One of the benefits of a blog is quick accessibility to your recipes.
Except when you’re looking for something that you thought you posted but never did. The plan was to toss together a quick Greek Salad from The Pioneer Woman and grill some chicken. So the yogurt marinade came to mind but where was it? The last time I remember seeing the recipe it was scribbled on a piece of scrap paper that more likely than not got thrown away.
For an Old Guy Playing With Technology I sometimes surprise myself.
I actually remembered to take a picture and save it to my online drafts folder.
Ever wonder how two cooks can make the same recipe and they come out different? One cook makes the dish and it tastes good. The original cook makes the same dish and for some reason no one wants to explain, it doesn’t just taste good it tastes great. Wonder no more! The secret is simple. The original cook uses certain brands of ingredients and also changes the recipe. A digital cookbook is the perfect place to document such changes. As always I leave the original alone and highlight what changes I’ve made.
I moved away from all olive oil to a mixture of olive and canola oils. The soy sauce I use comes from Thailand and is the Happy Boy Thin variety. While I prefer this brand you may not be able to find it in your local Asian grocery. Also be aware that MSG is listed as an ingredient so avoid if you have any sensitivity to this substance. Both of these changes lighten the marinade. Kikkoman which is found almost everywhere is an example of a dark soy sauce. The amounts of brown sugar and ketchup are a little higher than in the original. Thus, this version is a slight bit sweeter. Finally, garlic powder subs for fresh garlic and I’ve added onion powder to the marinade.
The gang was coming over for dinner. I wanted something simple and tasty. The weather was perfect. I had just purchased a full tank of propane. It was time to grill again. For decades our go to marinade has been the Iki Marinade.
My next thought was chicken. But the local store was selling tri tip steaks for $4 a pound. So I bought a package. If you’re familiar with this particular cut you know you typically get irregular pieces of steak in any given package. Butchers are smart. They will flip a piece of meat so that the side facing the buyer looks awesome. You buy, take the package home, and open only to discover one of the pieces is really, really small and someone will get the pipsqueak. When you see a picture of this steak you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Irregular shaped steaks are a pain in the ass to cook. So I cut each steak in half and pounded the hell out of them until they were about a half inch thick. The flattening helps tenderize the meat and grill more evenly than when left whole.
For Father’s Day I had to fire up the grill but I didn’t want to repeat the Iki Marinade which we use more than frequently. I got online and started searching “Lime Marinade”. Use this search term if you want to get instantly overwhelmed by the number and variety of lime juice based marinades. So I gave up and made my own. I’m sure if you search far and wide enough I’ve probably “stolen” most, if not all, of the ingredient list from some other food blogger trying to make a living stealing recipes from other food websites, changing one ingredient, and calling it an original. So if you feel this marinade is your property I apologize up front. Any resemblance to your recipe is a pure coincidence.
I marinated some petite sirloins and boneless chicken thighs. I think this marinade works better with chicken.
The propane tank ran dry before I finished cooking the meats.
If you have a propane gas grill, keep a stove top grill or griddle around. You can always finish the grilling indoors which is what I had to do. Try fresh cilantro. I used dry because I didn’t have any fresh on hand. If you like your marinade a little sweeter, add another tablespoon of brown sugar.
The good news is the tri tip steak I made a while ago was deemed very good.
The bad news is I didn’t get to have any. The steaks were smaller than I thought so I didn’t get a piece. Same as when I was growing up, Dad would serve dinner family style and let everyone else pick their protein first. Dad got the pieces everyone else didn’t want. The last time I grilled tri tip steaks I got chicken.
I had to buy more. This time I bought the entire roast and carved it into steaks myself. At roughly a pound and a half I saved $1.50.
The triangle pieces are small and the first cut had a pretty thick cap of fat making the “steak” even smaller. I now understand why butchers turned this muscle into stew meat.
Tonight I am marinating the steaks in a lemon soy bath. We’ll see how they turn out.
Update 6:00 PM
The steaks turned out great. I froze the strip steak like pieces and grilled the smaller chunks. I managed to cook the meat until it was medium and it wasn’t tough or chewy. Don’t cook tri tip past medium or you will end up with chewy odd shaped hockey pucks. The marinade turned out decent for a throw together bath.
Rinse salmon pieces under fresh running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Marinate at least 30 minutes with 45 to 60 minutes preferable.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Drizzle some olive oil on the sheet. Remove salmon pieces and place on the pan or cookie sheet. Drizzle some more olive over the salmon pieces.
Roast for 17 minutes.
I love salmon. But if you live in Oklahoma as I do, you tend to shy away from so-called “fresh” fish in the markets. I’ve been disappointed too many times so I stick with frozen fish. The quality of farm raised Chilean salmon is excellent. And before you crucify me for my salmon preferences, please follow the link and read a good article on the current state of affairs in the world of Chilean aquaculture. Chilean Salmon Farming’s Comeback | Wild Fish Conservation | Nancy Harmon Jenkins.
TIPS – The salmon pieces I buy are roughly one inch thick at the thickest part of the filet. If your salmon pieces are not as thick, adjust your roasting time downward accordingly. Rice or potatoes and a nice vegetable round out the meal. Salad works too. Maybe a nice freshly baked loaf of bread (purchased, of course). Prepare to be complimented.
Makes enough marinade for 1 to 1.5 pounds of meat. Double the marinade recipe if you are cooking larger quantities. Works well with chicken and beef, but was originally crafted for pork.
The Story Behind Iki
A long time ago when the kids were small we had wonderful neighbors with a pool. Naturally I befriended them. We got into this entertaining rhythm where during the cooler months we would fix suppers befitting the season. And during the summers we were over to the neighbor’s backyard for grilling poolside. Our friends had friends from whom they got this marinade recipe. I remember these people well. Sam was from Venezuela and in the oil business. His wife was from the Philippines. Her name was Iki.
We really didn’t know what else to call this recipe. It was Iki’s marinade recipe. Over the years it just got shortened to Iki.
How about some Iki tonight? Certain to become a family favorite.
Flatten boneless chicken breasts so that the pieces cook evenly on the grill. If the breasts are large, halve them, then flatten. I prefer boneless thighs with this marinade. Again, flatten a bit before grilling. Marinate your meat at least one hour before cooking and bring the meat to room temperature before grilling.
Boneless country style pork ribs are wonderful with Iki.
If you’re not grilling, try marinating chicken breasts or thighs on the bone and roast in the oven.
The story behind this marinade is odd. Where do I begin? I’ll begin by saying I love marinades. You’ll love marinades too once you figure out that the factory farmed protein we pass off as real meat in this country really doesn’t have that much flavor. Remind me to tell you the story of the first steak I ate in Argentina. Yes, I’d move there for the beef!
For several years I’ve been making a simple baked salmon with Maple Soy Marinade. When I looked in my recipe file, I found this marinade. Honey, not maple syrup.
At this point the best I can figure out is somehow, somewhere along the Path I substituted maple syrup for honey. It works. So I kept this simple marinade in my head until now when I realize it’s not the marinade I started with.
Try both. The maple syrup version works extremely well with salmon. I know I used the honey version with chicken. Play with it. Have fun. Eat well.
Warning. Use real maple syrup. I once used fake maple flavored syrup that consisted mostly of high fructose corn syrup and it is not the same.