Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Authentic Beef Teriyaki Really Better?

You may really love beef teriyaki, and still be completely disappointed with this recipe. I know I'm usually a little more optimistic in my intros, but this is one of those recipes that I know will bring a few emails with messages like, "Thanks for making me waste a good piece of top sirloin - what the hell was that?"

The reason for this is real teriyaki sauce is quite a
bit different than most food court aficionados are used to. Outside of your better Japanese restaurants, what's usually served as teriyaki is a very thick, very sweet, very salty, very one-dimensional sauce.

"Real" teriyaki sauce is fairly thin, and gets its signature taste from a heady combination of soy sauce, Sake, and Mirin, a sweet rice wine condiment. It's an extremely simple sauce, yet the flavors are much more complex that the familiar Americanized version; often made with just soy, brown sugar, and cornstarch.

But just because this recipe is more authentic, and contains classic Japanese ingredients, doesn't necessarily mean you will enjoy it anymore than the thick sweet goo they splash on your meat at Tugboat Tommy's Teriyaki Terrace.

I really hope you give it a try and I'm very anxious to hear what you think. By the way, assuming you do like it, this same sauce can be used on virtually anything with equally delicious results. Enjoy!

Note: this beef teriyaki video recipe was produced for About.com and can't be played on the blog. When you click on the video a new window will open and the recipe will begin.






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25 comments:

Le Bon Vivant said...

Very teri, chef.

Indian Recipe Video's said...

What a gorgeous Recipe! So rich, decadent and delicious!. Real yummy!

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, that looks easy and D-lish!

Scott - Boston said...

Nice trick with the ginger. Nice grip, well executed. Almost too good of a grip actually... hmmm... Just a warning, the Vatican has a clear stance on certain, ahem, issues and you may well be going to hell. How's your eyesight lately?

Anyways, neat trick.

Scott - Boston

Chef John said...

my eyesight's great! I saw that joke coming a mile away.

365daysrecipes said...

I always cook chicken Teriyaki, After watched your recipes I will try to make it soon.

It looks delicious.

Jimmy said...

Thanks, I will have to try this.

My parents run one of those small neighborhood Japanese restaurants in Southern California (if you're ever down there, I would love to make my parents host you for all the meals I've made from your recipes) and the teriyaki sauce that my father makes always cooks overnight. I think he makes almost a stock out of some vegetables and sauces, but it seems so much more complicated.

Of course, I guess there are more than one way to glaze beef, but I'll have to ask him again when I go visit. Hopefully he won't tell me that it's a secret recipe again and actually tell me how he makes it..

Anonymous said...

"You might like these stories:" I like this addition to your page because there are lots of recipes in the right sidebar which are easy to forget about, and this is a good reminder to look back at similar ones to the current post. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'd recommend adding a splash of cola to the marinade. Maybe 2-3oz

Chanelle said...

Chef John, could you do a ketchup recipe?
My grandfather used to make one and it was much tangier than the stuff you can buy in the stores. Keep up the great work!

Asian-Malaysian said...

Would you use this sauce to baste the steaks on a grill like a regular barbeque or is it too thin for that?

Chef John said...

you can, or reduce it down to make it thicker and more concentrated if you want.

Kevin said...

I like to make my teriyaki sauce from scratch using those simple ingredients. I usually simmer the the teriyaki marinade after cooking the steak. It will get nice and thick and then I pour it over the steak.

Anonymous said...

Chef John----We (my husband and I) just finished this recipe done exactly from your site. My husband had an oral orgasm and is still smiling. Thanks for this recipe. We will have this again.
BTW, I served it with fried rice and melon.

Jackie

Chef John said...

That's awesome! But, how did he like the beef?

Anonymous said...

Awesome recipe Chef John. Went down as a hit over here. Wish I could get the presentation as good as yours though! How long do you leave the sauce boiling?

Chef John said...

thanks! just a minute

KarmaCappa said...

I just made this today, and it turned out great. It's easy enough for a novice to make, but much more tasty than a store bought teriyaki sauce.

Michael said...

I made this for my wife, and we loved it so much we made it for guests just 4 days later!! WE LOVE THIS RECIPE!

Kelly said...

Hmm. I don't know if I would say the thicker stuff is not authentic.We have a local teriyaki restaurant in which only the person at the counter speaks (barely intelligible) English, the rest only Japanese. They make their own sauce.

Their sauce, which is my favorite, is thick enough to adhere to the meat. Granted, it is not as candy-sweet as many I have tasted, though it is a bit sweet.

I'm sure Japan has regional differences, just like the USA.

Anonymous said...

Chef,

Thanks for this great beef teriyaki recipe. I served it with stir fried broccoli. The flavor of the sauce doesn't overpower the beef, so it's just perfect. I wish top sirloin is cheaper though.

Stan Orchard said...

Hate to be such a know-nothing, but I just tried this recipe. Love the sauce. But the steak burns quickly. What am I doing wrong?

Chef John said...

not sure. too high heat? too thin a pan?

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef. Is it okay if I use all-purpose flour instead of cornstarch?

Chef John said...

Sorry, but no!