When I asked the cook at my kids’ school what the most popular dishes were, he said, “Pizza, meat sauce, breakfast for lunch, and this,” and with “this” he picked up and thudded down the most enormous container of prepared teriyaki sauce I’d ever seen. “If I put this on everything, they would love it.”
Turns out, teriyaki sauce isn’t hard to make at all, and you can, in fact, put it on almost anything. Here’s the recipe, and you have the option of using the sauce with either chicken or steak, and also try it with shrimp, salmon, or tofu.
Excerpted from The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket Copyright 2012 by Katie Workman Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York All Rights Reserved Photo credit Todd Coleman
Teriyaki Chicken and Beef Skewers
2 tablespoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2⁄3 cup low-sodium soy sauce, or 1⁄2 cup regular soy sauce and
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil, plus oil for the baking sheet (optional)
3 tablespoons mirin
1⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds chicken tenders, or 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1⁄2 inch–wide strips, or 2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1⁄2-inch slices
Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
Toasted sesame seeds
18-20 8-inch wooden or metal skewers
1. Place the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oil, mirin, if using, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl or in a small container with a lid and stir well or shake to combine.
2. Pour the teriyaki marinade into a 1-quart heavy-duty zipper-top plastic bag or a larger plastic container with a lid. Add the chicken or steak and mix to coat well. Seal the bag or container and let the chicken or steak marinate in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours (the longer it marinates, the more pronounced the teriyaki flavor will be). You’ll want to flip the baggie or toss the meat in the container a couple of times during the marinating process so that it marinates evenly.
3. If you are using wooden skewers, at least 30 minutes before cooking soak them in water to cover in order to prevent them from burning. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
4. Preheat the broiler (see Note).
5. Remove the chicken or steak from the marinade, setting aside the marinade. Skewer 1 or 2 pieces of chicken or steak on each skewer lengthwise, threading them so they are on securely. Place the skewers on the prepared baking sheet and broil until the teriyaki sauce turns a nice burnished color and the chicken is cooked through or the meat is cooked to your liking, 2 to 4 minutes on each side for chicken, another minute or 2 for medium steak.
6. Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let the marinade simmer until it becomes slightly reduced and glazelike, about 4 minutes.
7. Serve the skewers on a platter sprinkled with the sesame seeds, if desired. Pass around the boiled marinade in a small pitcher or bowl for drizzling over the meat or whatever starch or veggies you are serving alongside.
What the Kids Can Do: They can help make the teriyaki marinade and toss the chicken or meat with the sauce, and if they are old enough to skewer the chicken or steak, they can do that as well.