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~Japanese-Style Oven-Broiled Teriyaki-Style Cod Fish~

IMG_4896Eat more fish.  I've heard it too many times to count, and, I've preached it too many times to count.  Joe and I love fish, especially white fish, so, for me, keeping it in our weekly meal rotation is easy.  That said, serving it to people who've determined they dislike fish, or worse, trying to entice children to try fish, can be a tricky, fishy business.  On such occasions, teriyaki fish fillets or fish skewers, served with a veggie stir-fry and some rice, is my go-to "just try it" fish dinner.

As a lover of Asian fare, teriyaki-in-general is one of my favorite ways to cook.  Teriyaki is as well known outside of Japan as sushi or ramen is, so, most American people, kids included, will give "teriyaki anything" a try.  A bottle of teriyaki sauce has been a staple condiment in my pantry for as long as I've had a pantry, standing right next to the elites:  Heinz ketchup, French's mustard, Hellman's mayonnaise and Lee & Perrin's worcestershire sauce.  That said, teriyaki sauce is seriously simple to make, and, it can be customized to suit your family's taste.  I typically prepare a double- or triple-sized batch, then keep what I don’t use in the refrigerator, so it's ready to reheat the next time a "teriyaki anything" craving hits me or mine -- as often as once a week.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c94a9feb970bTeriyaki (tehr-uh-yah-kee):  Teriyaki is a Japanese term referring to a method of cooking beef, chicken, fish or seafood marinated (in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, garlic and/or ginger) prior to being grilled, broiled or stir-fried. "Teri" is the Japanese word for "luster", and it is the sugar in the marinade that gives the food its "teri" or shiny glaze.  It's interesting to note that in Japan, there is no official teriyaki sauce.  Teriyaki sauce was invented by the early Japanese settlers to the islands of Hawaii.  They created:

A slightly-sweet nicely-thickened marinade/basting sauce using local, readily-available, easy-to-acquire Hawaiian products.  For example: pineapple juice (in place of the mirin or sake of their homeland) and wild garlic (in conjuction with ginger they brought with them), mixed with soy sauce and thickened with cornstarch.  The subject at hand (beef, chicken, fish or seafood) is marinated for a minimum of 30 minutes, longer for a more pronounced flavor, then cooled.

IMG_4883Because teriyaki sauce is sweet, a portion of the marinade is typically reserved to use as a dipping sauce served w/the dish.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2d4eeed970cFor the teriyaki sauce:

1/2  cup tamari soy sauce or soy sauce

1/2  cup mirin (a cooking wine made from rice) or sake (sometimes thought of as beer because it's made from grain, but classified as a wine)

1/4 cup white or brown sugar or honey

1  tablespoon each: garlic and ginger garlic paste

4  teaspoons cornstarch or potato starch

4  teaspoons cold water

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c94aa195970bStep 1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch until smooth.

Step 2.  In a 1-quart saucepan, stir together the tamari or soy sauce, mirin or sake, and, white or brown sugar or honey.  Add the garlic and ginger. Bring to a steady simmer over medium heat and cook about 1 minute.  Whisk cornstarch mixture into the sauce and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is drizzly but slightly-thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and use as directed in recipe.

To use as a marinade:  Cool teriyaki sauce to room temperature, or chill, prior to using as a marinade.  Keep any unused marinade, the stuff not used as a marinade for raw protein, stored in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Any marinade used as a marinade must be reheated and simmered for 3-5 minutes prior to refrigerating and reusing.

IMG_4871For the cod fish skewers:

1 1/2  cups teriyaki sauce, from above recipe, to be used to marinating fish, and, to be reheated after marinating the fish, to use as dipping sauce

1-1 1/4- pound cod fish fillet, cut into 1" cubes

8  8"-long wooden skewers

lightly-toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

IMG_4854~Step 1.  Place the cod fish fillet, flat, on a a sheet of plastic wrap.  As best you can, fashion it into a rectangle (tucking the thin ends underneath on either side), then wrap it tightly, so it holds that rectangular shape. Place the fish fillet, flat, in the freezer for 1 1/2-2 hours, just long enough to firm it up or semi-freeze it, which will make it seriously easier to cube.

IMG_4857 IMG_4857 IMG_4857 IMG_4857~Step 2. Remove the cod from the freezer, unwrap it, and, using a large chef's knife, cut it into 1" cubes, placing the cubes, in a single layer, in an 8" x 8" x 2" baking dish as you work.  Add the teriyaki sauce.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 1-2 hours (2 is better).  

IMG_4867 IMG_4867 IMG_4872 IMG_4872 IMG_4872 IMG_4872~Step 3.  Line a 17 1/2" x 2" baking pan with aluminum foil then place a piece of parchment atop the foil.  One-at-a-time, thread 4-5 cubes of fish through their centers onto each of 8, 10" long wooden skewers, to within 3" of the top of each skewer  (which will serve as handles when it's time to flip the fish skewers over), arranging the skewers, in a single layer, about 1/2" apart (they should not be touching each other) on the pan. Place the pan of fish skewers 5"-6" under preheated broiler.  Cook until gently sizzling, lightly golden and nicely-firm to the touch, turning only once, about 7-8 minutes on the first side and 5-6 minutes on the second side (give or take a minute or two depending upon the heat of your broiler.

Note:  I don't recommend using a grill pan for fish.  Experience has taught: unlike grilling meat, chicken or seafood, no matter how much no-stick spray I apply to the grill pan, fish wants to stick. 

IMG_3787 IMG_3787~Step 4.  When the fish is finished marinating, pour the marinade from the baking dish into a 1-1 1/2-quart saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Plate, garnish & serve ASAP atop a bed of steamed white rice...

IMG_4890... w/a veggie stir-fry & teriyaki sauce to the side for dipping. 

Japanese-Style Oven-Broiled Teriyaki-Style Cod Fish:  Recipe yields 1 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce, and, 4 servings when served with stir-fried vegetable and steamed white rice.

Special Equipment List:  plastic wrap; cutting board; chef's knife; 8" x 8" x 2" baking dish; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; aluminum foil; parchment paper; 8, 10" wooden skewers

IMG_3837Cook's Note:  Place a platter of these appetizers on the cocktail table and I'll bet they disappear before bets can be taken on how long it will take them to disappear. Put a platter of them on the dinner table alongside a fresh vegetable stir-fry and some steamed white rice, and, when served as a family-friendly dinner, they won't last any longer either.  My recipe for ~ Open Sesame:  Japanese Teriyaki Steak Skewers ~, is a keeper-of-a-recipe you and yours are sure to love.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


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