I’ve been craving Chinese food. It’s times like these that the inconvenience of being gluten-free rears it’s ugly head. Most of the time, I am perfectly happy eating food that I cook at home, and don’t miss many things about my gluten and grain filled life. When I crave Chinese food though, it’s a different story. You probably wouldn’t assume that a Jewish girl from Western Mass puts Chinese food into the comfort food category, but I do; it’s one of the first things I can remember eating. My dad has always made pretty incredible hot and sour soup, twice cooked pork, and orange infused stir-fry chicken. Pretty good for a Jewish guy from the Bronx, anyway. He still brags that his 18 month old daughter ate hot and sour soup that was too spicy for the average grown-up. I’m a badass, for those of you that don’t know.
So I crave the stuff once in a while, like I crave oven fried chicken with apple sauce, Shepherd’s pie, chicken soup, and the cucumber salad my grandma makes.
While delivery is not an option for me, recreating this unexpected comfort food is, and it’s almost as easy as picking up the phone. Almost. But knowing what is in my food is worth the few minutes it takes to throw this together!
Asian Stir Fry Sauce and Marinade
1/2 C coconut aminos
1/3 C (about 1 orange) fresh squeezed orange juice, peels reserved if desired
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb size piece of ginger, grated
1 T honey
1 t chili paste or Sambal Oelek (look for one with only chili, vinegar & salt)
1/2 t Red Boat Fish Sauce
toasted sesame seeds, optional
Combine all ingredients except for the optional ingredients (orange peels, sesame seeds.) If not using right away, store in a glass jar in the fridge.
Now what to do with your tasty & versatile sauce?
For an easy stir fry:
Marinate chicken of beef in the sauce for an hour, while you chop up the veggies you plan to use, and make a batch of cauliflower rice. In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil. If you’d like, you can add the reserved orange peels and saute them for 30 seconds or so before adding the vegetables. Add your vegetables, in order of longest to shortest cooking time. Strain the meat, reserving the sauce, and add it to the pan once the vegetables are nearly cooked. Once the meat is cooked, add the sauce and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. (It is OK to use the marinade that had raw meat in it as long as you allow it to come to a boil for at least a minute.)
Serve the stir fry over the cauliflower rice, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
As a salad dressing:
Combine 1 part sauce to 3 parts olive oil (preferably not too robust) and use it to dress your favorite salad or slaw. (especially good with slaw or a crisp cucumber salad)
For fried “rice”:
Add about 1 tablespoon of sauce for each cup of cauli-rice. Add in cooked meat, scrambled eggs, diced carrots & onions… a great way to turn leftovers into something new!
Simple broiled salmon:
Place salmon in an oven safe dish, top with sauce, and broil for 5-7 minutes, or until done to your liking.