Saturday, November 07, 2009
This is always a hassle-free dinner and it doesn't take much time. It shouldn't end up like those teriyakis you get in Vietnamese restaurants (there are only a handful of Japanese-run Japanese restaurants in Montreal), with cloyingly sweet-sauced, rubbery steak concealed by too many inexpensive vegetables.
Contrary to popular belief, no one eats steak teriyaki as we know it in Japan. It's entirely a Western invention, like chow mein. The closest thing might be teppanyaki (think Benihana) but even in Japan that's considered Western food. And they don't throw knives in the air or behind their back. One interesting thing they do do is to put live jumbo shrimp on the griddle. Now that's something to watch. And the heads are a delicacy.
But there is no such thing as "teriyaki sauce." They usually serve the steak teppanyaki with a thin dipping sauce on the side. It's always eaten with plain white Japanese rice.
Since I don't have a griddle, but rather a grill pan, I had to do some things differently here. Authenticity was not my target. But these things are nice to have around, if not authentic (I like 'em, so that's what's in it!):
Authentic Japanese soy sauce (preferably usukuchi)
And that's about it. I make my rice with jasmine and coconut milk, just because I want to.
So here we go:
A couple of nice steaks, about 3/4 of an inch thick. If you have the bucks, spring for filet mignon. If not, a ribeye will do. Don't get cheap steak.
20-30 mushrooms, preferably shiitake, but any will do, sliced
3 bunches scallions (green onions), sliced (use mostly the lower parts)
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias
1/2 head broccoli
10 cloves garlic, 6 of which peeled and sliced very thinly, the others chopped finely.
2 tablespoons ginger, frozen and grated with a microplane grater
2 handfuls beansprouts, washed thoroughly and drained
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup saké
1/2 cup Mirin
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in a little water
2 cups jasmine rice
1 2/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
Sesame or mustard oil
Season the steaks with oil, salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap and set aside, unrefrigerated.
Combine soy sauce, mirin, saké and chicken broth in a bowl.
In a sauté pan, sauté the mushrooms in oil on medium heat until they have given off all their moisture and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
In more oil, sauté garlic chips until they begin to brown and are slightly crisp. Set aside.
In same oil, sauté carrots with diced garlic for about five minutes; they must still be firm. Set aside.
In a little more oil, sauté broccoli florets for about 7-10 minutes on medium. Set aside with carrots.
Pour sauce in sauté pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add mushrooms and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until slightly thickened. Set aside.
I use a rice steamer. Rinse rice thoroughly and drain. Combine rice, broth and coconut milk in steamer and set to cook. If you don't have a rice steamer bring broth and coconut milk to a boil in medium pot, add rice, stir thoroughly to combine, reduce to minimum heat and cover tightly. After 18 minutes, turn heat off and let rice rest, covered, for ten minutes.
Oil grill pan lightly and place on medium heat for about five minutes. Add steaks, cooking for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Only flip once.
Set aside on warmed plate and tent with foil. Let rest for about ten minutes. Transfer to cutting board and slice against the grain as finely as you can. Pour any juices into mushroom sauce.
Put finished rice into a small bowl and invert onto plate. Transfer steak to plate, garnishing with garlic chips, briefly microwave carrots and broccoli until hot, place on plate, pour on mushroom sauce, then garnish with beansprouts and green onions. Serve.