Have you ever wondered about teriyaki? Where it came from? And how can you make a teriyaki dish? Teriyaki is a popular cooking style in Japan. The word derives from the word teri, which refers to a shine or lustre given by the sauce and yaki, which refers to the cooking method (grilling).
Teriyaki (terry yah kee), A Japanese cooking technique where beef, chicken, fish, or a soy product is first marinated and then grilled or broiled. We often have teriyaki when eating out, but it’s not something we always think about making back in our own kitchens. Have you ever made a teriyaki dish?
Our Japanese isn’t the best (so feel free to chime in with a more thorough explanation!), but we understand that “teri” is derived from the Japanese word meaning “shine” or “glaze.” This refers to the teriyaki marinade, which is usually made with soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings that are cooked down into a thick sauce. As the meat grills, this sauce thickens even further and becomes a rich glaze. The sugars in the sauce caramelize, giving the final dish shine and flavor.
The second part of the term, “yaki,” can actually be used to describe any grilled or broiled food. In Japanese cuisine, there are many other dishes that include this word and technique. For instance, we’ve come across shioyaki, which refers to a salt-grilling technique, and yakitori, which refers to a specific dish of chicken cooked on skewers.
Experimenting with homemade teriyaki sauces is a great way to add some variety to our standard grill menus this time of year. Here are a few recipes to inspire your cooking!
The recipe below is low in fat and the protein in the beef will make your winter work-outs worth it.
- 4 fillet steaks
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon sake (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Cucumber salad
- 1 large Lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- ½ red capsicum, diced
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- Put the steaks in a non-metallic dish. Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, garlic and ginger and pour over the steaks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Put the cucumber, capsicum and spring onion in a bowl. Put the sugar, rice wine vinegar and ¼ cup water in a saucepan and stir over heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and simmer rapidly for 3–4 minutes, or until thickened. Pour over the cucumber salad, stir well and leave to cool completely.
- Brush a chargrill plate or barbecue grill plate with oil and heat until very hot. Drain the steaks and reserve the marinade. Cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, or to your taste. Rest the meat for 5–10 minutes before slicing.
- Put the sugar and reserved marinade in a saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 2–3 minutes.
- Slice each steak into strips and serve with the marinade, cucumber salad and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.