Saving preparation time when marinating
Use bottled salad dressing, the most convenient and basic marinade available. Choose a dressing that complements the flavor and tenderness of the food to be marinated. Mild, rich dressings such as ranch work well with delicate foods such as fish, seafood, or chicken. You can also use a light vinaigrette for chicken. Higher-acidity dressings with lots of vinegar are better for tougher meats such as beef. Alternatively, you can use yogurt or buttermilk as a base for dressings. These naturally balanced marinades need only some seasoning added.
Saving marinating time
Keep in mind that marinades are used both for imparting flavor and for tenderizing, but imparting flavor doesn't take very long. For instance, delicate fish fillets or boneless chicken breasts do not need tenderizing, so the only reason to marinate them is for flavor, which can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less. Even with denser meats, such as beef or pork, full flavoring takes less than an hour or two, especially with thin cuts, such as steaks and chops. Extended marinating (over 12 hours) is necessary only for very large roasts or very tough game meats.
Saving cleanup time when marinating
Mix up the marinade in a zipper-lock plastic bag, then marinate right in the bag by adding the food, squeezing out air, and sealing. Shake the bag to coat the food completely, then refrigerate, turning occasionally. Marinating in a bag works great for cookouts where you bring your own food because you can simply throw the bag away.
** Asian Recipes