Scallops in Teriyaki

Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking method, which consists in broiling or grilling meat or fish in a glazing sweet sauce. Teriyaki sauce is composed of mirin (sweet cooking sake), soy sauce and sugar. Chicken teriyaki is on the menu in most Japanese restaurants abroad and its recipe is in all the cookbooks for foreigners. The fish prepared with teriyaki method is apparently much more frequent in Japan. Since the Japanese have even teriyaki hamburgers, why not scallops?  Since the day I dared – and never regretted – putting gochujang (the Korean hot pepper paste) on the scallops, I have been making further experiments, and glazing them with teriyaki sauce was another one worth trying (although I am certainly not the only one who tried preparing scallops this way…).

Ready made teriyaki sauce can be bought in every Japanese shop, but making it at home is very quick, easy and leaves a full control of sweet and salty balance. Its four ingredients are not difficult to obtain. Soy sauce can of course be found everywhere, and mirin and sake can be bought in every Japanese or Korean shop, very often in other Asian shops. I have even seen mirin in certain “normal” supermarkets.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2):

16 – 20 shelled scallops without the roe

2 tablespoons oil


3 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 3 if you have low sodium soy sauce)

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons sake

(grilled sesame seeds)

(ground pepper)

Wash and pat dry the scallops. If you want a stronger taste, sprinkle them with ground pepper.

Bring mirin and sake to boil, add the soy sauce and the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and put aside.

Warm the oil in a big pan. When it’s very hot, put the dried scallops and colour them 1-2 minutes on each side.

Pour the teriyaki sauce over the scallops, stirring a bit. Wait until it thickens and starts coating them.

Put the scallops on a plate, pour the thickened sauce over them and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve with rice and stir – fried vegetables (snow peas go very well with scallops).