C’mon! We all have them, right?! I’m talking about treasured family recipes that the whole family loves so much they make it on the menu of every family get-together. For my family that recipe is Big Al’s Super Secret Special Sauce. My dad created it and I am sharing it here today with his permission – I promise!
I’m pretty sure Big Al was trying to re-create the golden egg-y sauce that is dolloped on the top of the prawns at our favorite Teppanyaki Steakhouse in Chicago: Ron of Japan. That was the BIG celebration restaurant for me when I was a kid. We went there for Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, and most memorable for me: a father-daughter date when I got my braces off. It was such a thrill to sit around that cooktop table and watch the chef flip and chop and dice and slice all of those meats and vegetables. But when he pulled the bowl of golden egg sauce from his cart…”Ahhhh….Mmmmmm!” This seemed to be EVERYONE’S favorite part of the meal.
Just Google it and you’ll see that for years people have been trying to find a recipe that would re-create this deliciousness at home. The chef with the impossible tall hat would plop a dollop of sauce atop each one of the butterflied prawns that were carefully placed in a perfect circle on the flat-top grill. Then, he would quickly pour sherry? water? around the perimeter and cover it all with a shiny, stainless steel dome. After just two or three minutes, he’d remove the cover to reveal the gorgeous prawns. Chop-chop-chop. Slide-slide-slide. Chop-Slide. Everyone had a few bites of the most wonderfully rich prawns to dip into their little bowls of soy sauce. But, all too soon, the shrimp were gone.
So, after a few days of dreaming about them, Big Al went to work on a recipe. What he came up with is very different from the original, but it is absolutely delicious. AND it can be served as a dip or baked atop shrimp, or fish, or Cheerios (just kidding – but it is seriously so good I can’t imagine anything it wouldn’t be good with). This is an Ellison family favorite, even among the kids. I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. Tabasco
- 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
- cayenne pepper, optional, to taste
- Blend all ingredients together and serve at room temperature.
- Refrigerate any left-overs.