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Substitute soy sauce

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Substitute soy sauce

Some of us gave up soy for health reasons. It was pretty easy for me; I don’t like tofu and fake milk. But… I do love soy sauce. Well guess what? You can make your own soyless soy sauce. Sure, it won’t taste exactly the same, but it’s pretty close. This recipe requires only 7 ingredients and the result is sweet and salty with the same color and texture as soy sauce, except it’s healthy!

See, it looks very similar!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 3 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoon dark molasses
  • 1.5 teaspoon fish sauce

The recipe is very easy. Pour all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Some of the liquids will evaporate, so the recipe yields a little less than a cup.

Everytime I make it, I pour it in an empty container or tupperware and store it in the fridge. I only make a little bit at a time, because I really don’t eat all that much soy sauce, but it’s nice to have the option of having it if I want it.

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Pork meatball soup: the Thai way

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Pork meatball soup: the Thai way

If you like spicy food, this is a recipe you have to try. It’s gluten-free, easy to prepare, it’s super tasty and it will light you on fire! Some of the ingredients may be a little hard to find, but if there are asian grocery stores or markets in your area, it won’t be a problem. This recipe makes 4 big portions.

 

So very spicy and yummy!

Ingredients for the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon white rice flour

Ingredients for the soup

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups sliced Napa cabbage
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • A bunch of cilantro, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 Vietnamese green peppers
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 4 ounces cellophane noodles

Smelly, but tasty!

The meatballs should be made 3 or 4 hours ahead of time so they have time to soak in all the flavors from the marinade. If you’ve never worked with fish sauce before, I’m warning you now: it stinks. It’s basically fermented anchovies, so the smell is overwhelming. Don’t worry though, it tastes great!

Mix all the ingredients together and form small bite sized meatballs. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge.

After a few hours, it’s time to make the soup. First, prep all the vegetables. Mince the garlic, slice the Napa cabbage and green onions and chop the cilantro. Put aside in a bowl.

The cilantro gives such a nice flavor to this soup.

Vietnamese green peppers are pretty small, but they really pack a punch. When chopping them, I suggest getting rid of the seeds if you want the soup to be a little milder. Also, note that they are usually sold in large quantities; you can freeze the ones you don’t use.

Pour the chicken broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, vegetables and pepper (basically everything except the fish sauce and cellophane noodles).

When the meatballs are cooked, they will float. That’s when the soup is done. It’s pretty quick, I’d say no more than 20 minutes.

When the soup is ready, add the fish sauce to it before serving. Note that fish sauce is extrememly salty so there is no need to season the soup with salt.

If you were able to find cellophane noodles, they’re very easy to cook. Just put them in a large deep dish (like a lasagna pan) and pour boiling water over them, enough to cover. Soak them for 15 minutes and they will be ready. Just place small portions in a bowl, pour soup over it and serve.

Last time I made this recipe, I wasn’t able to find cellophane noodles. I used very thin rice noodles instead. I just added them directly to the soup’s saucepan and cooked them with the meatballs for about 5 minutes.

Either way will be delicious! Enjoy the heat!

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