Raise your hand if your definition of teriyaki sauce involves some sort of dark brown liquid in a glass bottle that’s been chilling in your fridge for over a year.
Oh, just me?
Gee…this is embarrassing.
It had never dawned on me that one could actually make teriyaki sauce at home. The stuff always seemed so mysterious to me. In fact, if someone would have asked me what’s in teriyaki sauce I probably would’ve fumbled around and said something brilliant like, “errr, umm,…brown things?”
Turns out, that’s kind of correct. Teriyaki sauce is made from several brown things–soy sauce, brown sugar, and mirin to be exact. Mirin is a Japanese sweetened rice wine you can find in the Asian section of your grocery store. To the brown things, you simply add a mixture of garlic and ginger and some cornstarch for thickening, and hey, whaddyaknow, you’ve got yourself some homemade teriyaki sauce!
Now, you may be wondering, why would I go buy more jars of stuff so I can make teriyaki sauce, when I could just buy a bottle of ready made teriyaki sauce?
That’s a great question. The answer is simply this. The homemade stuff tastes a whole lot better.
It’s thick. It’s glossy. It’s garlicky and gingery and sweet and salty. It creates a perfect sticky sweet glaze on grilled meats. You’ll have a hard time not just slurping it straight from the spoon.
These skewers, like the Chinese Five Spice Chicken Skewers and the Buffalo Pizza on a Stick, were inspired by the brilliant Matt Armendariz, author of the aptly titled cookbook, On a Stick!: 80 Party-Perfect Recipes.
They’re a perfectly wonderful appetizer or main course served with rice and some grilled veggies on the side. Matt made his beef skewers papery thin, but I prefer a little more chew to the steak. However, the skewers you see pictured are a tad too thick. Since sirloin can be a bit tough, I think I’ll make them a little thinner next time. I’ve reflected this in the recipe below. And if you prefer, you can cut them ultra thin…after all, having a higher teriyaki to beef ratio could never be a bad thing.
We served these over rice which we proceeded to drizzle with an embarrassing amount of extra teriyaki sauce.
That’s just how we roll.
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon mirin (found in the Asian food section)
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch plus ½ cup cold water
- 1 lb sirloin steak, cut into ¼ inch thick, 5-7 inch long strips
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Brush the grates with oil.
- To make the teriyaki glaze, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, mirin, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch in cold water then whisk mixture into soy sauce mixture. Continue to simmer another 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Toss beef strips with sesame oil in a large bowl then thread onto skewers. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place skewers on the prepared grill. Cover and grill 5 minutes on each side. Brush generously with teriyaki sauce then grill another 4 minutes or until glaze is somewhat "set."
- Serve skewers with rice and extra teriyaki sauce.
Recipe adapted from