A Soy Sauce Swap, Plus Onion Ring Tips & Tricks!

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Hey Hungry Girl,

Have you heard of Bragg Liquid Aminos? I've been told it's a good soy sauce alternative. Is it lower in sodium than soy sauce? What's the deal?

Braggin' About It

Hi Braggin',

Great questions. Although I had heard of Bragg Liquid Aminos, I hadn't tried it until recently. (In all honesty, the name is weird and not exactly appetizing!) But after the "Chinese Food" episode of Hungry Girl aired on Food Network, I got TONS of emails from people saying how much they love the stuff so, of course, I had to check it out. After tasting it, I'd say it's more potent than soy sauce with a slightly smoky flavor -- not bad at all!

So what exactly is it? According to Bragg's website, it's a "liquid protein concentrate" made from soybeans and purified water and a "healthy, gourmet replacement" for soy sauce. It's also touted as having no added table salt, and at first glance, it appears to be pretty low in sodium, with 160mg per serving. But a serving is actually ONLY 1/2 teaspoon. If you use an entire tablespoon (the normal serving size for soy sauce), it would come out to 960mg sodium, about the same as regular soy sauce. If you're watching your salt intake, your best bet is still reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce, which has about 540mg sodium per tablespoon.

Why all the hype? As the name promises, it contains amino acids -- 16 of 'em. Aminos are the building blocks of protein, which is essential to pretty much every function of the body. (Find more info about protein and amino acids over at The World's Healthiest Foods website.) This stuff is also a good option for people with certain food allergies, because it's not fermented and it doesn't contain gluten. Plus, it has no artificial colorings or preservatives. Hmmm -- sounds like a lot to BRAGG about (tee-hee!)...

You can find Liquid Aminos at natural-foods stores, like Whole Foods, and some regular grocery stores. It's even available in a 6-oz. spray bottle, which is pretty neat and helpful for portion control. Feel free to use it as an alternative in HG recipes that call for soy sauce -- but you might want to use a little less than called for, because the flavor is pretty intense!

Bottom line? It's not lower in sodium than soy sauce, but it is a good option for people with gluten allergies. It's not a perfect swap for soy sauce, in terms of flavor, but it tastes good and will get the job done.  

Hi Lisa,

I love your show and your recipes, but I have a question about your Lord of the Onion Rings. I had a problem with the crumb mixture clumping up after I dipped the onion in the egg substitute. The first few onion rings came out fine, but then the crumbs started to stick to each other and not to the onion. Help!

Ring Me Up

Hi Ring Me Up,

Those "faux-fried" onion rings are FANTASTIC, but the process can take some perfecting. Still, with just 155 calories, 1g fat, and 16g fiber (PointsPlus® value 4*) for a HUGE serving, it's definitely worth giving the recipe another try. I've got some tips that should help you out...

Don't forget to shake off the excess egg substitute. This part of the directions is super-important. After you dip each ring in the egg, if you don't shake it well, the extra goo will drip into your crumb coating and cause the crumbs to clump together. Don't let this happen.

Try the two-handed method. Use one hand to coat your rings in egg substitute, shake off the excess, and then use the other hand to coat the rings with crumbs. This way you won't transport the excess egg on your fingers into the crumb mixture.

Use tongs or a fork to handle the rings.
Then there's even less of a chance of eggy hands leading to eggy crumbs. If you use a fork, don't pierce the rings with it; just balance them on it.

Use the seal-and-shake-to-coat method.
Place your crumbs in a sealable container. After coating the rings with egg and shaking off the excess, add the rings to the container and seal. Then shake it until all the rings are coated! You can also do this in a sealable plastic bag.

Want some video assistance with a little comedy thrown in for good measure? Check out this video of me making my famous Lord of the Onion Rings with my pal Jerry Trainor from iCarly. Click, people!

Once you've got the original recipe down, check out these fun spins on the classic!

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