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(Part 1 of 2)

If you’ve read my post about meatless meat sauce, and if you’ve actually made this or something like it, chances are you are in need of redemption. In preparation for our vacation to Maine, I was been busy baking and freezing quick breads and cookies. Searching for something savory that would hold up during the drive up, I turned to jerky. Beef jerky. Beef. It’s what my S.S. deserves after eating meatless meat with a smile without murdering me.

I purchased 4 pounds of top round, and my S.S. requested that I make two versions to keep things interesting. Since this was made with him in mind, I did just that. Here we have version number one, my take on Teriyaki:

2 pounds (908 g) top round (bottom round, flank, or anything used to make London Broil will work just fine)
1/4 cup (75 g) soy sauce
2 T (25 g) fish sauce
1/4 cup (70 g) Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup (60 g) water
1/2 cup (125 g) brown sugar, packed
5 cloves (25 g) garlic, crushed
15 turns (1 g) freshly ground black pepper

1. Slice top round against the grain into 1/4-inch slices.
2. In a large dish, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Add meat to the marinade and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning halfway.
3. Lay the strips of beef in a dehydrator, being sure not to overlap the meat.
4. Adjust the dehydrator to the highest setting (mine was about 160 degrees F) and let it dehydrate for about 4-6 hours.

Man-O-Meter: 9

photo 1

Notes: absolutely fabulous flavor, which could use a little more garlic, if preferred (which I do). Otherwise, salt was spot-on, and the balance between sweet and savory was just what you’d expect from a teriyaki sauce. A definite keeper.

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This is ridiculously easy, and can be altered in many ways. Don’t feel like making the broth? Use store-bought chicken or vegetable broth instead. Are you vegan? Omit the chicken altogether, or replace with tempeh or tofu, and omit the fish sauce. Feel free to substitute the shiitakes with any other mushroom, or the snow peas with snap peas. Don’t like miso? Well, that ingredient I suggest not to mess with; it adds a sweet-salty, mild “funk” that is hard to achieve with other products. If you follow a gluten-free diet, choose a miso paste made with soy beans and/or rice (not barley; they even make miso out of chickpeas!), and use Tamari soy sauce, which is made without wheat.

2 quarts Thai-inspired chicken broth
1/2 cup white miso
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, shredded (reserved from the Thai-inspired chicken broth)
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (tops only)
9 oz snow peas, thinly sliced
Sriracha, for garnish (optional, but recommended)

1. Bring Thai-inspired chicken broth to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low.
2. Stir in white miso, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
3. Add chicken, shiitake mushrooms and snow peas and cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.
4. Garnish with sriracha, if you feel so inclined (and you should).

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I used this recipe from Bon Appetit for Thai Larb. Here is how I adapted it:

1 small onion, rough dice
1 jalapeno, thin slice
2 cloves garlic, thin slice
2 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Zest of 2 limes, thin slice
3 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
8 leaves butter, romaine, or iceberg lettuce leaves
Cilantro, for garnish

For the sauce:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce

1. In a food processor, place onion, jalapeno, garlic, fish sauce, salt, lime zest, and 1 Tbsp of the oil. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the pork to the food processor and pulse until it is very finely chopped.
3. In a pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the pork mixture and cook, breaking it apart with the back of a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
4. Make the sauce: combine the ingredients and stir.
5. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and fill each leaf with larb. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with cilantro.

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Leftovers were piled into a container and layered with kimchi. YUM.