When it comes to things that are spicy, I’m a true New Englander… Which means I’m a big baby.
The Fire Sauce at Taco Bell is pretty much my limit. However, at Disney Parks it seems that even the menu items highlighted as “spicy” are still a perfectly comfortable level of spice for my tender tongue. So when a dear friend handed me this recipe directly from a Disneyland chef, I was excited to dive in. When the Internet warned me it had some zip, I figured it was that Disneyland level of spicy.
I’ve got to tell you guys, this was right at my threshold. This was for sure a savory dish that packed a finishing note with some serious fiery punch.
Now maybe it was just me (did I mention I’m a big baby?) because kids charged through the meal without a problem. My husband? He had seconds. And thirds. Then fourths. He actually sliced up the leftover beef, tossed it and the glaze in some ramen and made a hearty meal out of that. My family all think that I am nuts. They said it had kick, but it wasn’t that tear-jerking, milk guzzling level of hot that I was making it out to be.
I have to say though, even though we are in total disagreement of how spicy this dish truly is, this has to be one of my favorite recipes to wander from the Disney Parks and into my eager kitchen.
I loved how fast this all came together and how it uses ingredients I already have on hand. The combination of gentle sweetness from the sugar and the fragrant saltiness of the soy sauce married together for a glaze with gorgeous color and an aroma l that had people wandering in and out of the kitchen eagerly getting updates on when dinner would be ready. And yes even I have to admit that the spice at the end added a whole different level of excitement to the traditional soy/teriyaki glaze. No boring beef with boring sauce here, just bold flavors that enhance the meat without drowning away the flavor you crave out of a good, grilled meat.
And hey, if you’re a baby like me, just cut out some of the spice. There’s a lot of flexibility in this gorgeous glaze so you can truly make this beloved Disneyland snack something that works for your family.
So give this dish a try and settle the debate in our house… Is it a bold, hot punch that’s no big thing, or is it something you devour through heat-induced tears?
- ½ cup soy sauce, chilled
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon black pepper (reduce by half to lessen spiciness)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (omit to reduce spice)
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (do not omit or reduce, even to reduce spice)
- 2 pounds top sirloin, cut into chunks OR pre-cut kebab meat
- Olive Oil (if prepared on stove or stovetop)
- Soak bamboo skewers for at least 20 minutes in warm water. Remove and pat dry. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or preheat grill.
- Combine soy sauce, water, and cornstarch in a medium sized saucepan. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved. When combined thoroughly with no chunks of cornstarch visible, warm in saucepan over medium-high heat. As the glaze is coming to temperature, add lemon juice, sugar, oil, pepper, crushed pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low heat to bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until glaze has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to just above room temperature. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- As the glaze cools, very lightly salt beef and skewer on bamboo sticks, 3-4 cubes per stick. Do not pack together, allow at least two finger widths of room between beef cubes. If being prepared on stove, add oil to saute pan and heat on high until oil is warm and almost smoking. Brown on all sides, then remove and put on foil-lined pan or kebab stand in oven, cooking until meat is desired doneness, usually 2-3 minutes for rare, 3-5 minutes for medium, 5-8 minutes for medium well, 10 minutes for well (I suggest rare or medium rare). If being prepared on a grill, cook meat on grill or kebab stand until desired doneness.
- When done, remove from heat, allow to rest for 3 minutes, then liberally apply glaze to beef and serve alone or with rice.