I LOVE Asian food. Lime, lemongrass, ginger and all that jazz. I have travelled in Asia, namely Thailand, quite a lot and a few years ago I lived off of Thai green curries, Pad Thai and okay, maybe a few too many Chang beers…but hey, I was travelling….
Anyway, upon my travels I went to a Thai cooking school which was amazing. Thinking back to it now with a lower sugar hat on however, does remind me that quite a lot of Asian sauces and cooking methods often involve sugar of some kind, which can be a bummer if you’re eating it a lot or trying to eat less sugar in general.
Over the last few (lower sugar) years I’ve not eaten as much Asian food at home due to the fact I wanted to move away from buying packets of sauces etc. Despite my cookery school experience, I am by no means an expert with DIY sauces etc.
Whilst I’m not going to not eat some of my favourite Asian dishes from time to time, I have been curious to develop a salad dressing that hits the spot on Asian flavour but without the added sugar. Most shop bought Asian stir fry sauces and salad dressings over here in the UK are loaded with sugar and I don’t think it’s always necessary.
You can make the sweetness healthier in any Asian recipe by substituting in something like stevia or brown rice syrup if you wish, however this salad dressing recipe needs no sugar substitute whatsoever. It does have a smidge of sugar as the fish sauce you buy usually contains some, but in terms of the overall recipe, i’d class it as pretty much sugar-free.
Low sugar Asian style salad dressing (makes ½ jar)
- Juice of 1 lime (approx 4 tbls)
- 5 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 birds eye chilli (this was perfect for me but these bad boys are HOT. Maybe go with half to start)
- ¾ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp freshly ground ginger
Put all the ingredients in a nice jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake until your heart’s content!
In terms of salad ingredients, cucumber, radishes, grated carrot, fresh coriander and prawns all taste great with this dressing. I often use spinach as my ‘green base’ and then add in the other things depending on what I have in my fridge. You can also sprinkle over sesame seeds to make it look pretty.
What are your thoughts on Asian food when it comes to a sugar-free or low sugar diet? Do you eat a lot of it and are you aware of the sugar in it? Leave a comment and share your thoughts….