Saturday, April 30, 2011


Here's the deal.

A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. My GP spun the Wheel of Fate a number of times, trying out various drugs on me. I think he's finally got me on pills that keep my BP in the "Well, I guess it's okay" range.

Never has my doc suggested any lifestyle changes. That's okay, because I'm hip enough to know how I should be living my life. Eat right and exercise. Yeah... no.

But the "eating right" part is something I may wish to tackle. I know I should be watching my salt, but I have not been. I was shocked when I did a nutritional analysis of my daily lunch. I eat a "healthy" meal of oatmeal, soy sauce, bacon bits, and cayenne. Trouble is, the sodium in my hugely liberal soy sauce addition would come to about 1800 mg. That's most of my daily recommended allowance right there.

This got me thinking about all the other casual ways I'm taking in salt each day. A package of Combos Pizzeria Pretzels? Would you believe 810 mg?

So, starting today, I'm going to pay attention to the sodium content of the foods I buy. Since soy sauce is such an essential ingredient in my lunch of wont, I would like to find a substitute. The "Low-Sodium" soy sauce is still very high in sodium. This dilemma has lead me to a consider a homemade substitute for soy sauce. My googling turned up one recipe that was repeated frequently. I'm not sure this is the sauce I want, but here it is:


  • 4 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups water
    1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the beef bouillon, balsamic vinegar, molasses, ginger, white pepper, garlic powder and water. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes. 
    So, here are my problems with this recipe. Bouillon contains tons of salt. I was able to find no-sodium chicken bouillon at the store this afternoon, but all the beef varieties were off the scale with sodium.
    Powdered ginger may be great for cookies, but I think I'll need fresh ginger root or at least ginger paste for my own recipe.
    Molasses--I'm suspicious. Actually I'm suspicious of any kind of "sugar" in a savory recipe. It could be that molasses is a key ingredient. I bought a jar at the grocery this afternoon to cover that possibility.
    Garlic powder? No, I will use either fresh or prepared chopped garlic.
    I'm thinking that a good dose of umami will help distract my mind from its expectation of salt. With that in mind, I think I'd want to add a good dose of Vietnamese fish sauce. 
    In summary, it is my intention to perform experimental cookery with the goal of formulating a delicious, low-sodium alternative to soy sauce.
    Stay tuned! 

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