Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chicken Teriyaki (10/21)

I saw this delicious-looking recipe on Soy and Pepper and decided to make it that night for dinner the next day. With so few ingredients, I knew I couldn't eff up that badly.

I love how confident I am in myself sometimes, despite how wrong I can be.

Honestly, I didn't really ruin the dish. It was just lacking that oomph, that extra something that makes chicken teriyaki such a distinct and delectable dish: sticky-sweet, tender chicken meat good enough to be served over plain rice. Which reminds me, I've got a big ol' rice cooker sitting in my Honda Civic right now. Any more stereotypes you want to throw my way? I'm ready.

Anyway, I realized later that I had, in my ignorance, decided to substitute the mirin with michiu. Mirin is a Japanese rice wine with a sugar content that can go up to 50%, meaning it is sweet. Michiu is a Chinese rice wine that is not sweet. Try not to swap the two when the dish's signature taste is, well, sweet.

Chicken Teriyaki
from Soy and Pepper
serves 2

4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (I buy kosher because it eases my carnivorous guilt)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sake
3 tsp sugar
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1. Prepare the chicken by rinsing and patting thoroughly dry. Place in a bowl and add soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar. Mix well and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the bowl and pan fry for about 2 minutes on each side until the chicken is nicely browned.
3. Add 5 tbsp water to the reserve marinade (whatever's left in the bowl) and pour over the chicken. Cover and simmer on low heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
4. Uncover, increase the heat and reduce the sauce to a glaze to coat the chicken, being careful not to burn the sauce. Remove chicken and slice. Pour remaining teriyaki sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve over warm rice alongside grilled vegetables. Eat slowly, puzzled, you figure out the mirin mystery.

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