I’m an only child, so I’ve never had to argue with siblings over who got the newest toy, or who got to sit where, or whatever siblings argue about. See? I’m such an only child that I don’t even know.
When it comes to family treasures, the thing I want most is my mom’s marinade for soya sauce chicken. She has two jars of dark, dark brown sauce in the freezer that are older than I am. It’s essentially a braising liquid for any kind of meat (usually chicken) or, my favourite, hard-boiled eggs.
It’s kind of like friendship bread, in that the sauce started from humble beginnings. In its infancy, it was simply a mixture of dark soya sauce, brown sugar, star anise, and cinnamon. Over the years, it’s become saturated with the flavour of whatever she’s cooked in it. Every once in a while, she balances the flavour with new ingredients. Apparently, tea leaves impart a nice depth to the sauce.
You can cook anything in this sauce and it will taste delicious. Her one caution: to alternate using eggs or tofu with something else. Eggs and tofu are flavour sponges and don’t contribute to the flavour of the sauce. You need to cook something flavourful (i.e., meaty) afterwards to make up for what you took out.