This thin, made-from-scratch stir-fry sauce has a subtle mingling of flavors: the sweetness of maple, the saltiness of soy and a pleasant tang from lime. Vary the ingredients to suit your taste. We changed the vegetables and added chicken to the otherwise vegetarian recipe, although you could also use shrimp or tofu. Serve with white or brown rice.
Servings: 2 - 4
- For the sauce
- 1/4 cup tamari (may substitute soy sauce)
- 1 scant tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- For the stir-fry
- 3/4 to 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- Leafy green parts from 1 large head of baby bok choy, cut into strips
- Sesame seeds or cashews
For the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the tamari, vinegar, water, maple syrup, lime juice, garlic, ginger and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until thickened and reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the sesame oil and set aside.
For the stir-fry: The cooking process is fast, so all of the ingredients should be ready. Heat a wok or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat. Add the hard, slow-to-cook vegetables, such as the broccoli and carrots, and stir-fry until brightly colored but not tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the softer vegetables, such as the onion, mushrooms, zucchini and bok choy, and cook until all of the vegetables are almost tender, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add at least 1/4 cup of the sauce mixture and the chicken and stir-fry another 30 seconds, or until the vegetables are ready. Serve immediately, with the sesame seeds or cashews. Reserve remaining sauce for another stir-fry.
*NOTE: Tamari is a soy sauce that is made without wheat.
Adapted from "One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for People With Cancer, Survivors, and Their Caregivers" by Rebecca Katz with Marsha Tomassi and Mat Edelson (Celestial Arts, 2004).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.