Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Murphy’s Law of Teriyaki Steak January 8, 2010

Filed under: beef,dinner — freerangenurse @ 12:24 pm

Sometimes, when you’re pressed for time and you need everything to go right, it just….doesn’t.  That was the case Monday.  I had worked Sunday night, which meant sleeping was on the agenda for Monday day.  First, I had to go to the store and get the ingredients for the recipes scheduled for Monday and Tuesday night’s dinners.  After working 12 hours overnight, I went to Whole Foods and waited around for half an hour for them to open.  I wandered sleepily through the store picking up freshly ground meats, ripe produce and baked breads needed for these recipes.  Once home, I put everything away and finally hauled my over-tired body to bed.

I slept until about 2:30pm, then had a shower and waited for my little monkey to come home.  Because I work weekend nights and sleep during the day, I don’t usually cook or wash dishes on the weekends.  The problem is, no one else does them either.  Somehow, without me cooking a morsel, the dishes seem to pile up at an alarming rate.  A responsible adult would have done those dishes immediately upon waking up, but we don’t have one of those living here, so I didn’t start doing the mountain of dishes until 5:30 pm after I finished helping Sydney with her homework.  Finally, around 7:00, we headed out to HEB to finish up my shopping list (I still needed some things that are not available at Whole Foods).  One problem, on my way to the store, as in right as I pulled up to the store, Mother Nature (as in that little heifer that comes calling in the feminine product commercials) showed up and I was without the necessary provisions.  I turned around and went home to take care of things then headed back out to the store again.

One of the items on the list was sake.  I am not a big sake drinker, so I only needed a little bit.  I found a super cute sake grenade that contained the perfect amount.  Super cute ended up costing me precious time because apparently my checker decided to spend an inordinate amount of time admiring its cuteness and even showing it to the passing employees.  I finally had to interrupt him and ask him to please finish scanning the items as I was in a hurry.

When I got home, I reviewed the recipe and started preparations, one problem, the steak needed to marinate for an hour!  It was already 8:00 and Sydney had to be in bed by 9:30 for school the next day.  Oh well, I guess marinating for 30 minutes would have to do.  The tempura was supposed to go with this meal, so thinking I am a superwoman, I took some shrimp out to thaw in water while the meat was marinating and the rice was cooking.  I took out my Le Creuset sauté pan and reduced the remainder of the teriyaki sauce to thicken it.  Laziness then took hold and rather than wash the pan, I decided to return it to the stove to sear the steaks.  One little problem.  The remaining marinade, which now had corn starch in it, quickly turned to gum on the surface of the pan and began burning.  CRAP!  I removed the steaks, put the scalding hot pan under cold running water (which one should never do) and washed it out.  Meanwhile, all the smoke detectors in the house started alarming.  Thankfully, the gummy, burnt tar came out and I returned the pan and the steaks to the stove.  John, meanwhile was racing around upstairs removing the batteries from all of the smoke detectors.  I continued cooking the steak and then added the glaze for the meat, which then turned gummy and burnt again (thankfully after I removed the meat).  Again, I plunged the pan into cold water and tried to wash it off, then I noticed the rice was over-cooking!  DOUBLE CRAP!!!  I turned off the heat on the rice, got a new pan to cook the remaining two steaks and finally completed dinner at about 10:00 pm.  We three scarfed it down, Sydney brushed her teeth and went off to bed, while I surveyed the disaster zone my kitchen had become and wondered why anyone thought it would be a good idea for me to blog about cooking.

You might be asking yourself, “well…what about the shrimp?”  I forgot all about the shrimp until the next morning.  CRAP!

The good news is, despite all that went wrong, the steak was delicious.  The teriyaki is not overly sweet or thick.  It just gives a flavorful, shiny coat to the meat.  I think you’ll like it and if you aren’t trying to be superwoman (or man), it really is a nice, easy way to make Teriyaki.

Teriyaki Steak

recipe from this website with accompanying video:


  • 1 – 2 ounce piece of fresh ginger (to make ginger juice)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 – 10 ounce sirloin steaks, fully trimmed
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tbsp oil

Grate ginger on a box grater, grab pulp and squeeze over a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.  Use 1 tsp of strained ginger juice and add to it the soy sauce, sake, mirin and brown sugar.  Whisk together.

Pierce steaks several times with the tines of a fork.  Place the steaks in a ziploc bag and pour 1/2 up of the marinade over.  Remove air from bag and seal it, then place it in the refrigerator for an hour.  Meanwhile, pour the remaining marinade into a sauté pan and bring the mixture up to a boil.  Mix the cornstarch with water and add it to the boiling marinade.  Remove from heat.

When the steaks have finished marinating, remove them from marinade and pat them dry on paper towls.  Sear them in a non-stick sauté pan with a little oil over medium high heat.

Once steaks reach desired doneness, spoon over enough of the teriyaki sauce to coat the meat, turning it to coat both sides.  Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Slice thinly and enjoy with rice and vegetables.


4 Responses to “Murphy’s Law of Teriyaki Steak”

  1. Oh dear…too funny. Is it ok to giggle even though it sounds like you had quite the ordeal??!! But hello YUMMY!!! I will have to try this someday.

    So happy to have found your blog. It’s great!!

  2. Diane Says:

    (still laughing) I guess Mimi doesn’t share you with a cat…would have been a nicer fate if kitty found those shrimps first!

  3. […] The other night I started thinking about that email and curiosity got the best of me.  I decided to go ahead and put “my” recipe to the test.  My family was less than enthusiastic about the menu that night.  I gathered my ingredients and went to it.  While cooking, I noticed that the instructions I gave her were less than complete.  For example, I told her to saute some onions and garlic in olive oil, but never wrote to add them to the meat.  Amy, thankfully is a smart cookie and I am sure she figured it out.  I hope she didn’t think that I saute onions just to leave them on the stove.  Although, I have defrosted shrimp only to leave them on the counter overnight (see here). […]

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