One of my favorite quick go to dinners is Teriyaki Chicken. It's quick, so easy and customizable to your taste. Living in he Seattle area, you can get Teriyaki anywhere. It's almost like the Starbucks of Asian food. Some are good, others are great, everyone has their favorite. What I find is that all are way too salty for me.
Here are some interesting facts about soy sauce:
- Soy sauce is arguably the most used condiment in the world.
- Soy sauce is the product of fermented boiled soy beans.
- Soy sauce was originally a way to stretch salt and fermented with fish. Fish was separated from the process, and created fish sauce as a separate ingredient.
- Soy sauce was first introduced to the Webster culture in the Netherlands, decades before Asian foods were introduced, and the Europeans couldn't reproduce it, as they didn't understand the fermentation process, developed by the Chinese.
- Light soy sauce traditionally has no reference to lower salt, as we know it today. It refers to it being fresh, or the first brewing. And lighter in color. (This is my favorite!!)
- Dark refers to a thicker darker style. This is more common in the US.
- There is a different style for almost every Asian region. From Chinese (where soy originated) to Burmese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Taiwanese, Thai, & Vietnamese. And multiple styles within each region.
And a little bit on Teriyaki:
- The word teriyaki derives from the word "Teri" which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content in the sauce, and yaki, which refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling.
- Traditionally the meat is dipped in or brushed with sauce several times during cooking. This popular dish was originally created by Japanese cooks of the seventeenth century, when urbanization, changes in agricultural methods and exposure to new ingredients from abroad gave rise to new, innovative cooking styles.
So here is my version of:
Teriyaki Chicken, with Broccoli
1/2 c Soy sauce (use low sodium, you won't miss the salt!)
1/2 c Rice wine vinegar
2 T Garlic, diced (or use the prediced kind you can buy)
1/2 t Red pepper flakes, adjust according to your taste)
1/4 c Brown sugar
2-3 T Oil
2 boneless Chicken breasts, roughly chopped (boneless thighs would be great in this too)
1 Onion, chopped
12 oz fresh Mushrooms, sliced
1 head fresh Broccoli, chopped into florets
6-8 oz fresh Snow peas
1 can Water chestnuts, sliced, and drained
Prepare pan by heating oil. Carefully add chicken and onions. Once the chicken is cooked and onions are translucent, add Mushrooms and Broccoli. Cook 3-4 minutes, constantly stirring. Add in sauce mixture and stir. Before serving, add water chestnuts and snow peas. Serve over rice.