Teriyaki is a Japanese style of cooking in which food is broiled or grilled in a glaze like sauce.
Teriyaki chicken and beef became popular in Pakistan a long time before other Japanese food could find a niche in the local food market, that’s why store bought teriyaki sauces are easily available in many places.
But if you are trying to make the sauce from the scratch and that too an alcohol and preservatives free version then you need to find some substitutes and make changes that won’t alter the taste too much.
Teriyaki is sweet and salty but also it creates a glazed effect when cooked. To achieve all this I increased the quantity of soya sauce in the recipe for the salty part, added some pineapple juice and balsamic vinegar to achieve balance between sweet and sour, and finally added a little brown sugar to create a thick glaze like sauce when cooked.
The result was quite good! We make this Tiryaki recipe for a quick fix comfort food on weeknights or for weekend lunch. My husband and I enjoy it as is, the kids with noodles on the side.
You can replace the vegetables I added with peas, cabbage, baby corn and broccoli as well. Do not over cook or the meat will get dry and tough, and vegetables mushy.
For Teriyaki sauce:
¼ cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup grape or pineapple juice
3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
For Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetables:
1/2 kg chicken breast cut into thin strips or bite sized cubes
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 daikon/white raddish/mooli, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups french beans
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
This Is What You Do:
For the sauce:
Place the soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, honey and sesame oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and boil for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Set sauce aside.
For Chicken & Vegetables:
Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and daikon. Add 2 tablespoons water and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add green beans and zucchini, cook another 5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to caramelise and soften.
Vegetables should be crisp & tender. Remove them from the pan and set aside; cover to keep warm.
Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan over high heat.
Add chicken strips or cubes to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Add vegetables back to the pan. Pour the sauce over the top and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until the sauce coats the chicken and vegetables lightly.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with rice or noodles or enjoy simply as a warm salad meal.