Food, beverages, and entertainment are important features in the Natalie Seachrist mystery series. Here is my interpretation of an island classic that has become popular across the globe. For those of you who may be vegetarians or even vegan, remember that you don't have to eat meat to enjoy the flavor of a teriyaki sauce. Try it on your favorite blend of vegetables, as well as proteins like tofu.
Teriyaki Marinade and Glaze
You may have a preferred teriyaki recipe, or there may be ingredients you will want to add to or deleted from mine. In contemplating several variations of this recipe, I realized there are some ingredients I prefer to others. For instance, I don't care for honey in sauces like this because it easily dominates the flavor profile. As with all recipes I suggest, you may wish to adjust ingredients and their proportions to harmonize with your personal taste. If you're in a rush, consider augmenting a prepared sauce by adding a few seasonings and/or a few fresh ingredients.
1/4 Cup mirin [sweet rice wine]
1 Cup soy sauce [consider using low sodium]
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame or peanut oil
1/4 Cup brown sugar[packed]
1 Tablespoon orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon fresh garlic [minced]
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger [minced]
Dash of red pepper flakes
Black pepper to taste
1/4 Cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
PREPARING THE SAUCE
Except for water, whisk liquid ingredients and sugar in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer. Stir in seasonings and continue cooking on a low setting. In a separate container, dissolve cornstarch in water and stir into sauce. Stir sauce while it thickens. Adjust seasonings to taste. Modify thickness with water, soy sauce, or wine to produce a thin sauce for use as a marinade...or create a thicker consistency for use as a glaze. If you are not going to use immediately, allow sauce to cool to room temperature and store in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for a few days. You can marinate your favorite protein [meat, poultry, seafood or firm tofu] for a couple of hours or even a day--remembering that larger pieces of dense meat require longer times for both marinating and cooking.
COOKING A TERIYAKI ENTRЀE
Heat a tablespoon of peanut or sesame oil in a wok or frying pan on medium high heat. Depending on size and thickness, stir fry your marinated protein for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove protein from pan. If necessary, add oil to pan and fry slices of crispy vegetables like carrots, celery, water chestnuts, broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas. Add softer vegetables like onions and mushrooms midway through the cooking process. After a couple of minutes, re-add the protein and continue stir frying until all ingredients are mixed and heated thoroughly. Place your cooked entrée on a bed of shredded cabbage or cooked rice on a warm serving platter. Top with sliced green onions, a dash or red pepper flakes, or even orange slices. You can also offer your guests additional sauce on the side.
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