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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Editor’s Choice: Mustard Seed Sauce and Dressing

There’s a wide, wide array of flavors and cultures represented in Asian cooking, but from Vietnam to Korea and Indonesia to Malaysia, many basics and ingredients meld so well together. Ginger, garlic, shallots, sesame and lemongrass are all spotlighted in this cuisine, and cooking with an Asian touch has never been easier. Sauces and dressings from Mustard Seed bring a taste of the earth's largest continent into the kitchen.

For more than 35 years, the Mustard Seed and Noodle Express Restaurants have brought their fresh Asian-infused flavors to their patrons. And in 2013, their sauces and dressings were introduced to the marketplace for fans—new and old—to bring into their own kitchens.

The Ginger Dressing, a personal favorite and one of the company’s signature items, is multi-functional and bursting with Asian flavors—think minced ginger, sesame seeds, onion, vinegar and more. Used as a dressing on salads it’s light and tangy, but where I think the dressing shines is as a finish on seafood dishes. Pour the dressing into a hot pan and let it thicken before serving with grilled proteins or fish.

The Asian Oil and Vinegar, the same dressing that is used for the restaurants’ Asian Slaw, is a flavorful and healthy alternative to traditional oil and vinegar dressings. With a hint of sesame and a burst of tangy influences, mix it with a pasta salad or as a pork or chicken marinade. Another signature sauce, the Osaka Sauce, is one that customers’ have been enjoying for years. The bursts of Asian lemon and mustard lend a flavorful boost to even to most basic meals. The culinary possibilities are plentiful. I’d recommend using the Osaka as a dipping sauce for vegetables or grilled chicken or as a deeply flavored glaze over cooked rice or noodles.