The Dynamic Duo: Butter and Soy Sauce

The Dynamic Duo: Butter and Soy Sauce

Discover the incredible flavor combination of butter and soy sauce in Japanese cuisine. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's favorite pairing creates a velvety, rich, and intense savory taste that complements a variety of ingredients, such as mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, shrimp, and more. Learn how to sauté ingredients in butter and drizzle with soy sauce for a delicious umami-packed dish, as seen in the preparation of oyster mushrooms in this recipe.

A few years ago I interviewed the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten for a story and he mentioned something to me as an aside, that one of his favorite flavor combinations was butter and soy sauce. That stuck with me -- because there's something so incredibly beguiling about this bi-cultural marriage of velvety, rich butter and intense, savory soy sauce. It's a one-two punch that works fantastically with so many ingredients: all manner of mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, shrimp, scallops, flounder fillets and more. First sauté the ingredient in butter, and when it's just cooked through, drizzle in soy sauce. Cook a little more and it's done. This is exactly how the oyster mushrooms in the photo above were prepared, using about 1/2 pound of mushrooms, 1 tablespoon butter and 1 or so teaspoons of soy sauce (adjust to your own taste). Prepared this way, they impart this unbelievable mushroom-butter-soy sauce flavor and fragrance, ah, so wonderful...