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No-Soy Asian Stir Fry


I tend to cook a lot of “stir fry” for dinner. It cooks quickly (albeit all that chopping can take a while), and everyone eats well. Plus, I think my children’s favorite condiment is soy sauce—it seems to work on everything!

…then we discovered that my husband has a food sensitivity to soy. Well that sure added complexity to my usual speedy dinner routine!

For a while, I stopped making stir fry when we all were eating together—since I don’t like making multiple meals. And then I got creative, and I’m pretty pleased with the result. The secret ingredient is miso paste. You’re probably thinking, But isn’t miso made from soy? Well, that’s sometimes true…but I found chickpea miso paste, and it is delicious.

I haven’t done a head-to-head flavor comparison, but I will tell you that my hard-to-please youngest daughter gave it her seal of approval! You can use this sauce on any vegetables. Here, my feature vegetable is bok choy.


  • 1 Tablespoon chickpea miso paste
  • 3 Tablespoons hot water
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon garlic chili paste (Note: If you like your stir-fry with a kick, this is delicious. While it might be trendy to use sriracha sauce, the ones I’ve seen always have added sugar and garlic chili paste doesn’t.)
  • 1 head bok choy
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • Optional: 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons oil for cooking (Note: I used olive oil, but anything works. Coconut oil will give this a Thai kick.)

no-soy stir fry

(I know that stir-fry should be cooked in a wok, but I got rid of my wok a long time ago—I think my stir-fry still tastes great when cooked in a regular sauté pan. I just found the wok too awkward to store and not worth the precious spot in my cabinet.)


  1. Sauce: Put miso paste into a small bowl, and add hot water. Mix to dissolve the miso paste. Add sesame oil and maple syrup and garlic chili paste, if using. Set aside.
  2. Heat a sauté pan on medium-low (I use a setting of 4 out of 10). Once hot, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add onion and sauté for a minute or two, moving things around so it all cooks evenly.
  4. Add ginger (and garlic if you’re using that), and sauté a few minutes more.
  5. Add the bok choy stems, and, again, cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add bok choy leaves, and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Add sauce to coat everything. Taste test to be sure the veggies are cooked to your liking!

If you want to add a protein to your stir-fry, click below. 


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