We all know that honey products are delicious but few people are aware of just how versatile this natural treat really is when it comes to cooking. The truth is that honey can be used in a wide variety of recipes – from savoury to sweet. Honey’s smooth, sticky texture, golden color, and sublimely floral taste adds flair to even the most mundane recipes. Read on for three great ideas for cooking with honey.
1. Chinese Honey BBQ Pork (Bakkwa)
If you’ve tasted the irresistible salty/sweet flavor of Chinese BBQ pork, you’ll love this sweet take on a traditional Chinese Lunar Year Celebration recipe. Bakkwa is dried meat product not unlike jerky and can be made with pork, beef, or mutton and is typically made with a variety of spices, sugars, salts, and soy sauce.
In this recipe, we’ve used rose honey because it accents the base pork flavors, but you can use any kind of honey you prefer.
- 1 kg lean pork
- Seasoning: 2 cloves of garlic (blended/ground), ½ tsp five spice powder, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp margarine or butter
- 5 tbsp rose honey
- Slice pork into thin slices and use a tenderizer on each slice.
- In a dish or container, add the seasoning mixture to the meat. Place container in the fridge and allow to marinate for a minimum of 5 hours. 8 hours is ideal.
- After marinating, place the thin slices of meat on a flat plate or surface to dry out.
- After the pork slices have dried, cut them into squares. Any size works but roughly 10cm x 10cm is ideal.
- BBQ the slices over charcoal until both sides appear golden, glazing with honey as they cook.
- Once cooked, drizzle with more honey and serve.
- Once cooled, the slices can be stored in the fridge or freezer for two weeks.
2. Honey Walnut Shrimp
Honey and seafood are a match made in food heaven. This great dish prepares quickly and can be eaten warm or cold. It makes an especially delicious side dish to any meal.
- 1lb large shrimp (peeled, tails removed)
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- ½ cup walnuts
- 4 egg whites
- ⅔ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon canned sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup oil (used in frying)
- Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then, add the walnuts. Continue boiling for another 2 minutes. Drain and place on a baking sheet to dry out.
- As the walnuts are drying, beat the egg whites in a bowl until bubbly/foamy in consistency. Stir in the cornstarch until the mixture becomes thicker. You can now dip the shrimp into the batter.
- Heat up the oil in a deep fryer and drop in the shrimp in small batches. Fry for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain the shrimp on paper towels.
- In a bowl, mix in the honey, sweetened condensed milk, and the mayonnaise. Add the shrimp and toss until coated in sauce. Add the candied walnuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.
3. Honey Apricot Muffins
These delicious muffins are perfect for the summer with their bright color and flavor. The tartness of dried apricots and the sublime sweetness of honey are juxtaposed beautifully in this one-of-a-kind recipe.
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Grease muffin tin.
- In small bowl, mix in baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt, and ginger.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and honey until texture is light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs and milk.
- Stir dry mixture into wet mixture until just moistened.
- Stir in walnuts and dried apricots.
- Pour batter into muffin cups.
- Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffin caps appear golden brown and you can insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin and it comes out clean.
- Cool on wire racks. Makes 12 muffins.
There you have it, three fresh new recipes that each incorporate nature’s treat, honey. There are thousands of delicious recipes for honey in cookbooks and online. You can also incorporate this versatile sweetener in tea, coffee, salad dressings, and as a sauce for desserts. Try cooking with more honey in your next meal.
About The Author:
Pierce Boylin is an author and blogger from Canada who often writes about cooking. A health and culinary enthusiast, he often writes about healthy and tasty recipes. Learn more about honey products and honey recipes from Beemaid.