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Saturday, August 6, 2016


I've done a blog on teriyaki marinades. However, living in Hawaii, the Japanese influence is very strong, and teri marinades are something every family has. Why would I write about teri again? It's the love of it I guess.

The most basic ingredients are, soy sauce (shoyu), sugar, garlic, ginger, water, green onions. Very basic. In fact, people are spicing up their teri marinades by adding Sriracha, Tabasco, to name a few. Or mincing some ghost peppers for more heat. I like the basics, just that sweet soy sauce flavor.

A plate of teriyaki beef.

No matter what it is you are marinating, it could be thin slices of beef, chicken, pork, or seafood. Your marinade needs to be strong. Too many times I've seen amateurs mix their marinades, stick their finger into the mixing bowl, and go "Too strong, needs to be watered down." Well, you don't want it too sweet, or salty on the flip side of that too, but you need to have your marinade strong. The reason why is most meats, or proteins have water content. And when your proteins are mixing, the water content in the proteins will weaken the marinade.

Tips: If your proteins are thin cuts, then the marinating times will be less than for thicker slices or cuts. If you are marinating chicken breast whole,  it is a good idea to flatten out the pieces by pounding it with a meat tenderizer. I find marinating the proteins for too long is not suitable for my taste, because I want the flavor of the proteins, not just the marinade. Over soaking is not great in my book. Over soaking is a big fat Nay!

For chicken thighs, without the bone, with skin on or off, I can soak it for at least 3-4 hours and it's good to go. Simply reserving the marinade to brush over the cooked protein. I'll touch on this matter later in this blog, there's some important things you need to know. I did blog this before, but I'll repeat myself. 

For the soy sauce, I love Aloha Shoyu made in Hawaii. It's not strong, it's got a great flavor, and if this were wine, it would be smooth on the tongue, and the nose. Not harsh at all.

For the sweet, it's got to be brown sugar, it makes the marinade more than sweet, it's got a unique flavor. I don't use honey, or mirin mostly brown sugar.
Garlic and Ginger is a must for flavor and aroma.
Green onions makes the marinade really delicious
This is all you will ever need to make a nice teriyaki marinade. To thicken the marinade, use some water and cornstarch to thicken.

Question: Do I cook the ingredients or do I just mix it?
Answer: It depends, all up to you. However by simmering the marinade over low heat, it brings out all the flavors much better than by stirring it without cooking it.

So let's cook it then.

DIRECTIONS- Makes 24 fl oz.


3 cups of shoyu (soy sauce)
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar (less if it's too sweet)
1 inch smashed ginger
4 cloves smashed garlic
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. Heat up all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat
2. Stir ingredients, once it starts to steam, off the heat, and stir well. Let cool.

Note: Once cooled down, you can marinade your proteins. 

Soak your proteins for at least 2-3 hours before pan frying, or grilling.

Reserve your marinade to drizzle over cooked proteins. Return to heat, bring to a boil, to thicken add a combination of cornstarch and water, and add to the marinade, stir until thickened. Pour over cooked proteins.

For my foodie fans, sorry I wrote about an old topic, however, it is summer time, and grilling teriyaki is huge. Share your recipe. Check me out on Facebook, Chef Sambrano and share.

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