Steaming is a simple way to cook vegetables while retaining flavor, color and nutrients without adding fat or calories. While steamed vegetables don't require sauce to make them taste good, a flavorful sauce complements the flavor and makes the vegetables even better. Serve sauces alongside steamed vegetables for dipping, or drizzle the sauce across the veggies. For a special dinner, serve steamed vegetables and a selection of sauces in separate dishes. Prepare sauces up to a day ahead of time.
Vinegar sauce is a light, easy sauce that supplies a sweet, tangy, Asian flair to steamed vegetables. To make vinegar sauce, begin with seasoned rice vinegar, then stir in sugar, ketchup, soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk thoroughly to blend the ingredients, then serve in a bowl for dipping. This type of sauce works well with many types of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and bell peppers.
Sweet Mustard Sauce
Sweet mustard sauce provides a blend of sweet and tangy flavors to accentuate the flavors of steamed vegetables. To make the sauce, whisk together Dijon mustard and maple syrup, then blend in soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the sauce as an accompaniment to steamed vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
Yogurt sauce is a cool, refreshing sauce that provides a mild herb flavor to steamed vegetables. Place plain yogurt in a bowl, then stir in cumin, curry powder and salt. Use lowfat or regular yogurt. You also can use Greek yogurt, which provides a rich, creamy consistency and tangy flavor. Serve yogurt sauce in bowls alongside steamed vegetables such as artichokes and asparagus.
Carrot and Pepper Sauce
Carrot and pepper sauce adds a fiery flavor to steamed vegetables. Start with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, then blend in minced chili peppers such as Anaheim, habanero or jalapeno peppers, minced garlic, grated carrot and a small amount of sugar. Serve carrot and pepper sauce for dipping or drizzle it sparingly over steamed vegetables like potatoes or broccoli.
Rojak is a vegetable and fruit salad commonly served in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. The vegetables and fruits in rojak are tossed with a thick, brown sauce. Rojak sauce has the consistency of melted caramel and a complex, sweet, salty and spicy flavor. You can find the ingredients to make rojak sauce at your local Asian market or natural foods grocer. You will need approximately 25 minutes to make rojak sauce, plus an additional 30 minutes for it to cool. This recipe makes 1/2 cup of rojak sauce.
Pour the water into the saucepan and place it over high heat. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low.
Add the dark brown sugar to the saucepan and stir with a whisk until it dissolves.
Add the oyster sauce, shrimp paste and tamarind paste to the saucepan and continue whisking for two minutes.
Stir the Scotch bonnet pepper into the contents of the saucepan and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for 30 minutes or to room temperature before tossing with rojak.
Things You'll Need
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. shrimp paste
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tbsp. minced Scotch bonnet pepper
Refrigerate or freeze leftover rojak sauce immediately. Consume refrigerated sauce within five days and frozen sauce within three months.