My family discovered the wonder that is teriyaki sauce on a self catering holiday in Florida, back when I was in my early teens. We were all instantly hooked, and very quickly nicknamed it, as tight knit little clans do. Or maybe they don't, and we're all just a bit weird. It's nice that we have each other, in that case. Anyway, Pterodactyl Sauce was born, and Pterodactyl Sauce it will always be, and every summer we will barbecue up some Pterodactyl goodness. Maybe you have to know us.
From the legend of Pterodactyl, and now cooking for my own family, these tasty skewers were created. I make my own teriyaki sauce, because it's better than bottled. This is sweeter than regular teriyaki, to get the requisite stickyness and thick glossy gorgeousness. Super versatile, they make a delicious midweek family tea, but also barbecue beautifully, and made in large quantities are perfect for gatherings. The rice dish that I serve alongside can be served hot, or as a cold salad at a barbecue or party.
Sweet Teriyaki Pork Skewers - makes 6-8 skewers
You will need about 8 skewers - I prefer flat metal ones, but you can use wooden, just be sure to soak them thoroughly, especially if you're barbecuing.
1 large mugful of pineapple juice
750g pork, ready cut stir fry strips or tenderloin cut into thin strips
1/2 cupful mirin (sweet rice wine - from Asian section of a large supermarket)
1/2 cupful dark soy sauce (you can use reduced salt version if cooking for little snarflings)
1/2 cupful loosely packed soft brown sugar
1 tbsp oil - groundnut or vegetable, NOT olive.
Cut up your pork, if you need to, or tip your packs of ready cut pork into a bowl. Pour over the pineapple juice, cover with cling film, and pop in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours.
When ready to cook, put the mirin and soy sauce in a pan over a medium heat. When it's warm, tip in the sugar and oil. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat right down and let it simmer, stirring frequently, for about ten minutes. Turn the oven on to preheat, approximately 190oC/170o fan.
Meanwhile, take your skewers and thread your pork strips onto them. Curl the strips into C or S shapes depending on length, doubling the strip over on itself to make a neat kebab. You'll see what I mean from the pictures below. Lay them onto a baking tray, if you have any scrappy bits that won't thread, just spread them on the tray. Take your teriyaki sauce, which by now should be thicker and beautifully shiny, and brush/dab liberally all over the pork skewers, both sides. Dab some on your scrappy bits too. Those are your chef''s treat. Keep a little sauce back.
Pop into your preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until they look cooked and are sizzly. Take them out, baste with the reserved sauce, and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Or, of course, cook on a barbecue, basting regularly until cooked through.
Prawn fried rice
1.5 cups dry rice of your choosing - I like Basmati or you could try a sticky rice like Thai Jasmine
1 sweet red pointed pepper or regular red bell pepper
1 medium free range egg, well beaten
150g small ready cooked prawns, drained if in brine or defrosted if frozen
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
Pop your rice on to boil and cook it as per the pack instructions.
Meanwhile, cut your pepper and courgette into very small dice. Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a wok or large frying pan, and add the pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the courgette. Cook together for a few minutes more until al dente. Take your beaten egg and slowly pour into the pan in a thin ribbon, stirring with the other hand all the while, then give a really good stir before throwing in your prawns. Cook together for 1minute then push the mixture out to the sides and pour the remaining tbsp of oil into the resulting well. Drain your cooked rice, add your rice to the pan and stir well. Mix your mirin with the sugar and tip over the rice, stirring well to coat, then turn off the heat and serve immediately.
A note about rice - it's really not a great idea to leave warm rice sitting around growing gakky bacteria at a rapid rate. SO, either make sure you time your rice to be ready to drain and add immediately to the dish OR cool it immediately by running under cold water and putting in the fridge until ready to use, then giving it a few extra minutes in the pan to reheat until PIPING HOT. If you go with the second option, any leftover rice CANNOT be reheated, but you may chill it quickly and serve it cold. If your plan is to serve it cold, I'd suggest cooking and immediately chilling the rice, storing in the fridge, then cooling and refrigerating the vegetable, egg and prawn mix then combining the two and adding the mirin dressing once fully cold.
That's quite enough CAPITAL EMPHASIS FOR FOOD HYGIENE. SHOW ME THE DINNER!
The raw coated skewers, showing how they're threaded.
And the finished yummers.