It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef. The saucier is a soloist in the orchestra of a great kitchen.Fernand Point
The main sauces I’m recreating at home this week (from memories of great west coast takeout) are Teriyaki and Peanut Sauce. As with my long search for a truly authentic homemade Char Siu, the hunt for the best Teriyaki Sauce has been fraught with mediocre results. All the YouTube cooks claim to have THE BEST recipe but so far I can’t agree. Most of the pre-made bottled stuff is just blase’ and full of chemicals.
So far this week I’ve made three versions of teriyaki sauce. One with both Mirin and Sake and the other that just used Rice Vinegar as the “special” ingredient. The first went down the drain. It was not good at all in my opinion. The second was anemic on flavor so I cribbed off of a third recipe and added some brown sugar, orange juice (although pineapple would be better) and extra minced ginger. This is the keeper. Here is the basic recipe:
Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
In the islands this is the standard sweet marinade.
1 Cup Light Soy Sauce
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Orange or Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Filtered Water
1 Inch Knob Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
4 Cloves Fresh Minced Garlic
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
Lightly sauté the garlic and ginger in sesame oil for about 1 minute over medium heat. Add in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely, about another minute. Remove from heat.
Store in a glass jar for up to 3 weeks. This is great as a sweet marinade for chicken, beef or pork. Having it made ahead is a time saver and may make the difference between going with a simpler dish and having a truly memorable meal in the same amount of time.
To make the thick, shiny glaze for finishing the grilled or stir-fried marinated protein, (which may include, salmon, mahi mahi or tofu) make a corn starch slurry using 2 parts cold water and 1 part corn starch, depending on the number of servings. Reheat a small amount of the teriyaki sauce (about 1/8 cup per serving) in a sauté pan until it starts to simmer. Add the slurry and stir until it gets bubbly and thick.
Drizzle the teriyaki glaze over protein or serve as a dipping sauce. Garnish protein with toasted sesame seeds and fresh diced scallions.Susie Marx
Tomorrow I’ll test make Joshua Weissman’s recipe for Peanut Sauce. In my opinion, having tried and true recipes and their ingredients on hand is comforting. I know I can create a delicious meal on demand, without stress or having to order from a restaurant.
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