Sunday, August 22, 2010

His and Her Stir Fry: Low Sodium vs Gluten Free

My husband and I love Asian food, especially stir fry and barbeque marinades.

Hubby begs for Tofu every so often... I mean, literally begs for it.  There is nothing like a nice Tofu stir fry, especially when he has gone off the reservation on his diet and wishes to repent.  He has a little Tofu with vegetables and he feels good physically and mentally.

I like Tofu, too.  It is the duck tape of food.  You can put it in anything and it will hold it together.  Tofu takes on the flavor of anything around it.  My mother-in-law used to put it in lasagnas when my husband was small and he never knew the difference.

We do enjoy Asian food with meat.  We like barbeques and stir fries.  There is nothing like a bulgogi barbeque or char siu pork on the grill.  A stir fry with brown rice is a nice healthy and tasty way for my husband to lose weight.  We adore sushi.

However, his needs are clashing with her needs.

He needs lower sodium soy sauce.  Regular soy sauce is just loaded with sodium.  I mean, an obscene amount of sodium like as in 950 mg. I mean, what do the  manufacturers do when they make soy sauce?  Put in a salt mine?   Lower sodium soy sauce is a bit better with only about 550 mg and it does make a difference.  If my husband puts on the blood pressure cuff a few hours after eating regular soy sauce, his blood pressure is atmospheric.

I  needs gluten free.  When I eat wheat, my tummy blows up and I feels the effect for days after.  There is nothing like immediate negative reinforcement to get compliance.

Believe it or not, soy sauce is made by mixing soy with wheat and it is fermented in brine.  Here's the process:
Cook Soy Until it Forms a Paste

Mix With Flour

Knead Dough

Make A Loaf
Cut into Disks

And then ferment in brine for a few weeks.  

As you can see, this process insults his Blood Pressure and her Stomach.  So, I grab the gluten free soy sauce.

Unfortunately, Gluten Free Soy Sauce is loaded with Sodium.  Not an Option for Hubby.

I think... well, maybe I can get away with only using a small amount of soy sauce, like 1 Tablespoon in a recipe as I can tolerate very low quantities of wheat without exploding my stomach.  Not an Option.  Even that, gets Tummy a-churnin'.

BTW, I am getting less excited about using products including Soy Sauce from China due to the food poisoning and general lack of quality control.  I do seek out Japanese or Korean products.

So what to do?  Split the recipes in half and make His with Low Sodium Soy Sauce and Hers with Gluten Free.  Or DIY soy sauce with a low gluten flour?

I wonder how DIY sodium content will be?  I found these calculations over at Anything I'm Fermenting:

920 mg in 15 mL serving is = 15.6% concentration by weight.

920mg of sodium = 58.5 / 23 * 920 mg of sodium chloride (NaCl)
= 2.34 g of sodium chloride.

2.34 g in 15 mL = 1000 / 15 * 2.34 g of salt in 1000 mL of water
= 156 g of salt in 1000 mL
= 15.6 % concentration by weight.

For your information, it is recommended that you use at least 15 to 16% salt, otherwise the moromi mash could decay.
Furthermore, we use whole wheat as an ingredient to be roasted.
For general information, please find attached the process of making naturally brewed soy sauce.
I hope this information can be of help.
Best regards,
Takehito Kubo
Kikkoman Trading Europe GmbH

However, there is a whole salt controversy brewing over at Anything Fermented. They also note the differences between chinese soy and japanese soy and compare it almost to the differences between an ale and a lager. Perhaps that’s why Chinese soy sauces tend to be more robust and Japanese soy sauces more delicate.  Apparently, there is a whole connoisseurship to soy sauce that we, Westerners are mostly unaware of.

Am I solving my problems of finding a low gluten, low sodium alternative to commercial soy sauce?  I'm really not sure.  Neither is Anything Fermented.  At the end of 6 months, they find that they have a unique tasting soy sauce:  not quite like the commercial soy sauces, tastier, but saltier.  Even using sea salt doesn't seem to help with the saltiness.  The only way to find out if it impacts my husband's blood pressure would be to try it and hook my husband up to his blood pressure meter and see if his blood pressure jumps.

You know, I'm a good wife.  (Pats self on the back).  I don't know how many wives would go through this trouble for their husband!! (Self Congratulatory Sigh!)
Making Soy Sauce aka Shoyu
Processes of A Soy Production Plant
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