If I scraped up roadkill, this marinade would probably make it quite tasty. It surely has for an array of proteins like fish, fowl, meat and even tofu (if you must). It has just three ingredients and can be frozen and reused indefinitely. It sounds Asian but it doesn’t taste that way. About the only thing easier – but not nearly as pleasing – would be out-of-the-jar barbeque sauce. Eeeuuu. Just about all you do is open up the cans or bottles and stir it together.
If pressed to explain why it works so well, I’d guess that the tamarind tenderizes while adding tang, the coconut milk injects a lusciousness and sweetness while the soy adds that salty and umami element. You can buy these ingredients at a well-stocked Asian market but to make it easy, I recommend Nak’s in downtown Menlo Park. It’s a wonderful little shop. Say “hi” to Sam, the delightful owner, if you go there.
I’ve quite successfully marinaded hanger steak, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, leg of lamb, halibut, salmon and some other things I forgot. The best is hanger steak, which takes to this marinade like the Republicans do to tax cuts for the rich. In second place, I’d put chicken breast, followed by halibut, then pork tenderloin, then lamb. Actually, after chicken, all the other possibilities are equally pleasing. In other words, there’s nothing that isn’t good in this marinade.
I’ve experimented with a brochette approach (ie, hunks of stuff on a skewer) and just marinated the whole hunk of protein. The former works best, I think, because that enables more of the marinade to surround the item. Whatever is being marinated can sit in this stuff for a couple/three days if you get busy and forget all about it. Or overnight. Or whatever works for you.
Magical Coconut Marinade
2 cups coconut milk (canned)
1 cup tamarind concentrate
1/3 cup black (Chinese) soy sauce
(optional) 4 sliced garlic cloves
Mix ingredients. Add whatever you’re marinating. Let it sit in the marinade for 12 hours up to XX days in the fridge. Light your grill. Remove meat/whatever from marinade but don’t scrape off the excess. Grill as desired. Save extra marinade in the freezer and reuse.
The proportion of the ingredients can be increased or decreased to your taste. If you like things saltier, add more soy. Tangier, add more tamarind. Make a ton of it or a small amount; just use whatever proportions work the best for you.
See my separate post on coconut-marinated hanger steak.