Gluten Free Sweet Potato Steak Bowls

Matthew Kadey
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hr 8 mins
Calories: 538

A five-spice-infused dressing gives these bowls an enticing aroma and is a perfect flavor match for the sweetness of the potatoes and beefiness of the steak. Sold under the trademark name Forbidden Rice, black rice is a heirloom variety of rice from China; it has a great chewy texture with a slightly sweet taste. If you can’t find it, brown rice can be used as a replacement. Also, pork tenderloin can stand in for the steak.

About Chinese Five-Spice Powder

One of the essential seasonings in traditional Chinese cooking, five-spice powder gives dishes a balanced hit of sweet, sour, savory and bitter. Typically, the spices that go into five- spice powder are star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel, clove and a relative of cinnamon called cassia. Star anise gives the blend a bit of a licorice kick.
In the kitchen: Use in marinades for meats, sprinkle into pancake batter, add to beef stews and meatballs, bake into carrot cake or molasses cookies, incorporate into a glaze for salmon.

Five-Spice Shopping List

For gluten-free, allergy-friendly products, check out these companies.

Frontier Co-op
Primal Palate

Not every product sold by every company listed is gluten-free or allergy-friendly. Read ingredient labels carefully. When in doubt, confirm ingredients directly with the manufacturer.

More Spice-Centric Recipes

Masala Chickpea Kale Stir-Fry

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chicken Pot Pie Tartine

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Butternut Lentil Soup

Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD is a registered dietitian and food writer. He is author of The Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press), The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press) and Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure (VeloPress).

Yields 4 servings


  • 1 cup black rice
  • 3/4 pound sweet potato, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 6 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 head broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound sirloin steak or pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or coconut liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated or finely minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1Place rice, 2 cups water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until rice is tender and water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Let sit, covered, 5 minutes; then gently fluff with a fork.

2Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven as it preheats.

3Toss sweet potato with 2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread sweet potato on hot baking sheet and roast in preheated oven 15 minutes. Toss broccoli with 2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir sweet potatoes and add broccoli to pan. Roast in preheated oven 15 additional minutes or until broccoli is darkened and sweet potato is fork-tender.

4Rub steak with 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place steak in pan and cook about 8 minutes for medium-rare, flipping steak every minute or so during cooking. Let steak rest 10 minutes and then thinly slice.

5To make the dressing, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons five spice powder and cayenne in a bowl.

6Divide cooked rice among four serving bowls and top with roasted vegetables and steak slices. Drizzle on five-spice dressing. Top with scallions and pumpkin seeds.

1 serving contains 538 calories, 17g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 68mg cholesterol, 917mg sodium, 62g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 9g sugars, 35g protein.