Innovation on the Menu

Photo: BLT Scallion Pancake Sandwich, recipe developed by Irene Li of Mei Mei in Boston.

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A healthy appetite for bold new flavours is changing menu choices for the better.

In the not-so-distant past, teriyaki and soy sauce were confined to Asian cuisine, but today’s chefs are thinking — and cooking — outside the box when it comes to using traditional Asian flavours in non-traditional applications.

From appetizers to desserts, Asian-inspired flavours are making appearances on Canadian restaurant menus in unexpected ways. Think wasabi sauce on burgers, tacos with hoisin-lime aioli and soy glaze incorporated into rich mole sauces.

As the most-recognized Asian food brand in North America, Kikkoman’s full line of sauces and foodservice resources make it easier than ever for chefs to incorporate creativity into their menus. “Kikkoman sauces can inspire an endless variety of menu options that will appeal to every palate — from the subtle to the bold,” says Andrew Hunter, corporate chef at Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc.

Even Italian cuisine can benefit from a little Asian inspiration. For example, soy sauce can heighten the flavour of the tomatoes in traditional red sauce while mellowing the acidity. It also enhances the beefy flavour of Bolognese. Pizza dough gets a boost from brewed soy sauce, which complements the fermented, yeasty flavour — just brush it on rolled-out dough or precooked pizza shells before topping and baking.

Whether you’re looking to add an innovative spin on a plant- or meat-based meal in a bowl, a flavourful ramen broth, or a signature cocktail offering that awakens the taste buds, Kikkoman’s full line of ready-to-use sauces and bases can bring new life to any restaurant menu.

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