One of my favorite things about cooking for people with dietary restrictions is developing personalized recipes. This sauce was born a couple years ago, when I used to cook for a client who was soy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, and dairy-free. Some people might conclude that your standard American-style Chinese food was out of the question, since it’s normally loaded with soy and sugar. But I had a feeling that wasn’t the case.
One week, the menu leant itself to an Asian-style glaze. I knew I could replace the soy component and some of the sugar with coconut aminos, which is not only a great soy-sauce substitute but also lends a nice sweetness to marinades and sauces. For the rest of the sugar, I decided to use just a little bit of mandarin orange juice. Next, I added a touch of toasted sesame oil and boiled those three simple ingredients together until…voila…I had a soy-free, sugar-free Asian-style glaze. And I couldn’t stop eating it…
This recipe uses a very similar procedure to yield the brown sauce, but instead of mandarin juice, I’ve used navel oranges. These have a lower sugar content than mandarins, so the glaze takes a bit longer to reduce and becomes more of a sauce (as opposed to a sticky glaze) once you toss it with your broccoli. (By the way, I’ve also chosen to roast the broccoli, which I find is one of the easiest ways to get perfectly cooked, crispy-but-not-oily, lovely little florets!)
Since this dish is so simple (you basically roast some broccoli – easy peasy – boil the three ingredients to make your brown sauce – even easier – and toss the two components together), I decided you’ll definitely have the time and energy to make some awesome crispy ginger to really take this dish over the top. Believe me, it’s well worth the extra 5 minutes!