Paleo Brown Sauce

What is a steamed chicken with mixed vegetables dish without a dipping sauce?!  I have made Homemade Steamed Chicken with Mixed Vegetables several times for a last minute dinner, but never before with a sauce.  I don’t know what took me so long!  When we do get takeout, I always order the brown sauce on the side, so this time I decided to try my hand at creating a homemade Paleo version.  It was a success!

I used the basic idea from my Asian Mahi Mahi recipe, but amped up the ginger, garlic and onion (in the form of leeks).  If you do not have leeks, a large shallot or regular onion would work as well.  Just made sure to cook down the onion completely.  You want a soft texture and mellow flavor, not the bitterness of raw onion.

If you don’t have a thickener like xanthum gum or tapioca starch around, you could simmer the sauce for a little longer.  Reducing the liquid will thicken the sauce.  It also doesn’thave to be thickened.   However, if you’ve ever eaten takeout sauce, it is always slightly gelatinous as it cools probably because they add lots of corn starch.  Don’t be worried though, I only added a sprinkle of xanthum gum.  🙂 

This sauce doesn’t have to be used for steamed chicken, it can be used on vegetables, another protein… perhaps even a good dipping sauce for my Paleo Crispy Pork.


  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 leek (use white and light green parts), finely diced (1/4-1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbs balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 3 tbs raw organic honey
  • 1/8 tsp xanthum gum or tapioca starch


  • 1. Heat coconut oil on medium/medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet
  • 2. Add leek (shallot/onion), and cook until softened
  • 3. Turn down burner to medium-low, stir in grated ginger and garlic, and cook about 1 minute
  • 4. Pour in vinegar, coconut aminos (soy sauce), honey, stirring frequently
  • 5. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, then add red pepper flakes, if desired
  • 6. Turn off heat, and sprinkle xanthum gum or tapioca starch, if desired
  • 7. Stir until well-incorporated, then pour into small serving dish
  • 8. Enjoy!