In Japanese, “teri” means shiny and “yaki” means to grill or broil. The shine comes from brushing tare, classic Japanese sweet soy sauce, while cooking.
Teriyaki is the instant version of tare – which is often boiled and re-boiled, fed and improved over time, like a starter for sourdough bread, although it is not fermented. It is salty with soy sauce and sweet with sugar or mirin, with the depth of the sake (it doesn’t need garlic, ginger, scallions, or anything else), and it works as a toasting sauce for just about anything. A last pinch of togarashi or chili powder adds heat, and a drizzle of lemon juice brightens with acidity.
While you can simmer the sauce on the stovetop anytime and store it in the fridge, you can make the next dish even faster by cooking the sauce in a saucepan directly on the grill next to the fish or whatever. you grill. (Just make sure your pan is tough enough to withstand the heat.) When the sauce sits on the grill, it absorbs some of the smoke from the salmon, and paired with broccoli, its leaves are charred until ‘they are crispy. a quick and undeniably satisfying weekday dinner.
Grilled salmon teriyaki
30 minutes. For 4.
- ½ cup of sake
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup of mirin (or 2 tablespoons of honey mixed with 2 tablespoons of water)
- 4 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch of broccoli root, trimmed
- Kosher salt
- Shichimi togarashi or other ground red peppers, sesame seeds and lemon wedges, for serving
1 Install a charcoal grill for direct heat on three-quarters of the grill or heat three-quarters of the burners of a gas grill on medium-high. Keep the remaining quarter of the grill unheated. (You can also heat a large skillet or grill pan on a stovetop over medium-high heat.)
2 Place the sake, soy sauce and mirin in a small, heavy-duty saucepan. Place the pot on the hot part of the grill and bring the mixture to a boil. Wearing an oven mitt, move the pan to the part of the grill that will keep the mixture at a constant boil, either on the unheated part of the grill or between the heated and unheated parts. If you are working on a stovetop, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a boil. In both settings, simmer until syrupy, about 10 minutes.
3 While the sauce is simmering, brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place it flesh side down on the hot part of the grill. Toss the broccoli rabe with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and arrange on the hot grill rack in a single layer. Cook everything together, turning the broccoli root once, until the salmon comes off the grill easily and the broccoli root is charred and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli rabe to serving plates and gently flip the salmon. Brush some teriyaki sauce over the salmon and continue to grill, brushing again with the sauce, until the fish is almost cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more. A thin-bladed knife or metal cake tester should slide through the thickest part of the fish with little resistance.
4 Transfer the salmon to the plates with the broccoli rabe. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce, sprinkle with togarashi and sesame seeds and serve with lemon wedges.
Get Ahead: Teriyaki sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
To note: Mirin is a golden rice liqueur, naturally sweetened by its traditional fermentation process. Many versions are now loaded with corn syrup, so look for the mirin labeled hon-mirin (“real”) mirin or honkaku (“genuine”) mirin. If you can’t find one, replace it with the honey mixture indicated in the recipe.
Shichimi togarashi: Togarashi means chili in Japanese and refers to any variety, including mixtures. Shichimi togarashi is a dried blend of seven seasonings, usually red chili, orange zest, black and white sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger, and seaweed.