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December 31, 2009 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Give me your best stir-fy recipes (with dietary restrictions inside).

I have a restricted diet in order to manage my migraines. I want to start eating more stir-fry because it's a good way to get veggies + brown rice into my diet. I want delicious, Asian tasting food, but sadly cannot have the following ingredients:

soy products (including oil, tofu, sauce, etc)
MSG (so any prepackaged sauce is almost guaranteed to be out)
nuts of any kind

Please share any recipes that are delicious but exclude the above. Thanks!
posted by sickinthehead to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
A quick veggie-and-shrimp stir fry, with brown rice, is one of my stand-by dinner recipes. I usually use baby bok choy (chopped into quarters or eighths, lengthwise) and/or asparagus (peeled and cut into about 2 or 3-inch pieces), sauteed in some olive oil with a little salt and red pepper, plus some minced ginger and/or minced garlic if I feel like it. When there's just about a minute or so to go, throw in some raw shrimp, fry till they're just pink, toss in a splash or two of white wine, stir for another 30 seconds or so, and voila.
posted by scody at 2:30 PM on December 31, 2009

No recipes, but a recommendation: toasted sesame oil makes everything smell and taste delicious.

Best of luck finding your migraine triggers - it took me ten years before I figured out mine: light flashing through trees at dusk.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:47 PM on December 31, 2009

My recommendations:

1. Use garlic-infused stir-fry oil.
2. Add a dash of toasted sesame oil at the end.
3. Use bok choy, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, maybe extra onion, garlic, and/or sprouts
4. Look into sauces made for other purposes, like orange chicken.
posted by limeonaire at 2:56 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

I should add:

Any kind of citrus is out, as well as pea pods.
posted by sickinthehead at 3:19 PM on December 31, 2009

I love Mark Bittman's super simple, super quick garlic stir fry recipe. Problematically, besides garlic and chiles, the main flavor comes from soy sauce. But the beauty of the recipe is its modularity (i.e. more veggies and brown rice can easily be added in), and I think you could experiment with other Asian flavors as a replacement for the soy. I'm thinking rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, or dashi could be swapped in to delicious effect.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 3:42 PM on December 31, 2009

I know that most pre-made sauces are out, did you know you can make your own XO sauce? You can tweak it to taste. I left out the ham because I couldn't be bothered, but it tastes fine to me but given the amount of salt and preservatives in ham, you'd probably should leave it out anyway. The longer you leave the sauce, the better it seems to taste. I keep mine in the fridge and use it on stir-fry veggies or even just noodles.

Some other ideas for your stir-fries: make a thin omelet, cut into strips and toss through rice, noodles or your vegetables; use mirin (cooking sake) with some corn-flour as a sauce; coconut milk/cream and curry sauces.

Consider getting a Thai cook-book - their use of soy products is fairly minimal and yet it's one of the tastiest cuisines I can think of. Their use of herbs and spices makes everything tasty. I recommend Charmaine Solomon's Thai Cookbook as a good basic starter. The Thai use of fresh fruit and vegetables is excellent and make it a very healthy type of food.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:14 PM on December 31, 2009

It sounds like the biggest hurdle is finding a sauce that works well. I'll leave that to the others, but here's my simple and maybe obvious ingredients: Thinly sliced carrots, celery, green onion and white onion make a surprisingly flavorful combination. Stir-fry until tender-yet-crisp, then add the rice and sauce and stir fry it all together.

(Add chicken if you want.)
posted by The Deej at 4:18 PM on December 31, 2009

Try coconut milk based sauces - yum!
posted by smartypantz at 4:27 PM on December 31, 2009

here you go... a soy free "soy" sauce
Coconut aminos
posted by smalls at 5:28 PM on December 31, 2009

One of the best things I ever ordered from a takeout Chinese place was nothing more than shredded chicken and spinach with bean sprouts, seasoned with grated fresh ginger. I think the "sauce" was nothing more than a little chicken broth.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:45 PM on December 31, 2009

here you go... a soy free "soy" sauce
Coconut aminos

This sounds good—but unfortunately for the OP, one of the first things the website notes about coconut aminos is that it has 14 times more glutamic acid than soy sauce does. Glutamic acid is the key building block in MSG (monosodium glutamate). So this might not work out so well...
posted by limeonaire at 6:09 PM on December 31, 2009

Oh, also—if you're one of the people who's genetically predisposed to like cilantro (i.e. it doesn't taste like soap to you), maybe try some Vietnamese recipes. A lot of those are garlic-, cilantro-, and ginger-based.
posted by limeonaire at 6:10 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Looking a little farther afield, are you at all interested in Indian cooking? There's an amazing variety of vegetable recipes, some quite quick and easy, which can be served over brown rice (that's how I do it), none of which involve soy.
posted by Lexica at 6:23 PM on December 31, 2009

Star anise adds a neat licorice-y flavor ... better than it sounds. :)
posted by samsm at 7:00 PM on December 31, 2009

A lot of Thai food uses fish sauce rather than soy sauce. Maybe it could work as a substitute? It definitely gives a similar salty and umami taste. This Thai basil chicken fried rice (WARNING, autoplaying video) is really good and uses fish and oyster sauces.
posted by lilywing13 at 3:29 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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