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Fresh Cilantro, Basil, Lime and Soy Marinade and Sauce Recipe

Updated on October 31, 2016
Margaret Schindel profile image

Margaret has a passion for cooking, baking and creating recipes to satisfy her cravings for delicious, indulgent and sometimes healthy food.

Fresh herb, lime and soy marinade & sauce
Fresh herb, lime and soy marinade & sauce | Source

Fresh Herbs, Garlic, Ginger and Pure Maple Syrup Make This Lime-Soy Cilantro and Basil Marinade Extra Special!

Marinating is a quick and easy way to turn even very simple ingredients into the star of any meal. This wonderful lime and soy herb marinade recipe with cilantro and basil is one of several in my culinary repertoire. The salty earthiness of the soy sauce, the vibrant flavors of fresh cilantro, basil, ginger root, garlic and onion, and the unexpected touch of sweetness from the pure maple syrup combine to create a lively marinade or sauce that's positively packed with delicious flavor. The lime juice is an acid that not only adds brightness but also tenderizes lean meat or poultry, and the canola oil and olive oil help seal in the food's moisture during cooking.

Banish Boring Meals by Marinating Your Favorite Foods

I usually make a marinated pork tenderloin once every week or two, but those meals are never boring because I enjoy coming up with quick, easy and delicious marinade recipes like this one, using fresh herbs, citrus, oil and other high-quality ingredients. This versatile lime-soy herb marinade is one of my husband's favorites, and it's terrific with many other foods besides pork. Use it to make marinated chicken, beef, tempeh or vegetables.

Use Part or All of the Prepared Recipe as a Sauce

This recipe also makes a delicious savory herb sauce. Reserve some of the prepared recipe for the sauce before using the rest as a marinade, or to prepare a standalone Lime-Soy Herb Sauce make only one-half or one-third of a batch. Simmer the liquid briefly in a saucepan and use it to top any type of protein or vegetable you wish.

Try drizzling it over broiled or grilled burgers, steaks, chicken or veggies, thick, room temperature tomato slices, or even hot garlic bread. It's especially good drizzled over lightly steamed, crisp-tender fresh asparagus.

Lime and Soy Herb Marinade / Sauce Recipe with Fresh Cilantro and Basil

This versatile recipe can be used as a fresh, flavor-packed marinade and/or a delightfully savory herb sauce that will make practically any protein or vegetable taste amazing.

How to Prepare This Versatile Lime-Soy Herb Marinade or Sauce with Fresh Cilantro and Basil

Lime-soy herb marinade with fresh cilantro and basil; the reserved marinade was simmered to make a sauce for the marinated pork tenderloin
Lime-soy herb marinade with fresh cilantro and basil; the reserved marinade was simmered to make a sauce for the marinated pork tenderloin | Source
Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 2 to 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed to a paste with a garlic press or sharp chef's knife
  • 3/4 cup packed (total) fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 " piece of a knob of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Hot pepper sauce (e.g., Tabasco) or sriracha sauce, optional

Instructions

  1. Add the roughly chopped red onion to the bowl of a food processor. Scrape the crushed garlic into the bowl. Pulse until the onion is finely chopped.
  2. Add the 3/4 cup of fresh herb leaves and pulse until they are finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times, as needed.
  3. With the food processor running, gradually pour the canola oil into the chute in a very slow stream and process until the herbs are very finely minced, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat with the olive oil.
  4. Add the finely grated ginger, lime zest, soy sauce, maple syrup, freshly ground black pepper to taste, and a little Tabasco or sriracha sauce to taste, if desired. Process the mixture until smooth, with just small specks of cilantro and basil visible.
  5. If using as a marinade, reserve approximately 1 cup of the liquid, then cover and refrigerate it until shortly before serving time. Pour the remaining liquid over the food of your choice in a zipper plastic food storage bag or other sealed container. Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours for meat or poultry, 2 hours for vegetables, turning over the food halfway through the period so all sides spend sufficient time in the flavoring liquid. Cook as desired. Shortly before serving, pour the reserved liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer gently, stirring, for 30-60 seconds and pour the sauce over the cooked, marinated food.
  6. To use as a standalone sauce, prepare only 1/3 to 1/2 of the recipe. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, then simmer gently for 30-60 seconds while continuing to stir occasionally.

Please Rate This Lime-Soy Cilantro and Basil Marinade and Sauce Recipe - Thanks!

5 stars from 1 rating of Lime-Soy Herb Marinade with Cilantro and Basil

Try My Easy No-Turn Marinating Method

Learn how to marinate food without having to turn it over every hour or so to get the marinade into all the surfaces. All you need for this quick and easy cooking hack is a zipper freezer bag and a few easy hand movements. I use it every time I make a marinade now, and once you try it you will, too!

The Best Ingredients Make the Best Tasting Marinade or Sauce

As someone who loves cooking with the highest quality ingredients, I always rely on the experts at Cook's Illustrated magazine to tell me the brands that taste and perform best in their test kitchen.

