Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why buy Teriyaki?

I used to buy teriyaki sauce… but why, when it is super-easy to make???  Mostly, I can’t believe they sell various marinating and rib sauces for $3-4 a smallish (non-refillable) bottle.  Again, why?

Here are two variations, one thin sauce which is ready-to-use right away and one thick sauce which takes slightly more prep and cooling time, but you can do it ahead (ie the night before if you want it for a stir-fry, or marinating).

1) Teriyaki sauce (thin):

  1. In a 2-cup measure, mix:
    - 1/4 c good soy sauce
    - 1/4 brown sugar
  2. Add to taste:
    - grated, pressed, frozen garlic (or powder)
    (- optional:  grated fresh ginger – not powdered)
  3. Add water to make 2 cups (replace all or part of the water with chicken stock for a deeper, richer flavour)
  4. Stir well.

2) Boiled teriyaki sauce (thick):

If you are going to be boiling the sauce, you can replace all or part of the water in Step 3, above, with powdered chicken soup mix.  But substitute low-sodium soy sauce so your teriyaki doesn’t get too salty!  Teri-YUCKY!!!

  1. Transfer teriyaki sauce mixture (above) to small pot
  2. Add to taste:
    - red pepper flakes
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer (low boil) for a few minutes to combine flavours.
  5. In a measuring cup or glass, mix:
    - 2 tbsp corn starch
    - water, enough to stir and make a milky paste (slurry)
  6. Pour slurry slowly into teriyaki sauce.
  7. Stir over heat until mixture thickens and bubbles.
  8. Turn off heat.  Add:
    - 1-2 tbsp TOASTED (not raw) sesame oil
  9. Store, use immediately, or cool before marinating.

Remember – you can improvise! 

If you don’t love the flavour of mine, make it your own; add a little something and see how it goes.  Some of the Asian “somethings” that I have been known to add include peanut butter, rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, and mirin. 

Mirin (rice cooking wine) is great to have on-hand, as it makes almost any dish taste slightly more authentic.  For sure, use it wherever older Jewish-“Chinese” recipes call for cooking sherry.  I used to wonder why they all did, and it turns out… Mirin is the taste button they were trying to hit!

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