Growing up in the heart of San Francisco, I was exposed to some of the most wonderful Asian culinary delights. With a large Chinese culture abounding in the city, I was able to experience wonderful authentic markets and fantastic (and inexpensive) Chinese restaurants. One of my favorite things to do with my family when I was young was to head out to one of the amazing Dim-Sum restaurants on weekend mornings…. the special ones that only the locals knew about. The ones where, more often than not, would be filled with families only speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu – my sister and I desperately wishing we could understand their animated conversations. The ones that would have families lined up to anxiously await those magic traveling carts that would drive by the tables filled with baskets of goodies.
As I moved away from the city to start my own family, it was even more exciting to introduce my husband to these secret spots on our visits back to San Francisco. Growing up in Scottsdale, AZ (where we reside now), he did not have the same exposure to Asian culture. How fun it was for my sister (who is a major foodie) and I to take him all over the city and show him what true Asian food was about!
However, since going gluten free, our Chinese food “habits” have been drastically altered. No longer can we just walk in to a local Chinese restaurant and easily find something to eat (unless, of course, we head over to PF Chang’s China Bistro and order off of their awesome and newly expanded Gluten Free Menu ). Most dishes in Asian cuisine are prepared with soy sauce (a large gluten offender), or are made in the same woks and pans that soy sauce or floured ingredients were recently prepared in. The risk of cross-contamination is just too great. And Dim Sum? Well, we can just forget about that. All of those little packages of deliciousness are most often wrapped up in flour-based dough.
So, on a day, not too long ago, that I had a huge hunkering for some good Asian food, I decided to come up with my own gluten-free version of one of my favorite dishes – Fried Rice. What I came up with, when topped with some marinated flank steak, is a hearty meal and a perfect solution to conquer my Asian cravings. This recipe is naturally dairy-free, gluten free, nut-free, and can even be made egg-free by omission, and soy-free by making your own soy-free “soy” sauce (recipe included in the ingredient list).
1 Tbsp canola oil
6 slices bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce (For Soy Free version: Replace equal amounts soy sauce with this mixture: 1 ½ cup Gluten Free Beef Stock, 4 teaspoons Balslmic vinegar, 2 teaspoon dark molasses, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder . Boil very gently for 15 minutes, until reduced slightly. Save unused portion for the Flank Steak recipe below or in refrigerator for future use. Alternatively, you can use Coconut Aminos in equal portions)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into ¼ inch pieces
5 cups brown rice, or jasmine rice, cooked
¼ cup gluten free chicken broth
4 large eggs (For Egg-Free version, just omit eggs entirely)
1. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add canola oil.
2. Add bacon and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn – it will do so quickly at this temperature.
3. Add the sugar to the bacon and 1/2 tsp soy sauce (or soy-free version) and cook for only a half minute more. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to a bowl for later.
4. To remaining bacon drippings, add red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic cook, stirring constantly, for half a minute. Add broccoli and cook for 3 minutes more.
5. Add cooked rice, and remaining soy sauce (or soy-free version), the chicken broth, and the cooked bacon and combine together.
6. Move all of the rice mixture to the outer edges of the pan and crack all of the eggs into the center. Scramble the eggs in the middle of the pan until set and then incorporate the eggs into the rice mixture (omit this step if preparing this dish to be Egg-free).
7. Serve with thinly sliced marinated flank steak (Recipe Below).
ASIAN FLANK STEAK WITH LIME MARINADE:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
1 Tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup gluten free soy sauce (For Soy-Free version: Use equal amounts Soy-Free “Soy” Sauce recipe from Fried Rice Recipe above, or Coconut Aminos)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
1 ½ pounds flank steak
1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce (or soy-free version), green onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic and green onions.
2. Add flank steak to bag, seal well, place on plate in refrigerator (to catch any leaks) to marinate for 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Turn bag occasionally.
3. Heat grill to high and lightly oil the grates.
4. Remove steak from marinade (letting excess marinade drip off) and reserve.
5. Season steak with salt and pepper and then place on grill; cover, and turning once, cook for about 6-8 minutes for medium rare. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
6. While meat is resting, pour reserved marinade (if desired) into a small sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil for about 8-10 minutes, being very careful not to let it burn.
7. Slice steak against the grain and serve with the cooked marinade.
A quick fix for a little piece of Asian cuisine in your own kitchen! Enjoy!