The Best Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha hot sauce is the darling of Food Network chefs and other foodies, and Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is the brand that won the Cook's Illustrated Taste Test of hot sauces.

Huy Fong Sriracha earned the magazine's top rating of Highly Recommended from the testers, who were impressed by this sauce's flavor profile boasting "'just the right combination of punchy heat, saltiness, sweetness, and garlic."

If you've been wondering what all the fuss is about sriracha sauce, this is the one to try.

The Best Olive Oil

My husband and I always buy really good olive oil because we can taste a big difference in flavor, especially when it's used in salad dressings or as a dipping oil.

Columela Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a delicious, cold-pressed oil and the winner of Cook's Illustrated magazine's taste test for supermarket olive oil. It was the only one to earn the magazine's coveted "Highly Recommended" endorsement.

Although occasionally I will buy separate types of olive oil, one for salads and dipping and another for cooking, most of the time I use Columela Extra Virgin for everything. It's a yummy, all-purpose choice. Even though it's listed as a "supermarket" olive oil, it can be hard to find. Fortunately you can order it on Amazon.

Two Awesome Cookbooks with More Delicious Marinade Recipes

Although I love coming up with my own marinades, I'm also always on the lookout for more great marinade recipes. Sometimes I use them as written, and other times I use them as a starting point and add my own twist. These cookbooks on marinades and marinating have some great recipes to add to your collection.

Steven Raichlen's "Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades, Bastes, Butters and Glazes"

Barbecue guru Steven Raichlen does it again with this awesome book from his "Barbecue! Bible" cookbook series. If you love grilling, you're going to want these 200 yummy recipes for not only marinades - including the Only Marinade You'll Ever Need - but also rubs, bastes, butters and glazes with bold flavors to please the palate of any barbecue aficionado.

"Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures and Glazes" by Jim Tarantino

Grilling guru Jim Tarantino shares more than 400 savory, sweet, and spicy recipes for marinades brines, cures, and glazes for meat, poultry, veggies and more. These recipes are so delicious you'll be hard-pressed to choose a favorite!

© 2014 Margaret Schindel

Have You Ever Used (or Invented) a Marinade Recipe? - Do you think you'll try making this Lime and Soy Herb Marinade with Cilantro and Basil?

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    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      You're very welcome, Thelma! I hope you enjoy my marinade when you try the recipe.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 22 months ago from Germany

      Yummy! This is a different marinade than I am always doing. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I have to try this.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Vicki, thanks so much for your nice feedback and for the pin! I think you'll really like the vibrant flavors of the lime and fresh herbs. I usually use half the liquid to marinate the food and cook the rest briefly to serve as a sauce. Enjoy!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I know some people swear by marinating, but I never know what to use. This looks so tasty, especially with the cilantro and lime. And tenderizes, too. I'm pinning this one for sure!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @TonyPayne, I'm so glad you enjoyed this herb marinade recipe. Those are all flavors I love, too. You can tell your wife that it's very quick and easy to prepare. (You might want to let her know about my easy no-turn marinating method, too, which I've linked to in the recipe, which will save her both time and clean-up.) Thanks very much for your visit and your lovely comment.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 2 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This sounds wonderful Margaret. It's got all the things I love, like fresh garlic, ginger, basil and cilantro. Passed the link to my wife and I know we have to try this.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much, Angela! I hope you love it as much as we do. :)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      We are so trying this out at my house! Pinned

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Susan, thank you SO much for letting me know how well your pork loin marinated in my marinade turned out! I'm thrilled that you made it and enjoyed it.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Had to com back and let you know that I marinated a small pork loin roast using your marinade and it was DELICIOUS! This recipe is a keeper!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @jmsp206, thank you! I hope you get a chance to try it.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 2 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Sounds delicious!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Nancy, you can just use extra cilantro and it will be equally delicious. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much, Susan! I'm delighted you like it and really appreciate both your comment and your pin.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yum! Pinning for future use, like probably tomorrow. Can't wait to try your recipe.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This marinate sounds great except the basil. I would have to omit that. I don't know why I dislike it so.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you, Barbara! :)

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      page looks great over here Margaret :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @ecogranny: I'm glad you enjoyed the marinade recipe. Although I haven't yet tried it to marinate tempeh or tofu, I have simmered it briefly to create a sauce and used it over fresh organic veggies including heirloom tomatoes and lightly steamed broccoli and it was delicious, in case you're interested in trying it that way. Thanks again!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      In the past, yes, when we ate more meat. Not so much now, but maple syrup, soy sauce and ginger were often features of mine too. Love the lime! Your recipe evokes phantom scents and flavors that make me want to jump up and mix it up right now.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Merrci: Thanks very much, Merry! I look forward to hearing how you like it. :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I will definitely be trying this on chicken soon. It sounds so yummy!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
      Author

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Brite-Ideas: Thanks so much for your wonderful comment and for pinning this recipe to your food board, Barbara! I really appreciate it. :)

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      absolutely fantastic sounding Margaret! YUM! oh yes, off to my food board with thee :) - I really want to give this one a try

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