“Teriyaki” hails from Japan and is just a general term that applies to pretty much any type of sweetened soy sauce mixture. The sweetener can be anything from honey, to pineapple juice, to plain old sugar (which is what this recipe uses). Feel free to experiment and find what you like.
While teriyaki is extremely popular in the US, I’m not sure how “authentic” it is to asian cuisine. Nevertheless, it shows up on menus nationwide for us to enjoy at asian and non-asian restaurants alike (even ‘Jack in the Box’ has a teriyaki bowl). Once you see how simple it is to make, you’ll understand why.
I made Momofuku’s ginger-scallion noodles with quick-pickled cucumbers to accompany our chicken tonight, which I was fortunate enough to experience in person on my NYC trip last year at Momofuku Noodle Bar. I received the cookbook from mom this past Christmas and had yet to actually make anything from it.
Despite sounding fancy, the sauce comes together rather quickly, and ends up looking like a pile of wet scallions. The noodles are very ginger-y, so if you’re not big on ginger, you may want to scale it back a bit. You could also use Megkat’s noodle recipe (at the end of this post), which is super tasty as well.
Teriyaki Chicken – Adapted from Megkat
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1/3 C soy sauce
- 1/3 C sugar (I’m sure you could substitute honey, agave nectar, or pineapple juice to taste)
- ¼ C cider vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp powdered ginger (There was plenty of ginger in the noodles, so I left it out of the sauce this time)
- ¼ tsp ground pepper (couple grinds)
- ¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425F and line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil (this will make clean up much easier). Place chicken strips in pan.
- Mix water and cornstarch into slurry and add to saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, whisking to avoid burning.
- Once sauce is thick and syrup-y, pour over chicken and toss to coat. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, stirring about halfway through.
*Alternatively, I think it might taste even better if you saute the chicken in a pan and pour the thickened sauce over it, toss and serve, since baking the chicken results in a different texture than sauteeing does. Just be sure not to over-crowd the pan, saute in batches if you have to.
Ginger-Scallion Noodles –From Momofuku Cookbook
- 6 oz cooked noodles (ramen, yakisoba, or in a pinch- thin spaghetti)
- 6 Tbs ginger scallion sauce (recipe follows)
Ginger Scallion Sauce –Makes about 3 cups
- 2 1/2 C thinly sliced scallions, greens and whites (1 to 2 bunches)
- 1/2 C finely minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 C grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 1/2 tsp usukuchi (light soy sauce)
- 3/4 tsp sherry vinegar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
Mix together. Good from the time its made for 2 days. (It will look like a bowl of wet scallions)
- 1 large seedless (“English”) cucumber
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp salt
Slice cucumber thinly (I used my mandolin), toss with sugar/salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Serve with ginger-scallion noodles
Garlic Noodles – Adapted from Megkat
1 lb cooked noodles
4 TBS butter
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 C green onions, chopped (more for garnish, if desired)
2 1/2 tsp fish sauce (her’s calls for Tbsp, but that seems a bit much)
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar
1. Melt 2 Tbs butter in large skillet. In small bowl, mix fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar.
2. Add garlic and green onions, saute until fragrant. Add soy sauce mixture to pan, along with 2 more Tbs butter, melt while stirring. Once sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, toss with pasta & serve.