Hunger doesn't suit me, at all at all. This means that not only do I tend to know what I'm eating and when I'm eating it, but very often the events of the day are planned around mealtimes, rather than it being the other way round, as is normal for most people. God help anyone who is anywhere near me when I'm hungry, either I get horribly cranky or I become completely catatonic and lose the ability to speak. At the moment I'm doing a part-time psychotherapy course, and part of this involves me getting home past my preferred dinner time one evening a week. I am VERY brave about it, if I do say so myself, but by the time I get through the front door I tend to be completely ravenous. I pass various places with dodgy quick-fix potential en route both there and home, such as Burger Kings and Centras, but hungry and all as I am I resist the temptation, though, lets face it, those options really aren't that tempting. So, that means that part of my obsessive need-to-know-what-I'm-eating–next-ness is devoted to figuring out how to feed myself back to a human state on that late evening home once a week. I found a satisfactory and speedy reward for myself this week, when I finally got around to giving the chicken teriyaki from Nigella's Kitchen a go. No, no, it's not particularly healthy. But sometimes I am just too hungry to give a fiddlers.
I've been meaning to give this a go for a while, but could never find the sake in the Oriental market, so I roped Fifi into figuring it out for me one evening, as she spent two years in Japan and knows her stuff. And then once I was armed with the right ingredients it was a total cinch. The sauce is a simple mix of 2 x 15ml sake, 4 x tablespoons mirin, 4 x tablespoons soy sauce, 2 x tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons grated ginger and a couple of splashes of sesame oil.
And then the chicken pieces marinate in the sauce for fifteen minutes, which, when you are practically chewing the knuckles off yourself with the hunger, is pretty excruciating.
After what seems like an eternity, but in fact isn't even enough time to get the washing up done, on to the pan with the chicken to get rid of that pinkiness.
When it has turned a slightly more reassuring colour it's time to add the rest of the marinate from the bowl.
After the essential poke-at-the-middle-anxiously test to make sure that I'm not poisoning myself with pink chicken, the chicken comes off the pan, and the heat is turned up to let the sauce thicken and become dark and syrupy.
The chicken goes back on the pan so that the lovely glutinous sauce can really stick to it.
No, this isn't a very healthy-looking brown colour for something that one plans to eat. Do I care? Don't give a fiddlers, and even less so when I tasted it. And I may even do it all over again next week, in all its brown, unhealthy glory.