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I know you’re wondering why I put baking soda in my chili lime sauce. The answer is: chemistry. When using both lime juice and vinegar, the sauce is of course going to be highly acidic. To combat this, you can dilute it with water, sweeten it with sugar, or add an alkaline, like baking soda. This sauce does all three. Baking soda plus acid will cause a chemical reaction that fizzes, just like those “volcanoes” kids make at school, but in these quantities it shouldn’t cause a mess.


Chili Lime Stir Fry

1 lb. rice vermicelli, prepared according to package

For the stir fry:

1 lb. crab stick or peeled shrimp
3-4 T oil, divided
3 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 colorful bell pepper, sliced
1/3 head of cabbage, shredded
1 can bean sprouts (I couldn’t find fresh, but if you can, use them)
Chopped cilantro to garnish

Chop the crab stick into ½ inch pieces. Heat 1-2 T in a wok or other large sauté pan. Stir fry until brown, about 6-8 minutes. (If using shrimp, sauté about 1-2 minutes per side until just pink.) Remove from pan and set aside. Heat another 1-2 T oil, then add the vegetables. Sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

For the sauce:

Juice of 2 limes
2 T oil
1 T rice vinegar
2 T water
½ inch freshly grated ginger
¼ t salt, or substitute
about 1 T soy sauce
¼ t red pepper flakes
~5 T mirin, or substitute honey
1/8 t baking soda

Whisk together all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to reduce while you stir fry the rest. Serve the noodles, then vegetables, then crab or shrimp, then dress with the sauce and add cilantro.


Copyright 2019 Karen Ullo