Teriyaki. Simple & easy. So why does everyone screw it up?

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I’ve been making Teriyaki sauce for years now.  I learned it from my old roommate Lisa.  We were living together when she was in college and she used to make all kinds of amazing food.  Thanks to her and her fried rice, Spam will forever have a place in my pantry, along with Panko.  I used to watch her in fascination as she took ordinary ingredients and turned them into amazing meals.  In a way it helped reignite my love of cooking.  I got disenchanted for a brief moment when I went vegan.  At that time soy products sucked.  So I left my Veganism behind and dove back into carnivore land.  Just in time to enjoy some Hawaiian/Japanese comfort food.  There was was Ramen with an egg dropped in, Spam fried rice, Coroke, and my favorite Chicken Teriyaki.  I have been making these dishes ever since, especially the Chicken Teriyaki.  It has become a staple in my dinner party cannon.

Once you try this you will never order it in a restaurant again.  I have ruined many a persons teriyaki experience with this recipe.  In a good way.  You can change it to your taste, sweet, salty, garlicky, gingery.  What ever way you want to go.  I tend to go heavier on the soy sauce and ginger and garlic.  I don’t like super sweet teriyaki sauce.  When I make for friends I make it how I want it and they usually have that moment of, why does everyone make such a sweet sauce? So here is what I do.  Be adventurous and don’t be scared it’s easy.


Soy Sauce

Brown Sugar



I start with soy sauce and add brown sugar (remember we want a savory sauce so more soy then sugar).  I then add chopped garlic and chopped ginger.   Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and then place the chicken in a baking dish, add sauce on bottom of dish and on top of the meat and bake for about 45 minutes, turning a couple of times.   I use chicken thighs, they soak up the sauce best.   Cook rice and some veggies and you have an amazingly easy dinner.





Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw

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So I came up with this recipe one night when we had some friends come over and convinced them to stay for dinner.  We were already three hours into making a pork shoulder but hadn’t decided what else to go with it.  I looked around the kitchen as I usually do to see what we need and I found a fennel bulb and thought, medical hmmmmmm what can I do with this?  I was already making and Asian inspired pork shoulder, for sale   Why not continue that theme with a fennel coleslaw?  So here is the recipe for both!!!

Asian Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw
Recipe type: Main and Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup dark agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • SLAW
  • 1 medium to large fennel bulb
  • 1 large carrot
  • ¼ quarter of red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • Dressing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tablespoon of fish sauce
  • ¼ tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Score shoulder
  2. Smash garlic and place cloves in scored pork
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl
  4. Place shoulder in plastic bag
  5. Add marinade
  6. Refrigerate from 6 hours to 24 hours
  7. When done marinating preheat oven to 400
  8. Place shoulder and marinade in roasting pan
  9. Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil
  10. After 30 minutes lower heat to 300
  11. Cook for 4 hours
  12. Take off parchment and foil
  13. Cook for another 20-30 minutes for crispy skin
  14. Check with meat thermometer, should read 185 degrees when done.
  15. Remove from oven cover with foil again and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.
  17. Julienne fennel bulb, carrot and red pepper.
  18. Chop onion
  19. Toss in bowl
  20. Mix dressing and pour over slaw
  21. Toss slaw to coat with dressing
  22. Salt and pepper to taste
  23. Serve immediately at room temperature.
Cooking time and temp varies with each oven. Keep an eye on your roast and baste the shoulder with juices. I like to check and baste every 30minutes or so. You don't want a dry shoulder. Dressing for slaw - taste and add more fish sauce or vinegar for your preference. Prep time does not include marinading time. If it's already too hot for you to have the oven on for 5-6 hours then use a crock pot for the roast. Just cut the fat off and pierce the meat then put the garlic cloves in the holes before you marinade. Also since you've cut off the fat, keep a good eye on it so it doesn't get dry. Cook on low for about 4-6 hours. You will know when it's done, it should fall off the bone.