Rich, about this time of year, I am craving something distinctly different from turkey and mashed potatoes. I like turkey and potatoes quite a bit, but variety keeps the taste buds alive, so I asked Wild Greg to teach me how he makes his incredible Mandarin orange sauce. Now, I know how to make it, too; and it is quick and easy beyond expectation! (click on any photo to enlarge)
These are the ingredients:
- 2 of 11 ounce cans of Mandarin orange segments in light syrup
- ½ cup granulated (regular white) sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Approximately ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1. The first thing to do is put the oranges, juice and all, into the blender. Puree them, which only takes a few seconds.
2. Add the ½ cup of sugar and mix with a few pulses or stir with a spoon.
3. Put the 1 tablespoon of soy sauce into the orange puree. You could use a bit more, but be careful. Stir it in and do a little fingertip taste to give you an idea of how you are doing.
4. Measure the 3 tablespoons of cornstarch out into a bowl big enough to have room to stir the water in to make a paste with the water.
5. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork after each addition, until the paste is similar to cream.
6. Some cornstarch may settle in the bottom of the bowl even after you have mixed it well, so make sure to give it one last stir right before adding it to the oranges in the blender. Do this adding by having the main, outer part of the blender lid on, but taking out the middle part that lets you add things while it is running. Slowly, but not taking so long that you fall asleep, let a relatively narrow stream of the corn starch paste flow into the churning orange puree.
7. Next, pour the mixture into a microwavable bowl. We used a four cup glass pyrex measuring cup.
8. Microwave the orange puree until bubbly, stirring occasionally. We started with 4 minutes, then stirred every 1-2 minutes. It will depend on how hot your microwave cooks. It took ours almost 8 minutes to be ready. Of course, you could do this on the stove top, which would probably require continuous stirring.
It doesn’t get super thick, which is good because it is a full enough flavor that you don’t want too much of it clinging to any given portion of food. It will gel up quite a bit when refrigerated, but reheats nicely to use again later if there are leftovers. Here is a printable PDF of the recipe: Quick and Easy Mandarin Orange Sauce
Wild Greg has come up with this sauce to put on deep fried battered pork or shrimp. We have also used it for a version of sweet and sour chicken, which involves adding pineapple and a little bit of vinegar. This particular evening, we simply had it with roasted chicken (I followed the basics in this recipe, but without the onions, garlic, and lemon this time.) and regular rice.