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I got this recipe from Emi, a co-worker of mine in the late 1960s. Emi was born in the U.S., but her parents were born in Japan. As a child, Emi was interned with her parents during World War II. She told me that one of the hardships of the internment camp was the lack of brown sugar, which is important in Japanese cooking.
This is a sauce for marinating. It's too thin for glazing.
1/4 cup Japanese-style soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1 TBS brown sugar
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
In a blender or mini-processor, mix the soy sauce with the sugar. Be sure all the sugar dissolves. Add the wine and ginger, and blend until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
The soy sauce must be Japanese-style. Chinese-style soy sauce has a different flavor and is not appropriate for teriyaki sauce.
The original recipe specified sake for the wine. However, I use dry vermouth or an inexpensive white table wine.
The original recipe also called for MSG; but too many people are sensitive to this flavor enhancer, which is really unnecessary.
The sugar and soy sauce must be blended together before adding the wine because sugar does not easily dissolve in alcohol.
Once, I tried using crystallized ginger since the sauce would already be sweet. However, ginger is too fibrous for a blender or mini-processor to chop finely. The ginger flavor in the sauce was a bit weak. I think a full tsp of shredded fresh ginger could be substituted for the powder.
Use skirt steak, cut into pieces about 2 inches on a side. Put into a Ziploc bag. Pour a batch of teriyaki sauce into the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning the bag in the morning. Grill the steak pieces a few minutes on each side, until they are still slightly pink inside.
Put chicken pieces (wings, thighs, legs) into a Ziploc bag. If you want to use breasts, cut half-breasts (the way they are usually sold in the markets) in half again. Pour a batch of teriyaki sauce into the bag. Marinate as for teriyaki steak. The chicken may be grilled on a barbecue or baked in the oven.
In Japan, food is usually cooked in bite-sized pieces that can be handled with chopsticks and do not need cutting by the diner while eating. These smaller pieces also absorb marinades better than larger pieces of food.
Teriyaki is traditionally served with rice. With the popularity of fusion menus, you may serve it with any vegetable or side dish you choose.
14 January 2007
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