SOY-FREE SHIITAKE SOBA SALAD
Asian cookery is an interesting beast. Garlic is still a star, but scallions replace shallots, and ginger makes a brief cameo. Oh, and then there’s the whole soy sauce thing. If you thought soy was in everything now, try three consecutive weeks of cooking with it. And sesame oil. And seafood. Lots and lots of seafood. Needless to say, Asian cookery is not only interesting, it’s a beast when it comes to allergens.
So when I got my recipe for noodle night, I panicked a little. My recipe called for tamari, dashi broth, sesame oil and a few other things that might make me a little skittish. But where there is a will, there is a way to make it hypoallergenic. Instead of using dashi, I made stock from shiitake mushrooms, ginger and scallions. Instead of soy sauce, I used coconut aminos. And, it turns out—soba noodles are gluten-free, as buckwheat is not actually wheat. Like I said, Asian cookery is one fascinating creature.
Here are a few great links to Asian hypoallergenic alternatives, recipes and more:
- Soy sauce is the first and foremost concern, at least for me, in allergy-free cooking. I’m a big fan of Coconut Secret’s Coconut Aminos. It can be used nearly identical to the way you use soy sauce in both Asian cooking and in other recipes.
- You can also make your own soy-free soy sauce at home. This is the recipe I use, and I find that it works pretty great when I run out of coconut aminos. It is not vegan, however.
- Miso soup is a classic broth used often to bolster a great meal of sushi. I made vegan sushi in class, went home and had a big cup of this soy-free miso. Warning, though—it is not gluten-free.
- Cybele Pascal continues to woo me with her simple, family-oriented, allergy-free recipes. Here’s a great article on hypoallergenic Asian cooking.
Sure, it takes effort to make these alternatives, but then again, it’s important to appreciate the work that goes into making your food. You see? You can turn a terrifying, allergy-inducing dragon into a fluffy, allergy-friendly lapdog…if you try!