Take-Out Chinese Garlic Sauce!
This sauce is supposed to be quite sweet and spicy, so even though there are very few measurements, please adjust accordingly.
1.5 cups of veggie stock
.5 cups of soy sauce (I believe the original ratio was 1:1 stock to soy, but I unpacked my cooking notes the other night and remembered that is too strong for me)
1 to 2 heads of garlic, chopped into fine chunks. You read that right. Heads.
Sweetener to taste (brown sugar works very well, but anything will do here as long as you're generous).
Red pepper flakes to taste.
Boil the heck out of the veggie stock, soy sauce, and garlic until the garlic is tender. Taste and add stock or soy as you like. Add your sweetener and spice, and keep tasting until you get it right.
When you're ready to go, pre-mix some cornstarch in cold water and add it to the boiling mixture, little by little, until you reach the desired thickness. Remember to be patient: cornstarch takes several minutes to thicken up. If you find it's too thick, go ahead and add some more stock.
Pour this over just about any kind of steameed/stir-fried vegetable or protein. My favorite use for it is broccoli. When I'm really craving take-out I'll even cut up some firm tofu chunks, press them dry, dredge them in cornstarch, and fry them up in oil before tossing them in - vegan deep-fried crunchy bits.
Another use is to pour some into miso broth when making ramen. It adds a lovely sweetness.
This recipe is superior with steamed white or jasmine rice and is the closest I've found to a vegan equivalent of standard takeout Chinese. If that's what you're craving, don't rob yourself of the sticky white rice experience: this is one of the few times I will leave my whole grain rice on the shelf.
This sauce keeps for about two weeks in a jar in the fridge, and freezes well but chunks up when defrosting. Heating it up again gets rid of this issue.