Sun Sauce

A reader asked me to try to figure out a recipe for a sauce from a favorite restaurant of hers. This is my first attempt, and never having tasted the sauce, I can’t say whether my version is close to the original. But she is right: the sauce is delicious. Adjustments I will make to this recipe would be to make more: using the whole package of tofu, proportionally more miso, and proportionally less apple juice (the sauce was too sweet for my taste). Also, the the mustard and fennel would be more refined had I simmered the ground seeds in the vinegar and apple juice for a minute or two, then let it cool to meld the flavors.
I started with the tofu and added small amounts of sweet miso (I was all out of Saikyo miso so used regular sweet miso), apple juice, and vinegars. Because I’m still learning to cook on a glass-top electric stove, I burned the first ¼ teaspoons of the mustard and fennel seeds I tried to roast. I washed the pan and roasted a larger quantity of seeds, watching more more carefully. I don’t have a spice grinder, though I’ve heard of people using a coffee grinder (then ‘cleaning’ it by grinding raw rice in it) so I used my suribachi. Next time I’ll risk the coffee grinder! Fennel seeds are really hard!

Sun Sauce
an experimental recipe suggested by a reader
serves 2 to 3

  • ½ package silken tofu (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons sweet white miso
  • 2 Tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Rhine wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • tamari

Combine the tofu, miso, apple juice, and vinegar in a small blender.
Heat the mustard and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan until you can smell them. Grind in a suribachi. (or spice grinder)
Add the ground spices to the dressing, and blend.
The consistency of my sauce was like mayonnaise.

From my reader:
One of their main dishes served is a brown rice or basmati rice dish, with fresh chopped vegetable, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots over the top, then top that with sun sauce.
But they put it on fish dishes also, all kinds of things.

For my stir-fry, I added a Tablespoon of tamari to the dressing and warmed it gently in the stir-fry pan. It was so good that I added some of the sauce to top the dish! I had thought to make something similar to the dish my reader described, but the day I made this was a day of a big snow storm and didn’t have many vegetables on hand.

For my stir-fry:
Velveting the Chicken:

  • 10 to 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • pot of boiling water, over high heat

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the above ingredients, adding them one at a time and mixing with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes. Drop the chicken cubes into the boiling water and let them cook just until they turn white. Remove and drain. Use the marinating time to prepare the other ingredients.
The Vegetables:

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ head of broccoli cut into flowerets
  • 20 sugar peas
  • 1 Tablespoon grated garlic

Heat a wok or large cast iron frying pan. Add the oil, heat.
Fry the garlic about 20 seconds, then add the chicken. Stir-fry on high heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the peas and broccoli and stir for a minute or two.
Add a Tablespoon of water and cover to steam-cook the vegetables.
Stir in a Tablespoon tamari and half the sun sauce.
Serve over hot rice.

firm silken tofu

sweet miso

sweet miso ingredients

add a little at a time

fennel and mustard seeds

frozen apple juice concentrate

sun sauce

stir-fry with chicken

8 thoughts on “Sun Sauce

  1. Hi Tess – I’m off to the market to go pick up the ingredients for this Sun Sauce. I *know* the restaurant you’re referring to — is it in South Florida? :)

    I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it turns out on my end!

    • Hi Sandi!
      Please do let me know how it compares to the restaurant’s version. I do believe that it is in South Florida, but I’ve never been there to taste it! My reader and I corresponded via email a few times, but she didn’t tell me how the recipe worked for her…

  2. I just tried to approximate this recipe for the first time tonight! I used to live near the restaurant and LOVE sun sauce! It’s been 9 years since I moved, and I’ve been back to the restaurant just a few times, most recently last week. The owner gave up the 2 key ingredients. I couldn’t get it right, but it was still tasty. I’ll try yours next time!

    • Hi Carolyn,
      As you see, the reader never commented again about how my recipe re-creation without ever having tasted the original compared. Because I had no further communication with her, I have no idea if I got even close. What I made was tasty, but with the loss of conversation with her and all (I believe she was seriously ill) I must admit I have forgotten about this sauce.
      If you want to share the 2 key ingredients, or what you have tried, I’m up for making this experiment again. In any event, let me know what you think about my recipe if you do make it.

      • You’ve got the 2 key ingredients: sweet mellow miso and silken tofu. I found your entry after my attempt, and mine fell short.

        First, I suspected I used too much of the miso. Your recipe has a smaller amount. I tried adding rice wine vinegar, some salt and pepper, honey….nothing really got it close to the real thing.

        I’ll try yours next time and let you know if it is closer to the real thing. I almost used apple cider vinegar…but didn’t. The apple juice might be a good hunch.

        I have alot of my creation left, so perhaps I’ll separate some out and experiment with adding some apple juice. I was also thinking of adding a touch of lemon juice….

        • As I recall, the reader did have sweet miso and silken tofu as part of her suggestion. I just can’t find her original email—it was a while ago. I almost wonder if the miso should have been saikyo sweet whit miso? The apple juice was something she mentioned, perhaps she talked the folks into revealing that?

          The cider vinegar was a surprise, but as it’s been a long time, I cannot remember if that was a suggestion of hers or not.

          Thank you for reminding me of this.

  3. I know this thread is old but I live near this restaurant and my son loves the chicken and cheese with Sun Sauce. I’d LOVE to know the secret recipe! I think it may have mustard in it.

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