December 11, 2008

Just a couple more uses for Soy Sauce

This week has been full of snow and pretty chilly. I have been on an Asian kick after I created the most delicious GF sesame chicken ever, which will be posted soon. So I have been playing around with Soy Sauce attempting to use it for something other than our occasional stir fry and when I take it for our trips to the sushi restaurant in Austria. On Tuesday it was quite chilly here and I was thinking about how much I enjoy a good miso soup. Well thanks to my current condition, I unfortunately am very wary about miso soup. I can make it GF, but eating it out at a restaurant is pretty sketchy. Mostly because the staff at sushi restaurants can't explain to you what miso they are using and if they are using the barley infused miso....well I am pretty sure you have a good idea what will happen. I have made this mistake twice now and have greatly paid for it. Normally in an ambiguous gluten free situation, I just simply do not eat that food. I say to myself is it really worth it that you eat that item and it may be full of gluten? I simply just say no. However, I have a huge weak spot for that delicious salty brothy flavor of a mouth-watering miso soup before a huge meal of sushi. So on those two occasions, I have simply convinced myself that there is no way they can put barley in my miso soup, well I was clearly wrong both times! Therefore, I have stopped eating miso soup and miss it like crazy. Regrettably, I have not been motivated to test my Japanese cooking techniques and create a wondrous soup, I simply just have no desire to work with the tofu that is required for what I believe a proper miso soup. Now that brings me to my fulfilling Japanese soup I created the other day. I first thought about the things I love the most about miso soup, the broth, the salty flavor, the onions, etc. and then I came up with this creation. So for all you miso soup loving Celiacs, this may just curb your cravings.

Japanese Soup

~1 egg
~1 egg white
~1 tbs. white wine, I just used some random Italian white wine I had in the fridge
~1/2 tsp. sugar
~2-3 cups GF veggie broth
~1 cup mushrooms chopped
~3 green onions chopped, someitmes called scallions
~1/2 lb chicken chopped into cubes
~2 tbs GF soy sauce
~1 packet vermicelli rice noodles

Bring broth, wine, soy sauce, and sugar to a boil in a wok, or soup pot. While waiting for that to boil, combine 1 egg and 1 egg white together in bowl. Once soup boils, reduce heat slightly to a simmer, add chicken and rice noodles. Add as many noodles as you want to be in your soup. Add less if you want a broth based soup or more if you want barely any broth. If you do want more broth in your soup, add less noodles than you think, as they will expand and absorb quite a bit of the liquid. Then add in the egg mixture, but do not stir it in. Add mushrooms and green onions(scallions). Finally after 3-5 minutes stir egg mixture in soup with a knife. The chicken should be cooked now, make sure by fishing a piece out and checking that the inside is no longer pink. Then spoon soup into bowls and enjoy!

My second concoction was made for dinner after eating this soup for lunch. I was planning on making citrus chicken with risotto and then I thought well why not just add some soy sauce to zest it up a bit! So thus came my Asian influenced citrus chicken. It is a very simple and healthy meal that is actually one of my best tasting meals yet. So if you feel like you need to use up some soy sauce in the fridge, just pair up these two recipes for a day of Asian flare.

Asian Citrus Chicken

~1 cup risotto (uncooked)
~1 lb raw chicken breasts
~4 cups GF veggie broth
~juice from one orange
~1 med. yellow onion, chopped
~2 cloves garlic, minced
~5 basil leaves, torn
~salt and pepper
~1 tbs soy sauce
~1-2 tsp. lemon zest


~juice of one orange
~juice from half a lemon
~2 tsp. potato starch or cornstarch( I used potato) mixed in 1 tbs. water
~touch of salt

Drizzle olive oil in skillet and heat to medium high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan. In same pan add a touch more olive oil and sauté onions for 2-3 minutes, then add in minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 more minutes seasoning with a touch of salt and pepper. Then add in half of the broth, soy sauce, juice, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer covered. Check the mixture every 3-5 minutes, when broth mixture starts to become absorbed in rice, stir in more broth. Once liquid is beginning to absorb into rice, add in lemon zest and torn basil leaves. After 10 minutes, add back in breasts of chicken. Cook chicken in rice for about 10 more minutes or until rice is completely cooked. Keep stirring in liquid even when chicken is added back in. I check risotto by every so often eating a couple pieces of the rice. Just remember risotto takes time and if it does not seem done, just stir in more liquid. The trick is to stir in liquid frequently and do not let risotto dry out. You should be left with a creamy rice mixture at the end. To make the sauce heat a smaller skillet or wok and add juices and salt to the pan. Bring to a boil and stir in starch mixture. Boil on high continuously stirring until sauce is reduced, then bring heat to low and keep warm until chicken and rice is done. Then plate the rice and chicken and drizzle a touch of sauce over chicken. And voila, you have put your soy sauce to good use!

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