Make Marinades from Scratch

Charlie Wilson talks about the basic elements of a marinade, and makes a fresh herb marinade that will add a fresh flavor to meats, tofu and veggies.  

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Video Transcript

Hi there. My name is Charlie Wilson. And today, in this episode, we'll be talking about marinating.

It is a way that we can add flavor. We can tenderize our food, and we can take it to that next level.

Building blocks: oil + acids

The basic components of a marinade would be your oil and your vinegar, or your acid and your fat.

Some different varieties of acid I've chosen to show you are:

  • Vinegar. Vinegar will generally be your most commonly used acid.
  • Orange juice, which will add a sweetness.
  • Soda, adds a sweetness as well. The carbonation will help tenderize the meat.
  • And yogurt to add a richness, a tanginess.
  • And beer to add a round body, kind of earthiness, perhaps.

Other ingredients

All right, so let's begin our marinade. Just doing a quick mince on some garlic. The shallot as well. I chose the shallot today for its sweetness, its mildness.

Some oregano, cilantro and thyme, as well. And pull these from the stems. So every chance I get, I use fresh herbs over dry herbs. I don't want to over-chop it, or beat it up too much. Just keep the nose of my knife, the tip, suppressed to the cutting board. And just kind of work it back and forth over the herbs.

Making the marinade

Let's begin building our marinade.

Go ahead and add your chopped ingredients. They all go in there together. I chose to go with red wine today to complement the herbs. Here's our red chili flakes.

And we start with a small amount of oil to create somewhat of a base. We can marry in the rest of the oil and get a nice, smooth finished product. I chose canola over olive oil. Canola oil will maintain its consistency while at room temperature or refrigerated.

Using marinades

When marinating, you want to use non-reactive containers, such as glass bowls, plastic Tupperware, plastic bags.

Time varies for different items when you're marinating. The acid in the marinade can act as a cooking agent, especially with fish. Fish, you'd want to marinate for no longer than 30 minutes.

Once you've made your marinade, you'd want to keep some aside to use as a sauce for your end product. And that's how you make a simple marinade.

I'm Charlie Wilson for Co+op, stronger together.