Double Happiness Chinese Marinade


Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I recently visited China with my friend and grill products distributor Robert Laub. We were in Dongguan City for a trade fair and decided to venture outside of the hotel and go to a “real” Chinese restaurant. We were lucky enough to have one of our Chinese colleagues, David, with us or else we wouldn’t have been able to order. Before settling into a private room complete with our own team of cooks and servers, we went outside to the parking lot to choose our catch of the day from an aquarium. Of all the fish we chose, our favorite fish was a giant purple prawn that was marinated in this sweet mixture and flash-fried until it was crispy -no batter at all. The prawns were so good that Robert and I asked for a second helping- doubling our happiness with finding a new Chinese treat!

NotesGood for Soaking: Shrimp; prawns; pork ribs; chicken; scallions, bok choy, carrots

Makes1 cup



Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, vegan, vegetarian

Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, savory, spiced, sweet, tangy, umami, winey

Type of Dishmarinades


  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons low-sugar hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Thai chili garlic sauce (sriracha)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small knob (1 inch) fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal


  1. In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sherry, honey, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, five-spice powder, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and scallions until well mixed. The marinade will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


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