I have tried to make Teriyaki steaks (beef) and they come out dry and hard. They have been marinated with the Teriyaki sauce as instructed by various recipes but in the end the steak has taste but no juicy texture and they are hard to chew. I have tasted in a restaurant a Temaki corn/cone that had sliced Teriyaki beef steak in it which was splendid. I am trying to achieve that. I have tried frying and grilling but both come out hard. Marinating for 2-3hours each time.

What could I be doing wrong?

  • 5
    Which cut of beef did you use? Also, how hot (how done) did you cook the steaks?
    – derobert
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 15:26
  • @derobert, I used the standard UK frying steaks. Thin sliced cuts. I had them for about 8min.
    – Vass
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 23:18
  • 2
    @Vass how high was the heat? High heat for 8 minutes on a really thin steak sounds quite long to me.
    – rfusca
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


Any number of things can go wrong.

  1. Is your flesh cut correctly, that is, against the grain? Hint: if you see a string, it's cut with the grain and will affect tenderness.
  2. Has your flesh properly aged? Enzymes in the meat dissolve the tissue, making it naturally tender. 21 Days is recommended.
  3. You marinade too long. 15-30 minutes is recommended here for your cuts.
  4. You cook the meat too long. A thin slice should be fried on high heat for a short time.

  5. Restaurants get better meat. Fact of life.

Edit: Basic sauté method.

  1. Heat the pan. The pan is hot when a drop of water becomes steam instantly.
  2. Add some oil and heat it. It should become very hot very quick. Look for wrinkles on the surface.
  3. Add the meat.
  4. When you see a drop of 'blood' (that's plasma) flip the meat.
  5. Retire the meat.


  1. Add cold liquid to pan (could be the marinade), clean the bottom of the pan.
  2. Lower the heat and make a pan sauce.
  3. Add the meat to the sauce for a minute and serve.
  • 2
    I am not familiar with "standard UK frying steaks", but at least here, anything I'd call "standard" is not aged at all, and is not supposed to be. It is cut from young animals who haven't had much movement, and while uniform and bland, it is not tough despite the lack of aging. So, point 2 is optional.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 14:17
  • 1
    @rumtscho, me neither, but good point. Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 14:20
  • 3
    UK 'frying steak' is thin - about 1/8"/5mm thick. It needs about a minute either side. 8 minutes and you've got shoe leather. Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 20:51
  • Might there be sugar, a lot of sugar, in that marinade (you don't specify what kind of teriyaki sauce you used, maybe a recipe/product that was meant as a serving sauce not a marinade)? Frying through a layer of what is essentially syrup on high heat can go royally wrong, you are creating caramel or even burnt sugar on the surface of the food, and once sugar turns relatively dry it will do its best to pull moisture from everything around it. Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 12:26

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