Asian Marinade
(Yield: 1 2/3 cups)

As a follow up to Cancer-Safe Grilling, marinating your meat, poultry and fish before grilling is key. Research suggests that marinating for at least 30 minutes helps reduce exposure to potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Acidic rubs and marinades (e.g., citrus- or vinegar-based) break down some of the muscle in the meat and may help reduce the number of HCAs formed. Some researchers think the marinade also forms a barrier that protects the meat from the heat. 

The following marinade recipe tenderizes with the high acids from the rice wine vinegar + citrus and flavors your food in addition to being cancer-preventive. It contains less sweetener than the typical sweet teriyaki sauces. Sugary marinades increase the amount of charring. This Asian-inspired recipe is from the American Institute for Cancer Research, a non-profit organization and outstanding resource committed to research on diet, nutrition and cancer.

What’s In It…

  • 3/4 cup hoisin sauce*
  • 1/4 cup organic rice wine vinegar (unseasoned) or cooking sherry
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey

How It’s Made…

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.
  • Pour over meat in a shallow container. Make sure all meat is submerged in marinade.
  • Cover, and refrigerate for 2- 6 hours. When ready to grill, remove meat, and discard marinade.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 66 calories, 4 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrates,
0 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 98 mg sodium.

NOTE: The nutrition analysis applies to the approximate amount you would consume, not the whole amount because of the need to discard used marinade.

Karen’s Fit Tip:

*Hoisin sauce can be high in sugar and sodium. Premier Japan-Organic, Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce has 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of added sugar and 160 mg sodium per 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce. Other brands contain up to 10 grams sugar per tablespoon and 530 mg sodium per tablespoon. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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