It felt a bit odd adding ‘Easy’ to this post’s title as it alludes that teriyaki chicken is somehow complicated to cook. You’d be forgiven for assuming that something which tastes so good must require some secret ingredient or deft kitchen skills but that isn’t the case at all. I guess the aim of this blog post therefore is to show how easily you can feed your clan something enjoyable and nutritious for relatively little money. At the same time you’ll have the title of ‘Fancy Schmancy Cook’ bequeathed upon you for producing such a multicultural triumph.
Teriyaki literally means to fry/grill with a sheen; the sheen being what the lovely chunks of chicken (or other protein) get when cooked with the sweetened marinade (ta’re). The marinade is a simple mix of soy sauce, mirin (Japanese rice wine, but different again to cooking sake) and sugar. You can add a touch of garlic, ginger or chili (notably Japanese shichimi) as an added flavour if desired. The teriyaki marinade can be used as a true marinade for meat prior to cooking (it’s possible to oven bake the teriyaki chicken once marinated) but I prefer the stove top method in which the marinade is added later.
I’m including the basic recipe in this post but I recently found that Beerenberg Farm’s Caramelised Onion adds a nice flavour boost to the teriyaki marinade. I’m always nervous about adding foreign ingredients to a Japanese dish but heck, we’re a nation with the propensity of fusing foods so I gave it a go. I’m happy to report that adding the caramelised onion was marvelous; it lent a very defined onion flavour to the dish without overpowering the base marinade. The additional seasoning used in Beerenberg Farm’s caramelised onion worked surprisingly well too. A successful experiment!
450g chicken thigh, cut into large bite-sized pieces (see note)
1/4 plain flour
1/2 cup of green beans, cut into 3cm lengths
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar OR 1 1/2 tbsp of Beerenberg Farm Caramelised Onion
steamed rice as required
To make: Coat chicken pieces with flour well and set aside. Prepare marinade by mixing soy sauce, mirin and sugar (or caramelised onion) in a small bowl and combine well. Heat a large fry pan to medium/high with 2 tbsp of canola oil (just don’t use olive or peanut). Fry chicken pieces until slightly golden on bottom (about two minutes) then turn pieces over to fry on other side and add green beans. Once the other side is slightly golden (a minute), reduce the heat to medium/low and pour marinade over the chicken. Allow to simmer gently for a minute without letting the marinade burn (as long as your pan is not too hot, this shouldn’t happen). Toss chicken and beans around marinade until chicken is cooked through (around three minutes). Serve with steamed rice.
Note: Chicken tenderloins (Mt Barker Free Range Chicken in WA is fantastic) are also perfect for this dish but I find chicken breast a little dry. If you are health conscious, perhaps try a nice firm fish fillet instead with the same marinade. Beef fillet may also be used as well as firm tofu for our vegan and vegetarian folk.