Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sweet Asian BBQ Sauce - Gluten Free

So how was everybody's long weekend? By everybody, of course, I'm blatantly ignoring all of you wonderful people who, like me, didn't have Monday off for Memorial Day - sorry! I mean, May 21 was also "Memo Day", "Waitresses and Waiters Day" and (my favourite of the three) "Strawberries and Cream Day", so there's no excuse not to celebrate something!

Given that the weather around here is turning warmer (or scorching, as it was yesterday!), our neighbourhood has begun to transform into a street of delicious-smelling BBQ. Whether you're a charcoal or a gas chef, a steak and burgers, salmon and shrimp or veggis and tofu aficionado, there is something to be said about the allure grilled food has. And while sauce is not necessary (and some would argue drowns the flavour of the food), I believe that a well-made, lightly applied condiment can turn already delicious cooking into something special.

Because so many ketchups and barbecue sauces are rife with sugar, we don't tend to buy them very often knowing that my diabetic stepdad would abuse the privilege. Then it occurred to me that if I could make a sauce that was a bit better than the pre-bottled kind and not full of chemicals, why not? As a bonus, I made it completely gluten free so that my stepsister-in-law could also enjoy it with her sensitivities! The original recipe came via , where she paired it with beer-braised chicken. I smeared it over zucchini "steaks" and I bet it would make a perfect marinade for tofu, chicken or fish too!

Sweet Asian BBQ Sauce - Gluten Free
Makes about 17 fl. oz
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 (355 mL / 12 oz) bottle or can gluten free beer (New Grist by Lakefront is both GF and vegan)
1 cup GF hoisin sauce (like Steel's)
1/4 cup tamari
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until golden and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the garlic and chili powders.
  4. Sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant, then stir in the beer, hoisin sauce, tamari.
  5. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, until thick.
  6. With an immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth. If not using immediately, pour into jars and keep in the fridge.
Per fl. oz
Calories: 36.8
Total Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 392.7 mg
Total Carbs: 6.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 1.0 g


  1. Hi Sarah, so nice to meet another nutritionist from the #SundaySupper team :) Love this GF barbecue sauce and wanted too see if I can link to my GF page. Tell me if it's OK. This is what the page looks like.
    Will foll on twitter, so you can reply there too & tell me if it's OK :) chat soon !

  2. BBQ sauce sounds good! Found you on LinkedIn.:)


Thanks for the feedback!