One simple all-purpose marinade combines soy sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, garlic and onion powders, oil and lemon juice. This marinade can be used for a broad range of meats and vegetables.
Marinating generally refers to soaking any kind of food in a liquid for an extended period of time. While originally used as a preservative technique, it also boosts flavor and sometimes tenderizes food. Typically, the technique is best used with small or thinly sliced food, as the marinade will only penetrate so far. Three primary ingredients are typically combined to form a marinade: acid, such as citrus or vinegar; oil; and robust flavoring agents, such as soy sauce, garlic, onions or Worcestershire sauce.
This recipe combines 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/3 cup of oil and the juice of 1/2 of a lemon. Whisk or combine in a lidded jar, and shake. Marinade steak, chicken, pork or vegetables for 30 minutes or overnight.
To improve on this recipe, garlic and onion powder can be replaced by fresh garlic and onions. Additionally, consider the cooking method when constructing the marinade, specifically regarding the oil used. Some oils have higher smoke points than others. Typically, if using a high-heat cooking method, such as grilling, it is better to use an oil with a higher smoke-point to avoid excessive flames or burnt-oil flavors.