Do you have a craving that only a drizzle of salty, earthy soy sauce can cure? The unique flavor of soy sauce or tamari (a version made without wheat) is hard to duplicate, but rest easy, dear Paleo umami lovers; there is a replacement for you. Coconut aminos have stormed the soy-castle as a Paleo friendly substitution.
While not an identical swap, coconut aminos serve as a natural condiment that can be used as a simple dipping sauce for sashimi, a savory salad dressing, or the perfect pork marinade.
This miracle sauce is made from coconut tree sap and sea salt, with no other additives. Better yet, it’s raw, so all of those living nutrients, amino acids and enzymes from the tree sap are captured and passed directly along to you in the form of a better-than-the-original substitute for soy sauce. You get health benefits and flavor!
Be careful not to confuse coconut aminos with Braggs liquid aminos, however. Braggs are actually a highly processed form of soy sauce that uses chemical reactions in place of natural fermentation methods. This is not a good Paleo alternative.
The ugly? Although coconut aminos are a great substitution for soy sauce, coconut aminos do have a high sodium content like soy sauce does, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are watching your salt intake. They also have a slightly sweet taste, which might be off-putting to some, but when blended with a bit of high-quality fish sauce, the rich taste of coconut aminos can take a basic broth from ordinary to the stuff umami-flavored dreams are made of.
Here is an easy recipe for a pork tenderloin marinade to get you started off on the right foot. It uses Paleo Plan recipes for Ginger Garlic Marinade and Cauliflower Rice to make a tasty Asian inspired Paleo meal.
Ginger and Garlic Paleo Pork Tenderloin with Cauliflower Rice
Makes: 4 servings
Approximate active cooking time: 30 minutes (plus 2-24 hours of inactive cooking time to marinate the tenderloin)
- 1-1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
- 1 cup coconut aminos
- 2 inches fresh ginger root, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup white wine
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 TB. coconut oil
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 6-8 scallions, trimmed and sliced
- Slice pork tenderloin into 1-inch rounds.
- Place meat in a covered shallow dish (non-metal) or re-sealable plastic bag. Add coconut aminos, white wine, ginger root slices and garlic. Make sure that the marinade surrounds most of the meat.
- Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours, turning the meat (or “squishing” the bag) several times to make sure the marinade covers the meat completely.
- Shortly before mealtime, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, remove the tenderloin from the marinade. Do not discard the leftover marinade. Sprinkle both sides of each pork slice with sea salt.
- When the pan is hot, add coconut oil and wait 15 seconds. (the pan should smoke slightly). Add tenderloin slices to the hot pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, (or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F). Remove from pan, and let pork rest 5 to 10 minutes.
- While the meat is resting, reheat the same skillet over high heat. Remove the ginger slices from the leftover marinade and add the remaining liquid to the hot pan. Bring to a boil, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes to reduce into a thin sauce.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower rice by placing the raw cauliflower florets into a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Pulse until a rice-like consistency has formed.
- Remove the cauliflower rice from the food processor and add to the boiling marinade. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for an additional minute to heat through.
- To serve, scoop cauliflower rice with coconut amino sauce onto a plate, top with tenderloin slices, and garnish with sliced green onions.