Quick and easy marinades to transform your cooking

Just 15 minutes can make a huge difference
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  • Marinades are the perfect way to get the most out of your food. Here's how to add some incredible flavours to meat, fish, tofu and vegetables.

    While we definitely encourage letting great ingredients speak for themselves, we also know that sometimes, your dishes just need that little something extra.

    If you are short on time, marinating – even for as little as 15 minutes can transform a dish that’s okay, into something spectacular. However for the most part, the longer you leave ingredients, especially meat, the better they will become, so be patient and all your efforts will definitely be worth it.

    For the marinade recipes below we recommend coating your meat, fish or vegetables and leaving them in the fridge for up to 8 hours. This will give the marinades time to work their magic.

    Dressing Marinade

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    What type of marinade should I use?

    With so many recipes out there to choose from, knowing what marinade to use and where can sometimes be a little tricky. Follow our simple guidelines below and clear up any concerns.

    Acidic marinades

    Dressing Marinade

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    Benefits: Acidic marinades like buttermilk, citrus, wine and vinegar break down the proteins, making meat tender and juicy.

    Great for:
    Whole chicken, fish, seafood, vegetables.

    To make, combine:

    • 200ml dry white wine
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    • 5 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
    • 3tbsp olive oil
    • small bunch lemon thyme

    Sweet and salty marinades

    Dressing Marinade

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    Benefits: Getting the combination of sweet and salty is a real balancing act. The salt will draw out moisture, which will then be reabsorbed to flavour the dish.

    Great for: Chicken, lamb, duck, pork ribs, salmon, tofu.

    To make, combine:

    • 5cm piece ginger, grated
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 125ml soy sauce
    • 175ml maple syrup

    Oils and fats

    Dressing Marinade

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    Benefits: Mixing oils with fresh herbs and spices doesn’t penetrate the ingredient like an acid will, but by coating the outside of meat, fish and vegetables with it will create a delicious crisp exterior.

    Great for: Steak, chicken, root vegetables.

    To make, combine:

    • 100ml olive oil
    • 100ml balsamic vinegar
    • 2tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2tbsp chopped herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and parsley
    • salt and pepper

    Brining

    Brining chicken

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    Benefits: Brining is essentially just salted water, with the addition of aromatics to add flavour. Used mainly for meats, the salt initially draws out the moisture, then the brine is reabsorbed, flavouring and tenderising the meat.

    Great for: Tough cuts of meat like brisket, chicken, turkey, pork, duck, cheese, vegetables, fish, seafood.

    To make, combine:

    • 1.5 litres water
    • 6 tbsp salt
    • 6 tbsp caster sugar
    • 10 peppercorns
    • 15 thyme sprigs

    Put the water, salt, sugar and peppercorns in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Turn off the heat and leave the brine to cool before adding the thyme. Before cooking your meat rinse it to remove the excess brine.

    Try for yourself

    Take a trip around the world with our favourite marinated recipes

    Grilled Sardines with Lemon and Herb

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    These delicious sardines are brought to life with simple flavours of the Mediterranean. The key to marinating fish is timing, leave it too long and the fish will break down and become mushy. Follow this recipe to get them perfect.

    Crispy pork ribs with a soy and maple marinade

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    Ribs are great for sharing, that’s why these sweet and sticky, melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs are ideal for barbequing and al fresco dining, although we won’t blame you if you don’t want to share.

    Espetada Beef Skewers

    portugese_style_beef_skewers_191400951_290605751-e1534950278290-scaled

    Transport your taste bud to Portugal with these beef skewars. Usually cooked over a flame or hot coals to add that much-loved smokey flavour.

    Lightened-Up Southern Fried Chicken with Rosemary

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    Forget the Colonel, you can make your very own fried chicken at home. The buttermilk marinade adds great acidity and makes the chicken light, tender and oh-so juicy

    Tandoori Marinated Prawns with Raita

    Tandoori Prawns

    These sweet succulent Tandoori prawns are married beautifully with classic Indian spices. This quick and easy recipe benefits from a premade Tandoori paste and they’re paired with a cooling cucumber raita, just in case you can’t handle the heat.

    Grilled Paneer with Butternut Squash and Spiced Yoghurt

    Grilled paneer

    Paneer is a firm Indian cheese that’s great for cooking as it can take tremendous heat. It’s also perfect for marinades as it absorbs lots of flavour. It’s great in curries and salads, or simply on a skewer and grilled like this. Try this grilled paneer with butternut squash at your next BBQ.

    Slow-cooked Lamb Madras

    Slow-cooked Lamb Madras

    Wonderfully fragrant and full of flavour. This dish certainly benefits from some forward planning, so if you have time, the longer the marinade time, the better it will be. This slow-cooked lamb madras has reak intense flavour and that longed for pull-apart tender meat.

    Thai Marinated Chicken

    Thai Marinated Chicken

    This Thai-style grilled chicken will surely spice up any dinner table. Marinate overnight for maximum flavour and you definitely wont be disappointed.

    Chargrilled Asian-Marinated Guinea Fowl

    Chargrilled Asian-Marinated Guinea Fowl

    This classic Chinese marinade has a number of incarnations, and paired here with guinea fowl it really stands head and shoulders above the rest. Its rich, fragrant and oh-so delicious!

    Beetroot and Vodka-Cured Salmon

    Beetroot and Vodka-Cured Salmon

    Marinades don’t always have to be something you do before cooking, they can actually be the cooking. But curing this side of salmon gravlax-style for 24-48 hours imparts a delicious flavour and can be used in a variety of ways.

    Sticky Hoisin Tuna

    Sticky Hoisin Tuna

    Tuna is a meaty fish and can withstand these bold Asian flavours, it can also take a little extra marinating time. This sticky hoisin tuna makes for a delicious, healthy dinner.

    Moroccan Spiced Chops and Crunchy Salad

    Moroccan Spiced Chops and Crunchy Salad

    Take you and your family on a trip to North Africa with our Moroccan spiced pork chops. Ras el hanout – a complex spice blend is what offers that iconic Moroccan flavour.

    Hot and Sour Marinated King Prawns

    Hot and Sour Marinated King Prawns

    For a delicious meal in mere moments why not try our hot and sour prawns?

    Korean-Marinated Chicken with Noodles

    Korean-Marinated Chicken with Noodles

    This Korean chicken dish has everything you need – Sweet, savoury, hot and spicy. Great for cooking on the BBQ, but works just as well in the oven

    Chilli and Cumin Marinated Lamb

    Chilli and Cumin Marinated Lamb

    You can make this marinade up to a week in advance and simply leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it! Great for BBQ season, these chilli and cumin lamb skewers will certainly hit the spot

    Marinated Spatchcock Chicken With Lemon And Garden Herbs

    Marinated Spatchcock Chicken With Lemon And Garden Herbs

    This is a Sunday roast game-changer! Juicy, tender chicken coated in a zesty lemon and herb crust.

    Brined Roast Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Tahini Yogurt

    Brined Roast Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Tahini Yogurt

    Brining this chicken has allowed the meat to absorb all of the aromatics, while tenderising as well to make it super juicy.

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