If you’re like me, your ‘cooking style’ has evolved over time. Ten years ago I would very rarely cook, other than basic reheating of ready made sauces or frying (and burning) bacon on a regular basis.
When I had more time in the kitchen (usually in disastrous attempts to impress girlfriends) I realised that all of those cook-in-the-pan sauces are actually pretty basic, and to recreate them (and improve on them) took very little work, as long as I could access the raw ingredients.
Now with the power of the internet, you can find out how to make anything – and I always get a buzz when I recreate something which I used to buy ‘pre-made’. Teriyaki sauce is one of those things.
The word ‘teriyaki’ sounds so exotic and fancy, when in reality it’s just sweetened soy sauce with some ginger and garlic thrown in. Pretty basic. One good thing about the mixture is that you can thicken it in the pan by stirring and heating if you want a sticky sauce, or keep it thin for dipping. Whatever you plan to do with it, just don’t be intimidated by the name. You can make teriyaki sauce faster than a toasted cheese sandwich (try a few drops on those too!).
Today’s recipe matches the teriyaki sauce with the rich taste of duck breast, which I can’t get enough of. Pan frying duck is simple, quick and can cater to everyone’s taste (for those who like their meat rare it’s easy to whip it out of the pan first, if they like NO PINK then just leave it in. Simple!).
If you’re not a big fan of duck then you can of course swap it for turkey or chicken, or even beef. It’s all about finding out what you like and going for it!
Duck breast pan fried in home made teriyaki sauce
- Duck breast - 3 breasts (around 600g)
- Soy sauce - 100ml (3.5oz / half a cup)
- Brown sugar - 100g (3.5oz / half a cup)
- Garlic - 1 clove
- Ginger - 1 tbsp (fresh, chopped)
- Sea salt - 1 tsp (to season the duck)
First you need to prepare your duck for frying, and so I will quote from myself on how to perfectly fry a duck breast:
- To prepare the meat, lay it out on the chopping board and cut off all the little bits of white fat from the underside to clean it up
- Score lines in the fat roughly 10mm apart, creating a checkerboard effect. Don't cut all the way through the fat, but make a decent cut depth cut...this will lead to the fat becoming crispy after cooking
- Grab some sea salt and rub a little into both sides of the duck breast and let it stand for a few minutes
- Now we will put the duck to one side and prepare the teriyaki sauce. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a bowl. That's it! You don't need to worry too much about the sugar dissolving just yet, as it will when you warm up the sauce in the pan. Set your sauce to one side and prepare to cook the duck
- Heat up your pan (70-80% heat). Do not add any oil (the fat from the breast will be more than enough to cook it)
- Add the duck breast fat-faced-down and sear for three minutes
- Turn the breast over and cook the underside for a further three minutes
- Now we remove the duck from the pan and place on a chopping board. While the duck rests, empty the pan of any hot fat (be careful!) and then turn your pan heat down to around 50%. Add your teriyaki mixture to the pan
- Stir the sauce around in the pan as it heats up. The longer you cook it the thicker it will be, so if you want a more 'watery' sauce you can add more soy sauce, if you want it thick then heat it for longer
- Now cut the duck into slices (around 10-15mm thick). Don't worry if it's a little too rare for your taste, as you're going to put them back into the pan and fry for a little longer. You can basically now vary the amount of time you cook them in your teriyaki sauce to get them to the exact cooking you want - I like to fry them for a further minute on each side which usually keeps them a little pink on the inside
- When they're done take your duck slices from the pan and put them on your plate, and carefully spoon the teriyaki sauce from the pan onto them
- Serve with your choice of vegetables - I like mashed potato with a hint of mustard, cabbage and spinach