When it comes to Asian meals, I find that my indispensable big bottle of soy sauce is always the protagonist of what I create. I think I pull it out of the cupboard almost as much as I lift the extra virgin olive oil dispenser on my kitchen counter. Since I try to balance meals between two continents at home, both ingredients are the main ones.
Even if soy sauce is a traditional sauce in East & Southeast Asia, every country has its own method of production, addition of other ingredients, level of saltiness and length of fermentation. Thus, there is a distinctive flavor from different countries of origin plus countries like Japan and China (where it was invented in the 2nd century) even have different kinds in most regions. I was not aware of that until I was in our local biological store and I found myself confronted with different kinds of Japanese soy sauce. What are shoyu, tamari or shiro? In the end, I usually get a bottle of tamari. I learned that it is the original Japanese soy sauce as it is closest to the one introduced to Japan from China in the 7th century. Or sometimes I interchange it with shoyu which is also good.
Soy sauce is salty, the saltiness of which depends on the kind and where it is done so I balance it out with a good amount of fresh lemon juice where I also get a good dose of natural Vitamin C. My kids like dipping their Asian food in soy sauce so I take advantage in making the lemon juice a part of that sauce.
With these two ingredients, I marinated the chicken. It's quite common to use this mixture as marinades but usually, there are additional loads of garlic and pepper to make it more aromatic. I avoided both and stayed in a simple line. To make the flavors stick well, I left the chicken marinating in the sauce for 48 hours.
Sometimes, steamed white rice is not enough to some Asian palates especially when the meat is simple and devoid of any sauce. Flavored rice gives an additional delicious factor and it's a very good way to revive leftover rice. Like the chicken, I paired it with sautèed white rice in olive oil and mixed with toasted garlic. It sums up to a simple meal with flavors that give impact to the palates.
The recipes for the Asian-Style Fried Chicken and Garlic Fried Rice are in She Knows, a site where I frequently develop recipes. If you want to check out what else I have been creating there, click on my Profile Page. Buon Appetito!