A simple teriyaki glaze is a perfect accent to sautéed or grilled shrimp. While some recipes are more complex than this one, most teriyaki glazes are made with sake, mirin, and soy sauce. Mirin is a kind of syrupy sweet wine that’s a staple of Japanese cooking, but sugar is a perfect substitute that some people, in fact, prefer. Just make sure you buy an authentic Japanese soy sauce—Kikkoman is a good brand and easy to find. The shrimp for this recipe must be peeled so they get coated with the sauce.
Yield: 6 main course servings
2/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
36 large or 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (deveining optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
Sesame seeds, toasted for about 15 minutes in a 350°F oven
Heat the soy sauce in a small saucepan and add the sugar; stir until it completely dissolves.
Rinse off the shrimp and heat the oil in a sauté pan or wok over high heat. When the oil begins to ripple, add the shrimp all at once. Toss the shrimp by pulling the pan toward you with a sudden jerk—this gets the shrimp to “jump” out of the pan, or stir the shrimp with a pair of chopsticks or a wooden spoon. When the shrimp just begin to turn red, in 3 to 4 minutes, take them out of the pan with a spider utensil or skimmer and reserve on a plate. Wipe any oil out of the pan with a paper towel and pour in the soy sauce–sugar mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat and when the sauce is reduced by about half, put the shrimp back in. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the shrimp and stir the shrimp around in the sauce, still over high heat, until they’re well coated with a shiny glaze, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.