Teriyaki, when loosely translated, refers to both the shiny and grilled nature of the dish. The teriyaki method of cooking originated in Japan hundreds of years ago, though, today, variations of the sauce and technique vary throughout the world. Still, most recipes follow the fundamentals: grilled or broiled meat tossed in a sauce reduction of soy sauce, mirin and honey or sugar.
Below is a recipe for homemade teriyaki. While traditional teriyaki methods call for sauce reduction, I prefer the “corn starch slurry” method in this case. A corn starch slurry is very simply and great way to thicken many sauces, soups and stews, so don’t hesitate to apply this technique elsewhere. Simply mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn starch (the more starch, the thicker the result) with a few drops of water so when you run your fingers through the mix, it turns to liquid. Add that mix to the hot batch of liquids on stove, mix thoroughly. Your sauce should thicken almost immediately.
Pheasant is a bird with roots in the East and always makes for a great protein choice in any Asian cuisine. The most time-consuming aspect of the recipe is the prep work. Once it is time to cook, everything happens very fast with stir-fry. In the end, you are left with a dish of crisp, seared vegetables and juicy pheasant strips soaked in a sweet glaze and served over steaming rice.
Makes two servings.
2 pheasant breasts, butterflied and sliced
1 medium yellow onion, julienne
1 cup fresh carrots, finely diced
2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into florets
8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 Mirin rice wine
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Sambal chili (optional for spice)
1/2 teaspoon pure sesame oil
1 to 2 teaspoons corn starch slurry
1-1/2 cups Jasmine rice
2 cups cold water
Garnished with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds (optional).
Peel two cloves of fresh garlic and use a small spoon to skin 1 tablespoon worth of fresh ginger. Lightly chop and add to food processor along with soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, rice vinegar and honey. Blend thoroughly. Add contents to medium pot and set to simmer. Add brown sugar and chili paste. Right before serving, add corn starch slurry for desired consistency.
In a medium pot, add 1-1/2 cups of Jasmine rice and 2 cups of cold water and cover with lid. Bring to a boil then turn to very low until all water is absorbed then turn off heat and leave covered until ready to serve.
While sauce simmers and rice cooks, cut fresh broccoli into florets, dice carrots and slice onion. Wash mushrooms and set aside with cut vegetables. Make certain pheasant breasts are thawed completely. Butterfly each breast then slice diagonally into 2-inch long, half-inch wide strips. Set aside.
In a large skillet or wok, heat a thin layer of canola oil on medium high until oil reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add onions and turn heat to high. Once onions are seared, after less than a minute, add broccoli and carrots. Lightly salt and pepper and stir thoroughly for 20 seconds. Finally, add pheasant strips and mushrooms. Lightly salt and pepper once more. Stir thoroughly until pheasant is fully cooked then add desired amount of teriyaki sauce.
Serve over bed of Jasmine rice and garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.