By Misty I.
Attending birthday parties was definitely a part of my childhood. Instead of remembering the games or the gifts, many of my memories revolve around the food!
I first tried batayaki at Leanne Yamada’s birthday party when we were fifth graders at Waiakeawaena Elementary School. OMG, it was so good! I wasn’t living in the boonies or anything, how was it possible I had never tried batayaki before?! After Leanne’s party, I insisted that my mother make it, and I’ve eaten it ever since.
I haven’t seen Leanne since high school but am thankful to the Yamada family for serving me batayaki in 1986, I still love it decades later. I wish I knew Mrs. Yamada’s batayaki sauce recipe; if you know Leanne (or her older sister DoriAnne) please ask them for me!
I’ve seen many variations on batayaki sauces, some with ingredients a mile long. This is my very basic, stripped down version that I serve to my family. I’ve even omitted the mirin! If you grew up on batayaki, stick to your sauce because that’s what you’re taste buds like. However, if you want to make an “only easy” version or you just don’t have all of your usual ingredients on hand, try this!
Misty’s No Fuss Batayaki
SAUCE Ingredients: (I usually triple this amount of shoyu/sugar/lemon juice, but this is the ratio)
1 C. Club shoyu
¼ C. sugar
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small daikon, peeled and grated (with Japanese grater to make daikon oroshi)
*keep daikon oroshi separate from the sauce, everyone can use to their discretion
PROTEIN AND VEGETABLE Suggestions:
2 lbs. batayaki meat (6 trays from KTA)
1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled
1 medium zucchini, coined
2 containers fresh white mushrooms
2 pkgs. enoki mushrooms
1 pkg. bean sprouts
1 won bok, cut into 1” pieces
1 green pepper, cut into 1” pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1” pieces
1-2 sticks butter, salted
NOTE: This is what I usually make for my family of four. We like batayaki, so I make a ton and we eat for several nights. Protein and veggies can be whatever you want, or whatever you have in the refrigerator!
- Fry protein and veggies on a large skillet with butter.
- Combine shoyu and sugar in a small pot and heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add fresh lemon juice.
- Make daikon oroshi.
- Dip meat and vegetables in sauce before eating with hot rice!
NOTE: Batayaki is a communal meal, where you usually fry what you want to eat, like shabu shabu. However, to make things easier I fry everything ahead of time. Less to clean up!
That’s it, only easy!