices.

If you’ve never taken the time to experiment with soy sauce before… or if, like me, you can’t find it on a grocery store shelf, take the plunge with me! It’s amazing.

My first batch of homemade chili was made in just 3 days with soy sauce. Since that time it has been a go-to recipe in my home, kitchen, and on my travels. My customers ask me when I’ve made it at the grocery store. My response? “I just used the store’s stock.”

My next batch is going to use only the best ingredients in store and will be even more flavorful than the first one.

But first things first – don’t over-do it. Here are some of my favorite ingredients in store that I use in my chili recipes.

What Is Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce is a type of vegetable oil that’s derived from soybeans. It is commonly known to be used in soups, stews, chilis, sauces, and many other foods. Some people call soy sauce the “oil of life.” It’s made from the oils found in soybeans, not the water.

Soy sauce may be a little expensive, but you won’t be able to go wrong with homemade chili. If you’re interested in purchasing soy sauce from a store, you have plenty of options.

Soy sauce is a very simple ingredient to make yourself: add some soy sauce to water, heat it up, and stir it around for 30 seconds to 30 minutes or so until the oil is melted and a thick paste is formed.

I love using a blender for easy making (not to mention the added bonus of not having to worry about the soy sauce getting soggy or curdled). Just whisk until smooth, then heat up a pot of water to medium heat and add your mixture.

This recipe makes 4 1/2 cups of oil. (If you make this recipe and want to add a little more oil, feel free! Just use 1 1/2 cups instead – you’ll save money!)

What Are My Other Favorite Ways To Use Soy Sauce?

There are many other uses of soy sauce that I enjoy as well. For instance – I love to use it as a seasoning to season chicken, pork, or beef for sautéing or cooking over the stove top, as well as as in soups. I like to use a little at a time in the sauce to keep it from sticking together. I also like to add it to my favorite sauces for adding heat and flavor to any recipe. For a great list of other uses for soy sauce, check out these other recipes:

The Ultimate Chili Recipe

Soy Sauce, Spices, and Other Additions to My Mexican Chicken

I’ve always loved to make chicken and it was my favorite part of Mexican dinner. My family has cooked with it for decades. I made these chicken and rice noodle recipes years ago and loved it so much, I created my own version that’s just as delicious. The secret ingredient in this recipe is ground chicken.

This is the first of about a dozen recipes that make it easy to throw together and use in your home chili. In fact, this is probably my go to recipe! Just blend the soy sauce to taste until your liquid is thick and creamy. I usually add it just before serving to keep the heat low.

For the chicken and rice noodle recipe that follows, I usually use the same stock as is used for the meat and rice. This means the rice and meat don’t have to be exactly the same size (if there’s any variance, add 1/2 of the same amount of rice or meat instead).

I usually use a little oil in the broth to reduce the amount of sauce that can stick to the chicken. This isn’t always necessary, and if your oil is too hot, add a teaspoon or two of water to bring it back to normal. If you’re using a little more oil than I recommend (about 1/3 of the same, if not more), then simmer the meat for 5 minutes or so to reduce the cooking time.

Soy sauce is a very easy and cost-effective ingredient to make at home that will give your homemade chili that much-needed flavor and kick to it. If you have any ideas for additional uses or ways to use it, please let me know with any questions.

I’ve made it in the past and my customers love it!

My other favorite way to use this is with beans! You can easily make this in the crockpot and freeze it, or cook it in a crock pot over the weekend.

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