Monday, February 6, 2012

Wheat and Soy Free Soy Sauce

Many of you with food allergies have no doubt discovered by now that soy sauce contains not just soy, but also wheat. Tamari can be a good wheat-free substitute, but it still contains soy, which is another top-8 allergen, and a common sensitivity for those who are gluten sensitive.
Image source
(I admit, I chose this photo because of the Disney bottle:)

What about Nama Shoyu? Nama Shoyu is an unpasteurized soy sauce often used in raw recipes (even though Nama Shoyu is not technically "raw", most raw foodists find that it is one of the acceptable non-raw components of a raw diet, since it still contains living enzymes). Note that Nama Shoyu is not gluten free, and still contains soy. The only difference between Nama Shoyu and regular soy sauce is that Nama (which means raw) Shoyu (which means soy sauce) is not heat pasteurized.

Also note that all three: soy sauce, tamari, and nama shoyu, are fermented products which are fermented by Saccharomyces yeasts and Aspergillus molds- which may pose a concern for those who are yeast and/or mold sensitive.

So what's a gluten, soy, or mold-sensitive person to do???

You can make a homemade substitution. It is not exactly the same as soy sauce, but it does provide some of the earthy, umami flavor and saltiness of soy sauce. Note: This recipe uses mushrooms, so if you are avoiding molds and fungus this might not work for you either. I probably could not have tolerated this a few years ago, but I can tolerate it now, in moderation.

Joan made this recipe at Thanksgiving, and gave me half of the finished batch. I froze it in ice cube trays, then kept the cubes in a container in the freezer, and used as needed. Ice cube trays are about one tablespoon per ice cube (I actually measured out one tablespoon per ice cube the first time; this time I just eyeballed and filled them). I found one cube was the perfect amount for most recipes.

I have finally used all of my frozen "nama shoyu", so today I made more, and thought I'd share how easy it is. It is really nice to have on hand. Previously, I had no good substitution for soy sauce, and that left a lot of recipes lacking.

Soy Sauce Substitute (Gluten Free, Soy Free, Raw, Vegan)
Makes 2 cups (32 Tablespoons; 2 ice cube trays)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Equipment: blender

One large portabella mushroom
One tablespoon sea salt
Two cups filtered water

Blend all ingredients in high speed blender (I'm sure a regular blender will work too)

You only need a portobella mushroom, but I had some King Trumpet mushrooms left over from another recipe, so I threw a few of those in also. I thought it might add another dimension to the flavor of the sauce, plus King Trumpet mushrooms are supposed to be super-healthy, so why not throw 'em in there:
Put ingredients in blender:
I put some in a small jar that I will keep in the fridge and use right away. 
The rest I froze in ice cube trays, to use later: 
I hope this recipe is helpful to you. I think any flavorful, earthy mushroom would probably work in this recipe. I'd love to hear if you try another variety, and how it turns out. By the way, I learned today that Portobello mushrooms are crimini mushrooms that have been allowed to grow to full maturity. Who knew?

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