Monday, 17 November 2008
I was always under the impression that Yakatori (Yakitori)Chicken was a misnomer. Either the Yaka (i) or the Tori bit meaning "chicken", and the other bit "sauce". So Yakatori chicken would be like saying "Hamburger burger".
I always thought tori meant gateway, so what would I know. A quick Google search doesn't throw much light on the subject, either.
So I've refrained from calling this marinade Yakatori, and usually refer to it as my Japanese sake marinade, but it is, as you will see, the classic Yakatori. It works equally well with chicken, pork or beef, and with Summer almost here, it is an easy and classic staple to have, for those up-and-coming Summer barbies. Here's my take on it.
Get some serious steaks. Spend some money. These New York Cut Sirloins were from Kerrie Road Butcher, 6 Kerrie Rd, Glen Waverley, VIC 3150, (03) 9802 0857, my oft-touted local butcher, who sources his beasts from Cardinia. They were $26 for 2, but well worth the price.
You want a good fat marbling for this dish, and you want the steaks thick. The end result should be thick strips of beef, Malliard-ed to within an inch of their lives, and yet red and moist in the centre.
You're not going to get that with a minute steak, so suck it up, sell something on eBay, and buy the best steaks you can afford.
My original idea was to serve these on a sizzle platter (I know, how very 70's fondue of me!) with mirin rice and some spring onion curls, but the best laid plans and all of that. Furry decided to invite another couple down to Chez Fur for dinner. So I had to make my 2 steaks eek out for 4 people.
Voila, enter, pg's Yakatori steak salad!!
1/2 cup Japanese soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
3 tablespoons raw sugar
3/4 inch knob of ginger, cut into 3 bits
3 cloves organic garlic, smashed.
(Note: Furry nearly went mental at the per kg price of organic garlic... $42.95 per kg. One luscious little head, however, only came to $2.00!)
Combine all ingredients int a small, heavy-based saucepan and boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved, Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat, fish out the ginger and garlic bits and allow to cool.
**Cheats note: if you want to use a thickening agent on your sauce, use arrowroot, not cornflour.
Once cooled, pour 3/4's of the marinade over your steak/chicken/pork and leave for at least 1 hour. You can set aside some marinade as a dipping sauce, for later, if you wish.
I marinated the steaks overnight BTW.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a roiling boil and chuck in one packet of rice noodles. This was just what I happened to have at hand. You could just as easily use hokkien, glass, cellophane or mung bean noodles. Cook according to instructions. Drain well and refresh under cold running water. return to the pan, and add the reserved marinade, some chopped spring onions and some sesame seeds.
Heat a fry pan until blazing and fry or BBQ the steaks for 4 mins per side, turning only once. Set aside and allow to rest for 10 mins before slicing into strips.
While the steak rests, make up a salad of whatever the hell you have in the fridge.
To plate, add a handful of noodles, tip with a handful of mixed lettuce, some halved baby tomatoes, some julienned cukes and artfully arrange the warm beef strips over the top. Sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds and scoff.
Apart from the marinading, you can have this dish all ready to go in about 15 mins!!