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Old 05-01-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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Chinese stir-fry discovery

I love Chinese stir-fry dishes with all of those fabulous sauces; but I can't tolerate the amount of sugar/cornstarch that most of the local
"Americanized" Chinese restaurants use in their sauces.

I just discovered that I can order any of the stir fry dishes on the menu and ask them to put the sauce on the side. That way, I can use or not use any of the sauce, and best of all, I can experiment with making my own sauces using Tagatose, xylitol, erythritol, etc. and konjac root powder to replace the sugar and cornstarch. With a side-by-side comparison, I have been able to make a very good hot garlic sauce, a great Thai dipping sauce, etc.

We eat about half the stir-fry chicken (or shrimp or beef) and vegetables one night and pack the rest for lunch the next day. When they don't sit in the sauce overnight, the veggies stay crunchy and the meat stays tender. Works Great!

Last edited by dianafoot; 05-01-2013 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
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And of course you'll share your recipes with your best friends here, right?!
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
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your next step will be to cook the dishes from scratch yourself. the sauces are the hard part--this will be a snap, save you lots of money, and let you choose just the combinations you most enjoy!
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:25 AM   #4
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And of course you'll share your recipes with your best friends here, right?!
I second this post!
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:34 AM   #5
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I love this for nights when I need a break from cooking or my schedule gets out of hand - good for you making it work for you. Sushi made without rice is another one of my "go-to" healthy take-out foods.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:37 AM   #6
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I have a similar strategy with salads. For years I was buying the component parts: lettuces, tomatoes, onions, garbonzos, feta, dried cranberries, bacon, hardboiled eggs, sprouts, avocado etc (we like heavy salads here LOL) and going to all the effort to prep all of that. Then I'd watch while the remainder would rot in my refrigerator over the next week. Expense & waste was ridiculous. I bought Debbie Meyer green bags, special gas emitting eggy things to try to forstall the inevitable rot, but somehow always seemed to be throwing out rotting veggies. It finally occurred to me to just buy a big salad from a salad bar whenever the mood strikes us for a salad. I make our own dressings - low carb. Saves a ton of money and effort.

I will be excited to try this with chinese food! If for no other reason than to cut out the prep time! It can be a beat down after working a 10 hour hospital shift. This whole way of eating is basically a cooking marathon. Any ideas for fast & quick are HUGELY appreciated!

Genius!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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your next step will be to cook the dishes from scratch yourself. the sauces are the hard part--this will be a snap, save you lots of money, and let you choose just the combinations you most enjoy!
I wash, trim, chop, and then stir fry, roast or steam a mountain of fresh veggies every day after coming home from 10 hours at work. But for the past two weeks I've been recovering from a back injury I got after falling off a ladder, thus the purchased stir-fried chicken and veggies. Believe me, I have been grateful for someone else to be doing all that food prep!

Last edited by dianafoot; 05-03-2013 at 02:55 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Once I have measurements down, I'll share my favorite hot garlic sauce. For now, I'll list ingredients and you can play with them:

*rice vinegar
*sweetener-- I use a combo of tagatose, xylitol or Ideal, and a drop or two of EZSweetz
*crushed garlic
*grated ginger
*soy sauce
*drizzle of sesame oil
*hot chili pepper flakes
*chicken broth

I saute the garlic and ginger very briefly in a touch of olive oil, then stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer it for about 10 minutes and then adjust until it tastes right. I thicken it with glucomannan powder until it is the consistency that I like.

I usually have the Chinese restaurant give me a container of sauce on the side and I play around with my sauce until it tastes like theirs.

For dipping sauces: equal parts rice vinegar and sweetener (I use tagatose, Ideal, Splenda drops) and a spoonful of hot chili garlic sauce--the one that is like sriracha without the sugar. mix it together and it makes the best Thai dipping sauce for whatever you want to dip in it!

Hot mustard--nothing to that, just powdered mustard and water.

When I make sushi, I usually put a little quinoa in it, steamed and flavored with soy sauce and sesame oil, then pack in avocado, carrot strips, and cucumber strips. I use the squeeze tube of wasabi with that, along with pickled ginger I make myself.

Last edited by dianafoot; 05-03-2013 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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droooooooooooolinngggg!

Hope your back is all better soon - how the heck did you fall off the ladder? I'm so sorry!!
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Portia View Post
I love this for nights when I need a break from cooking or my schedule gets out of hand - good for you making it work for you. Sushi made without rice is another one of my "go-to" healthy take-out foods.
Sushi without rice? Like the rolls? I may be in heaven...I didn't think they could do that and have it stick together!!!!! My place uses fake crab salad in many of their rolls and I'm sure that's a no no! But I would love a roll in that egg paper instead of seaweed, with spicy tuna and avocado....what do you order?
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:45 AM   #11
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droooooooooooolinngggg!

