Asian-Staple Substitutions
May 23rd, 2010 by Alice

Some of my standard substitutions for Asian-food staples:

  • Soy sauce = Maggi Seasoning (no soy, but wheat) never bothers my mild soy allergy.
  • Soy sauce = Two friends recommend San-J Wheat-Free Tamari (I’ve never used it – you know, the soy). Another friend recommends Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • Fish sauce = add a 1inchx2inch piece of cooked salmon (or raw if you’re making soup anyway)
  • Fish sauce = add a 1inchx2inch piece of smoked salmon works too
  • Fish sauce = (I know the above don’t help you if you have a fish allergy – for you I’d add a good dollop of salt, or perhaps some seaweed if that works) You might even try beef bouillon
  • sesame oil = canola oil with a touch of Maggi or “soy sauce”
  • sesame oil = canola oil with some spice added, try a grind or two of white pepper to get that “Asian spice flavor”, or a bit of Fenugreek to add the richness of sesame
  • “seasoned” rice wine vinegar = usually is seasoned with sugar and salt. Judge for yourself whether it is worth the risk, we have no trouble with it
  • rice wine vinegar = white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with a little sugar
  • bean sprouts = julienned broccoli stems (crazy, right?!)
  • Shiso leaf = peppermint leaf or basil leaf (it isn’t at all the same, but sometimes random weird ideas work)
  • bean noodles = rice noodles
Phở (or Pho)
May 23rd, 2010 by Alice

From Jason Gift Enevoldsen

  • 2 boxes beef broth
  • ¼ lb salmon (fresh or smoked, not lox)
  • 2 lbs steak
  • ginger (cut in thin coins)
  • 5 pearl onions
  • 2 Tbsp Maggi* (or soy sauce, or wheat-free soy sauce)

Bits to add

  • rice stick noodles
  • cilantro, shredded
  • red basil or thai basil – leaves picked off stems
  • scallions, small pieces
  • lime wedges
  • broccoli stems, cut thin (like for a slaw, we buy them precut)
  • Sriracha* (red hot sauce)


Add onions, ginger, steak, salmon (whole), Maggi, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, simmer 1 ½-2 hours until steak is tender and cooked through. KEEP COVERED, you’re not boiling it down. (Salmon will have disintegrated completely, but that doesn’t matter).

Soak rice noodles in hot water 10-15 minutes. Boil noodles for 1 minute, strain and rinse in cool water immediately.

After broth is done, cut steak in very thin strips – crossgrain if possible.

(*Listed Sriracha ingredients: Chili, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Distilled Vinegar, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfate As Preservatives, and Xanthan Gum.)

(**Listed Maggi ingredients: Water, salt, wheat gluten, wheat, and less than 2% of wheat bran, sugar, acetic acid, artificial flavor, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, dextrose, caramel color)

Related posts: my standard Asian-food cooking substitutes.

Egg Substitute – Egg Replacer
May 14th, 2010 by Alice

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet. My go-to actually-for-real-egg-free egg substitute is Ener-G Egg Replacer. It is currently carried by Amazon.

Ener-G Egg Replacer

Their listed ingredients (but check your own box to be sure) are: Potato Starch, tapioca starch flour, leavening (calcium lactate [not derived from dairy], calcium carbonate, citric acid), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose.

I follow the directions on the back of the box. I always use it in baked goods, and have had luck in things like chicken nuggets as well which I wasn’t expecting.

When that’s not an option I use this recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon water (or other liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network keeps a good list of substitutes on hand as well.

Chicken-Flower Salad
May 1st, 2010 by Alice

From Jenn Purnell

Photo by Jenn Purnell


  • 4 lbs chicken
  • lots of fresh tarragon
  • lots of fresh thyme
  • 1 head fresh elephant garlic
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 4 cups cooked mixed rice (we like Rice Select Royal Blend Texmati White Brown and Red which also has wild rice.)
  • 1 head fresh celery
  • 4 medium steamed zucchinis
  • 2 steamed parsnips


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum (sometimes corn-derived)
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice – fresh squeezed


  • Edible flowers (pansies)
  • Fresh baby spinach


Cook rice. Dice zucchini, parsnips, celery, onions, and finely chop the garlic. Clean and chop the spices. Dice the chicken.

Steam the zucchini and parsnips. Sauté garlic and onions in oil until soft. (Leave the celery aside)

Add chicken to garlic and onions along with tarragon and thyme. Sauté on high until outside of the chicken is white all over, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Stir every 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Whisk dressing ingredients together. Serve on side.

Mix rice, veggies, chicken. Serve over spinach, top with flowers. Add dressing to taste.

Lemon-Flower Tarts
May 1st, 2010 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen and Jenn Purnell

Photo by Jenn Purnell


  • 1 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or light Karo – Karo will add corn!)
  • ¼+ cup boiling lemon juice
  • ¼- cup boiling water
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Several drops rose extract (or rose-flower water if that’s all you can get)
  • As many pansy flowers (violas) as you have cupcake molds.


  • ¾ cups flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ cup palm oil


Make pie crust, put in silicone cupcake papers. Make top crumbs by mixing flour and sugar, then cutting in palm oil until it loosely clumps together. Set aside

Measure syrup in 2 cup glass measuring cup. Boil water. Boil lemon juice in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Add baking soda to hot water.  Add water and lemon juice to syrup measuring cup and mix thoroughly.

Assemble pie by alternating layers of the liquid and the top crumbs – 3 layers of each.Bake at 375F for 20-30 minutes.

When cool, top with one pansy each. These are a great egg-free replacement for lemon bars. The texture is somewhat similar, and the flavor is pretty close.

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