“What do you use instead of soy sauce?”
Ah, yes, the typical, if you can’t have gluten, what do you use question. Well, if you’re looking for an almost equivalent, go for gluten free tamari. But I also find that balsamic vinegar makes a great substitute, especially in stir fry sauces. It adds a new level of flavor, a tang, plus it’s not overly salty.
I’m a big fan of peanut sauce stir fry (check out my blog post here for the recipe), but tonight I was given a new challenge: make a gluten free, grain free, sugar free and nut free peanut sauce. Challenge accepted.
Not only did I succeed in making a nut free peanut sauce, it was delicious and had wonderful tones that would make you think you it was made with its namesake. Here’s what you need:
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas
- 2 tbsp raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp chili sesame seed oil (or 2 tsp of sesame seed oil and 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 – 3 tbsp grape-seed oil
- 2 – 4 tbsp water or vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 clementine or 1 lime, juiced
Chop up all of your stir fry vegetables and meat. I used chicken, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, onion, carrots and celery but really, any combination works. Shrimp, beef, pork, etc. Now before you go ahead and dirty that pan by adding your protein and such, turn the heat on medium high and pan roast your pepitas, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. This should take 1 – 2 minutes and the sesame seeds will start popping. Make sure your constantly shaking the pan or stirring the seeds so they don’t burn. Transfer seeds to a bowl to cool a bit. Add some grape-seed oil to the already heated up pan and start cooking your meat of choice. After a few minutes, add 2 – 4 tbsp of water. After about two minutes, add in your vegetables and turn the heat to low medium. Let this continue cooking, stirring occasionally while you tackle the sauce.
Pour the roasted seeds into your food processor (or blender if you don’t have one). Add in the rest of the ingredients I listed out above and pulse until the sauce is mostly smooth (you’ll have a few chunks, but this is okay). Add the sauce to the stir fry and let soak in for a few minutes before removing from the heat.
Serve on top of rice or for a grain free option, “riced” cauliflower. Top with sesame seeds and cilantro.