Hope your back is all better soon - how the heck did you fall off the ladder? I'm so sorry!!
Thanks, Charski!

I strained my hip after carrying my 2-month old granddaughter up and down stairs all week over spring break. Thinking I was all better, I climbed a tall stepladder and my hip gave way and I fell, WHAM, hard to the floor, cracking my tailbone. Old lady stuff, you know?

Each time I do the hot garlic sauce it's different--wish I could find a method that I love and that comes out consistent. I've looked through the Chinese cooking threads here and haven't found exactly what I want yet. Any ideas?
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:08 AM   #12
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BTW, does anybody know where to order dried yuba? (soymilk/tofu skin) While as a rule I stay away from soy, I wanted to try the egg rolls made with these I have seen on this site and on many Chinese or Japanese cooking sites. Our large Asian market is an hour away and our local small ones don't carry it.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:56 AM   #13
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dianafoot--I get my Yuba at the Asian grocer...I don't know where else to look. I have a package sitting here waiting to be used. I'm interested in the egg rolls, though, if you care to share.......

I use it in vegan recipes a fair amount in the protein component, but haven't tried it yet as a wrapper.

thanks, and hope you find some soon
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:25 AM   #14
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I used to make my own yuba (it's fun!) when I made my own soymilk. But our little Asian grocer who carried everything in her tiny, crowded store, has now closed down. That's where I bought my dried yuba before. I only used it by soaking in broth & soy sauce and rolling it and cutting it up to use as a meat alternative when I was vegan. Never used it for eggroll wrappers.

I found lots of recipes online for tofu skin eggrolls . I can't wait to try it!

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Old 05-07-2013, 05:52 AM   #15
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Sushi without rice? Like the rolls? I may be in heaven...I didn't think they could do that and have it stick together!!!!! My place uses fake crab salad in many of their rolls and I'm sure that's a no no! But I would love a roll in that egg paper instead of seaweed, with spicy tuna and avocado....what do you order?
Naruto roll is just fish rolled in cucumber - that's the "normal" way it's made. If I ask for other sushi rolls with no rice, they just roll it up in the seaweed with some extra cucumber. Easy-peasy.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #16
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Thanks Diana

What a great idea. I love the egg fu yung at a Dana Point restaurant
nearby but the sauce kills me with corn starch. I'll get it on the side.
Oh thanks. Why didn't I ever think of this?
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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HAVE IT YOUR WAY!

I tell my my chinese restaurant people, no cornstarch, no flour, no sugar. I have done that for decades. I also have my ribs w/o bbq sauce. they want your $$$ They will do it your way. If they cannot or will not, take your business elsewhere. YOUR NEEDS AND WANTS COME FIRST! Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #18
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What a great idea. I love the egg fu yung at a Dana Point restaurant
nearby but the sauce kills me with corn starch. I'll get it on the side.
Oh thanks. Why didn't I ever think of this?
Duh..me, too..I never thought of this, either..

The sauce is always the last thing they add, I would think..This opens up my
world, bigtime..
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:53 PM   #19
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I tell my my chinese restaurant people, no cornstarch, no flour, no sugar. I have done that for decades. I also have my ribs w/o bbq sauce. they want your $$$ They will do it your way. If they cannot or will not, take your business elsewhere. YOUR NEEDS AND WANTS COME FIRST! Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
You are absolutely right! I do like the sauce the way it is, though, don't know if I would like it if they left out the sweetener and cornstarch, but it is worth a try. I've been using their sauce as a standard for making my own, taste-testing side by side, til I get it right.

Another option might be to order from the Chinese menu. I usually see Chinese people eating there and their food look so much better! They have plates piled high with greens, eggplant, green beans, and other good looking veggies. The owner told me that the food they were eating was authentic and not Americanized. Wonder if that means it isn't as sweet and thick?
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:32 AM   #20
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Yes, many chinese restaurants offer to put sauce on the side or have a weight watchers menu where they will steam the meat with no sugar or msg. Also if you are not on a total restriction you can go to the buffet and strain out the sauce with the spoon to get little sauce as possible or choose food with thin sauce rather than thick for the thinner the sauce the less corn starch.

I tried to go cold turkey on carbs once and I was practially in a ball sucking my thumb. it was like a drug withdraw lol this time I am not trying to eliminate as much as possible but to lower my carb intake at least by 50%
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