Well I guess it’s meant to be. I did a long-winded post about soy sauce, pulling nerdy nutrition crap out of my rear end, and when I went to preview it the whole thing got lost into an internet black hole. Nothing remained. So be it. Instead I’ll leave that out and just say, simply, why I wanted to do a post on soy sauce specifically…
After recently seeing the powerful importance of salt in increasing metabolic rate and keeping the nervous system calm, I bought some soy sauce for the first time in a long time. I was excited to have some because I know it’s super salty and super good. Imagine sushi without it. Eesh.
In some parts of Japan and China salt consumption exceeds 20, and sometimes even 25 grams per day on average. Soy sauce plays a part in that. I knew it was salty, and have traveled all over Asia noticing how great I felt – especially my digestion, but I didn’t know it had so much protein.
It is very high in protein – a cup of soy sauce has twice as much protein as a cup of milk. Of course, you can drink a lot more milk, but a little complementary protein from a source like soy sauce, low in the more inflammatory, metabolism-lowering amino acids (cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan), is similar to the use of gelatin as a protein balancer. If this is way over your head, this concept is discussed in an old post called Protein: A Closer Look. I like soy sauce better though, as gelatin-rich broth and stews always make my stomach a little grumpy. Soy sauce seems to do the opposite.
The aminos in soy are controversial though no doubt. The aspartic acid and glutamic acid content of soy sauce is the primary point of contention. I’ll save any conversation about that for the comments though.
Plus, I just like it. The food I have made with it recently was absurdly simple and really damn good. Even a 7-year old who looked at the little stir fry I made with a look of disgust proclaimed that I was “a good cooker” after just a couple bites. For breakfast today she requested eggs and rice with soy sauce, and we’ve got a whole cabinet filled with Cap’n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs, not to mention the coconut oil deep fried bagels rolled in cinnamon and sugar like a Churro that I’ve been making her lately (“banoughrros” I call ‘em).
So anyway, that’s my little soy story. Nothing life changing. The simplest version of the stir fries I’ve been busting out lately look something like this…
- Saute broccoli, onions, and mushrooms in plenty of coconut oil for several minutes (I’ve used all kinds of other things like bean sprouts, bell peppers, ginger, garlic, hot chiles, sugar snap peas, etc. – as well as beef, chicken, and shellfish - but that combo will do just fine and I actually think it’s better)
- Add a half cup or more of soy sauce, a splash of water, and a nice handful of brown sugar
- Simmer until everything is nice and soft – add a little more water if it evaporates too much during cooking
- Serve over rice, I like Jasmine but you can go all Uncle Ben’s on me if you want. I won’t be mad.
- Garnish with fresh-chopped green onions/scallions and a dash of cayenne pepper – a few chopped peanuts can be a really nice addition
- Improvise at will