I just love Asian cuisine. But. It’s a known fact that most of the restaurants are using lots of sugar and sauces with crazy amounts of ingredients to add more flavour to the dishes. That’s why I often try to recreate a healthier option at home, using whole foods and ingredients that I can actually pronounciate. Of course some dishes are never going to taste the same when made at home (yes, I’m talking about you Ramen), but I think I came pretty close with this Beef San Choy Bow (Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb).
Classic San Choy Bow calls for example for an oyster sauce. Now, have you ever stopped and read what a usual oyster sauce is made of? Well, here is an idea. Ingredients of a big brand oyster sauce: Water, Sugar, Salt, Thickener (1422), Flavour Enhancers (621, 635), Yeast Extract, Flavours (Crustacean, Fish, Soy) Food Acid (Citric), Colour (150c), Oyster Extract (0,4%), Preservative (202). Oyster sauce which has exactly 0,4% of oysters. Quite crazy, right? Not mentioning the two flavour enhancers.
Anyway, that’s why in this recipe I simply leave the oyster sauce out. I really don’t think the 0,4% would make a difference. I also leave the soy sauce to make the recipe Paleo and Whole30 friendly, switching it for coconut aminos. Even though I would have a quality soy sauce every now and then, at home I always use the coconut aminos instead. It’s a sauce made of fermented coconut blossom and then usually barrel aged, with flavour very similar to soy sauce. And lastly I used a fish sauce alternative made from coconut aminos again, because I have a fish allergy (funilly enough I can tolerate some brands, but it’s better not to challenge these things much). However feel free to use a classic fish sauce if you like it. There are definitely brands without sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.
- 500g beef mince
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 big yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
- 3 carrots, diced (1½ cups)
- 1 celery stalk, diced (1/2 cup)
- 5 button mushrooms, diced (1/2 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 thumb size ginger, finely chopped or shredded (2 tbsp)
- 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped (2 tbsp)
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- ½ handful thai basil, chopped
- ½ cup green onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp fish sauce or 2 tbsp "fysh" sauce
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- Pinch of salt
- Place a wok pan over high heat. Pour the oil in and let it heat up.
- Add the diced onion and fry for ca 2 minutes, stirring. Then add the crushed garlic, grated ginger and lemongrass. Fry for 2 more minutes, then add the minced beef.
- Sautee the beef for about 5 minutes, until almost completely brown, stirring. Then add the chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms and chilli. Sautee for 2 more minutes.
- At last pour in the fish sauce, coconut aminos and sesame oil and sautee for additional 2 more minutes.
- Take the wok out of the heat and mix in the spring onion and thai basil.