A nice batch of our homemade teriyaki sauce is always great to have in the fridge, ready to be deployed for a quick weeknight meal. I like to use it to make the classic salmon teriyaki, in which the sweetness of the sauce cuts through the richness of the fish and the sugars caramelize into a delicious glaze. Spiked with chilies, the sauce also makes a terrific marinade for steak.
In this preparation, I use a little corn starch to thicken the teriyaki sauce into a fantastic stir-fry sauce. Tofu has the great quality of soaking up any flavors you give it, and it lets the garlicky, gingery, and sweet-and-sour qualities of this sauce shine. Note that most store-bought teriyaki sauces are already too thick for this recipe and, if you choose to use them, you may have to thin them down a bit with water.
- Drain the tofu, cut it into cubes and pat it dry with paper towels. In a bowl or sealed plastic bag, marinate the tofu in the teriyaki sauce for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep everything else. Slice the mushrooms into thick slices. Slice the scallions or chives. Measure out the corn starch and place it in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of cold water to the corn starch and stir to dissolve. Have everything ready and on-hand, including a serving bowl, before turning on the flame.
- When you are ready, heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When it is hot, add the sesame oil and swirl the wok or pan to coat it evenly. Add the mushrooms and cook for a minute, stirring, to give them a good sear.
- Remove the tofu from the marinade with a slotted spoon or strainer so any excess liquid falls away and add it to the pan. Reserve the marinade for later. Cook the tofu on high heat until the liquid evaporates and the tofu gets a nice caramelized sear. This should take a few minutes.
- When the tofu is nicely seared, add the scallions, reserving a handful for garnish, and cook for about 30 seconds. Finally, add the teriyaki sauce to the pan. Give the corn starch mixture a stir and pour it in, stirring to combine. The sauce will soon bubble and start to thicken. When it has reached your desired consistency, remove it to a bowl and garnish with the remaining scallions or chives. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.
For information on where to find fresh Asian noodles and other great ingredients in New York, check out our Chinatown Shopping Tour.