Momofuku-inspired Sauce

David Chang is a genius. I have tried quite a few of his recipes from his Momofuku cookbook and they were heavenly. The technique of how to slowly poach eggs is one that I will always use, and his ginger and scallion sauce is the ‘mother sauce’ as he calls it. One of my dreams is one day go to New York and eat at Momofuku.

One day, I realised I was out of rice vinegar, and it was a Sunday, and I had already chopped the spring onions and grated the ginger and I have my ramen noodles all ready for me to eat. The sauce was a no-go. I didn’t even have balsamico vinegar and I was heartbroken. And very very hungry. Rummaging through the fridge, I found a small lime in the back of the vegetable tray. Hah, that will do. I tweaked the original recipe a bit, and added a little more soy sauce, mirin and a small amount of sesame oil. And it was yummmeeeehh.

I sometimes like to add some fish sauce to the mix, but you can omit this if you’re vegetarian. And if you don’t have lime juice, stick with the original recipe, use vinegar instead. But taste for the tangy sharpness first at 1 tsp of vinegar before you add another. I use the mirin to counteract the sharpness of the lime juice, so if you don’t have mirin, just add a small pinch of sugar.

Ingredients: (makes about 1 cup of sauce)

200g of spring onions, chopped/sliced thin
40g to 50g of ginger, minced/grated. (weigh before mincing/grating)
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
2 tsp of lime juice
1 tsp of mirin
1/2 tsp of sesame oil
1/2 tsp of salt (preferably coarse salt), and maybe a bit more extra, to taste.
1 tsp of fish sauce (optional)


Mix the spring onions and ginger with 1/2 tsp of the coarse salt. Mix with a spoon, thoroughly, so the salt mixes in properly. Add the oils, mirin, the sauces and 1 tsp of lime juice. Whisk it all together with a small balloon whisk or a fork. Taste for the lime juice. If it’s too sharp, leave it there, if you think you can handle another tsp of lime juice, add another. Taste again in the end, just in case you need to add more salt. Its best after 15-20 minutes, but usually I am too hungry to care. Use it with noodles, on top of rice and a fried egg, or as a marinade. It goes great with tofu, too!


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