When it comes to eating primal, refined sugars and sweeteners are avoided as much as possible. You’re trying to keep your carbohydrate intake low and your insulin sensitivity high. That means that while you’re likely to be fine having a bowl of blueberries with cream for dessert every now and again, pouring a couple of tablespoons of sugar over the whole thing and having it every night is going to put you on a fast track to problems. So, while we want to avoid the overt intake of highly sweetened foods, that doesn’t mean we can’t have anything sweet, or that we must sacrifice good flavor for the sake of being healthy. As with all things, make smart choices and practice moderation.
Along those lines, when it comes to sauces and marinades, I tend to stretch the “rules” just a touch. Sweeteners, no matter how “unprocessed,” are still empty carbohydrates with no nutritional value. But when you consider a teaspoon of Wasabi Teriyaki Glaze spooned over your 8-oz serving of tuna steak, or a peach/jalapeño glaze on your baby back ribs, the benefits of flavor far outweigh the global magnitude of those couple extra grams of carbs. Just be smart and don’t overdo it.
I’ve tried a few different teriyaki sauce recipes in the past, and was never really satisfied with them. Everything in the store has that nasty ingredient HFCS and a half-dozen other things I can’t pronounce. And when it comes to tuna steak on the grill, I can’t think of a better addition than a little teriyaki. So when I was getting ready to grill fresh tuna steaks for friends on Sunday night, I needed to find something that would be worth serving to others. I think we found a winner.
- 1/2 cup honey (I’d prefer to use raw, but need to use up this one first)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar (salt- and sugar-free)
- 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce (gluten free)
- ~1″ fresh ginger root
- 2 cloves garlic (whoops, forgot them in the photo)
- ~1 tsp wasabi powder (tsp means teaspoon…just to be sure)
Grab a little saucepan and put in the honey, water, vinegar, and soy sauce. Finely mince up the ginger and the garlic (don’t grate or press them – using minced gives the sauce a little texture and when you bite a little piece of one, it adds a little extra boldness to the taste) and add them in.
Whisk everything up to get the honey dissolved, then bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15~20 minutes until the mixture is reduced by half and has thickened up.
Here’s where it shows that I’m new at this idea of photographing what I’m doing and get caught up in just cooking – I completely forgot to take any more photos of the rest of the process (or the finished product). I’ll do better next time…maybe. Back to the sauce.
While the sauce is simmering, take the wasabi powder and put it in a small dish. Start adding a little water at a time and stirring it to form a thin paste – something the consistency of thick mustard. This was my first time playing with wasabi powder…a little goes a long way. And let me share a piece of advice and warn you against sticking your nose in the bowl and taking in a deep breath. Tempting, I know, but I’d still recommend against it. I’ll leave it at that.
When the sauce has reduced to about half and thickened up (remember that when things cool, they tend to thicken even more), remove it from heat. Whisk in the wasabi paste to your own taste and desired “kick” – start with about 1/2 teaspoon and then add more if you like. Given the unknown and varied tastes of my guests, I left it at 1/2 teaspoon and offered the rest of the paste on the side for those that wanted a little extra (I’m not going to name who decided to take a whole spoonful later and was surely regretting it Monday morning – but it wasn’t me!).
There you have it. Drizzle a little over your tuna steaks, or use it in your stir fry, or whatever else you might want to have a good teriyaki flavor with a little extra kick!