Dinner versus Dora
The scene: Two toddlers and mom engrossed with throwing mozzarella on a pre-made pizza crust, ready to bake on a preheated pizza stone. Twelve minutes later, cheese is bubbling and the pizza is ready to eat. When asked if ready to eat, the older toddler squeaks a curt “no” and commands that I put on yet another episode of Dora and Boots. Damn that explorer.
This is reality. The parenting magazines, websites, and blogs all dole out sage advice, but the reality is that depending on the barometric pressure and astronomical signs, kids are going to be kids. And sometimes even a pizza, the all-around go-to dinner fare, won’t entice a 3 year old.
So I go back into the kitchen and resist the temptation to grab the box of Annie’s Deluxe Mac ‘n Cheese. Instead, I go to my laptop and search for David Chang’s recipe for Ginger Scallion Noodles on a friend’s blog. I make the sauce in a mere 5 minutes and looked at the bowlful of scallions and ginger and thought, as yummy as this is, it’s just going to end up on the floor.
I give up trying to be creative and adventurous and mix a cup of my go-to sauce. A sweet and salty concoction that seems to get my toddler every time.
Please note that the following recipe was made with my toddler’s palate in mind. I added grated ginger for a little kick which surprisingly passed the toddler test. You can add 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar for some acid and thinly sliced scallions to round out the flavors. This sauce is like a combination of yang nyum jang and bulgogi marinade. My DS simply calls it “sauce”.
Yields about 1/4 cup.
1/8 c. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. maple syrup (not the Aunt Jemima type, but real Grade A syrup)
1/2″ thick piece of 1″ diameter ginger root, peeled and grated on a microplane grater (yields about 3/4 teaspoon)
1/8 t. garlic powder
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
Mix all the ingredients together.
The sauce is a bit potent so use it sparingly. It is great on steamed broccoli, tofu, chicken, noodles, and whatever else you can think of. Try this out on your kids and let me know how it goes! Enjoy!