Think Twice Before Tossing Out That Leftover Poaching Liquid

Whenever you poach chicken or braise a cut of meat, you not only cook your protein to tender perfection, but you also create a flavorful byproduct in the form of the poaching liquid. Many recipes will have you pouring that umami goodness right down the drain, but we're here to tell you there's a better, less wasteful way to make the most of those leftover juices. Instead of dumping it, why not turn it into your next favorite condiment? 

Combined with a bit of koji, salt, and a luxurious fermentation process, that poaching liquid can transform into a tangy, savory sauce akin to Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce. Once you've made your own batch, you can use it to add flavorful depth to your salad dressing, soup, or our tenderizing steak marinade recipe with just one spoonful. Plus, it'll stay good for weeks, so you'll be able to rely on it to add a more complex taste to a variety of meals. 

How to make this umami-rich condiment

Let's start off with the right ingredients. One that may seem new to you is koji, a substance produced from mold-inoculated soybeans or rice that the Japanese have used for centuries to make fermented ingredients like miso. Here, it will help transform your poaching liquid into an umami-rich condiment. You can also purchase it online if you have any problems locating it at the grocery store. 

To begin, add a quart of strained, leftover poaching liquid, one cup of koji, and a couple of tablespoons of salt to a large mason jar or bowl. The next big step is to wait. The sauce needs plenty of time to ferment at room temperature, at least two to four weeks so that its flavor can properly develop. Once it's ready, you can use it any way you would use a dash of vinegar or soy sauce, bumping up the levels of savoriness in whatever dish you'd like. We recommend creating a sauce with it and trying it with our lemony roasted potatoes recipe for a delicious flavor that will delight your tastebuds.