Normally, when requesting a mustard sauce while eating Asian foods, a somewhat yellow spicy sauce appears on my plate. In Singapore, though, Li Wei continually surprised me with somewhat unusual dishes and sauces when I visited his restaurant on Orchard Road. I actually believe he did this for his own amusement to my reactions but happily participated in the game to gain access to incredible food. I was a bit surprised, though, when a dark mustard sauce was served with a roasted pork dish. However, I was definitely not disappointed! Dark, bold and slightly sweet in flavor, it was the perfect compliment to the pork.
During subsequent visits, Li Wei was gracious enough to share a few of his culinary tricks to extraordinary dishes. While he would follow most traditional cooking methods, his fascination, or as he referred to it “mìlián”, with non-traditional ingredients or non-traditional means of using familiar ingredients provided astounding results.
Created in Li Wei’s tradition, this is an intense sauce so a small amount provides incredible flavor. It is best to inform your guests before they “smother” their meat with the sauce lending it inedible.
The maple syrup serves as a balance to the large amount of soy sauce without creating a “sugary” sauce. Be sure to include the turmeric, the “mìlián”, as it is the ingredient that “weds” the other ingredients together.
½ c soy sauce, low sodium
½ c pure maple syrup such as Ackermann’s Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
2 T dry mustard
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T toasted sesame seed oil
¼ t turmeric
1 T chives, chopped
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Place the mix into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook 4-5 minutes until mix is reduced by almost half. Remove from heat.
Pour into a small bowl. Add chives and stir slightly.