Knowledge Base > Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Dan Marek in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to cours… Read More.



Does FOK philosophy use traditional sauces like Umami, Vegan Oyster Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, red chilli sauce, etc? I am concerned about the sugar content.

— Sandra Billingslea


So traditional sauces, uh, and the forks over knives movement is a little bit of a loaded question because, um, they're not traditional anymore, right? So oyster sauce is made with oysters. It's not a vegan oyster sauce. So, uh, vegan oyster sauce, they've done something to it. I mean, I have it in my, my count or my cabinet right now in uh, fish sauce, you know, um, but they're making it to emulate that kind of flavor profile that we would be in something like a fish sauce but not adding the fish to it. So there are something that they're doing to process that a little bit more. But the thing is, you're not using a ton of, you know, oyster sauce or fish sauce and then something, just a couple drops of something to be able to add big flavor. Umami is one of the flavor profiles, so it's not typically a sauce, but teriyaki sauce or red chili sauce, those are two, you know, um, sauces. Now they, they definitely usually traditionally have sugar in those two. Now what you can do instead is go the whole food plant-based way and use dates or a dried fruit. Now for both of those recipes, what I would do is I would soak dates and water. So you just basically put the dates, um, into a container and then top 'em off with water and I would soak 'em for about eight hours to get 'em really nice and pliable. So they should squish right between your fingers really, really easily. Um, and you can put those into a blender, uh, with the water and it turns into date paste. And I use that as a sugar replacer. That's still a whole food, right? Because I basically took the dried, uh, fruit with water and blended it up. So there's a processing of just a blending, but it still sticks within the requirements of the forks overnights philosophy being a whole food. So that's actually a great way to replace a brown sugar in one of those sauces and still be able to get the bigger flavors like you're talking about, and using the dark, the dark soy sauce, using the chilies, all those things to be able to really build upon that flavor and have the sweetness and the sourness at the same time.
Dan Marek

Dan Marek

Director of Plant-Based Culinary & Dev