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Yakitori


1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup mirin sweet rice wine*
1/2 cup sake* or dry sherry
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 ½ lb. lean top sirloin steak well trimmed of fat
4 fresh medium Chinese black mushrooms* or 16 regular brown mushrooms
2 medium green or red bell peppers
1 medium leek or 1 medium red onion
1 8-oz. can whole water chestnuts
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
25 to 30 metal or bamboo skewers, 6- to 8-inch for appetizers, 10- to 12-inch for entrée
*These items can be found at your local Oriental market and are available in the specialty food sections of most larger supermarkets.

1. Mix sugar, rice wine, sake, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in 1-quart saucepan; heat over high until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until volume is reduced to 1 cup; set aside to cool.

2. Cut beef into 1-inch pieces and marinate in sauce for 1 to 4 hours.

3. Remove and discard mushroom stems; cut each cap in thirds if using Chinese Black mushrooms. If using domestic variety leave whole or cut in half. Cut peppers, leek or onion and pineapple into 1-inch pieces.

4. Remove meat from marinade and set aside. Pour marinade into a small pan and mix with 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch. Bring to boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly as mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside pouring about a 1/3 of sauce into a separate container for basting meat while grilling

5. Thread 3 or 4 pieces of food on each skewer (6 to 8 pieces if serving as an entrée) completing as follows: alternate beef with onion/ leek and peppers and alternate mushrooms with water chestnuts and pineapple.

6. Place skewers on grill for 3 to 6 minutes on each side, (3 minutes for rare to medium rare, 6 minutes for medium to well. Meat should be nicely browned on the outside, but still pink and juicy inside and vegetables should be tender crisp. Serve immediately with remaining cooled marinade.

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