A marinade is a mixture of ingredients in which food is soaked before cooking. It can include fruit juice, herbs, oil, spices, vinegar, wine, yogurt and other seasonings. Marinades for meat should not contain salt as this draws out too much of the natural juice and color.
Originally used as a way of preserving meat for a few days, before domestic fridges were common, marinades are now used only to heighten the flavor of food, help to prevent it from drying out and also to have a tenderizing effect. The choice of ingredients depends on the food and the type of dish, and how it will be cooked. When grilling, for instance, the marinade is either basted on the food during cooking or reduced and thickened separately to make a sauce.
** Asian Recipes