Wish Upon A Dish: Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Scallops

June 17, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Scallops

I had all intentions of serving Teriyaki shrimp but my market had only previously frozen, non-local shrimp for sale so I bought a dozen scallops.

What exactly was Teriyaki? Was it an American creation or an actual Japanese dish.

The word teriyaki derives from the noun teri, which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content in the teri, and yaki, which refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling. Traditionally the meat is dipped in or brushed with sauce several times during cooking.

The teri is traditionally made by mixing and heating soy sauce, sake or mirin, and sugar or honey. The sauce is boiled and reduced to the desired thickness, then used to marinate meat which is then grilled or broiled. Sometimes ginger is added, and the final dish may be garnished with green onions.

In North America, any dish made with a teriyaki-like sauce (often even those using foreign alternatives to sake), or with added ingredients such as sesame or garlic (uncommon in traditional Japanese cuisine), is described as teriyaki. Uncanned pineapple juice is sometimes used as it not only provides sweetness but also bromelain enzymes that help tenderize the meat. Grilling meat first and pouring the sauce on afterward is another non-traditional method of cooking teriyaki. Teriyaki sauce is sometimes put on chicken wings or used as a dipping sauce.

I find it too heavy as a sauce but I like the gentle flavor it imparts as a marinade, especially scallops and shrimp. It is also much healthier as a marinade.

I had just enough bacon left over after making this condiment and decided to treat The Nudge and wrap the scallops in bacon. I like the smokiness of the bacon with the sweet and salty scallops and you can never go wrong with bacon anything.

I cut 6 strips of bacon in half and then nuked them for 3 minutes. They were perfect for the very large sized scallops but if medium scallops were all you could buy, cut the bacon into three pieces.
I used kitchen twine to hold the bacon as you can see the one I used a wooden toothpick on, burnt. Even soaking them did not prevent the burning so I recommend twine. 

Over thirty years ago, in the cooking section of our local paper, was this recipe and I have made this without change, since then.

Teriyake Marinade
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 1 cup

* 1" piece of ginger root, minced
* 1 large clove, minced
* 2 green onions, chopped
* 6 tablespoons Tamari
* 1/4 cup Mirin (or dry sherry, sake or white wine)
* 3 tablespoons sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons maple syrup or buckwheat honey

Measure all ingredients into a large glass container and give it a day for the flavors to blend together and mellow.

Stores for 1-2 months in the fridge.

I have used this on chicken breasts, thighs, wings and shellfish of any kind. Next time you get a chance, throw some marinated calamari on the grill for a salad tossed with pickled vegetables and a few minced hot peppers. Pretty spectacular and oober healthy.

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