Teriyaki beef is a popular dish that consists of beef steak or strips that are marinated in a sweet teriyaki sauce. The teriyaki sauce adds great flavor but also additional calories. So how many calories are actually in a piece of teriyaki beef?
What Is Teriyaki Beef?
Teriyaki beef starts with beef steak or strips that are marinated in a teriyaki sauce. The teriyaki sauce is a sweet and salty glaze that is made from soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and ginger. It adds a lovely glossy sheen and deep umami flavor to the beef.
After marinating in the teriyaki sauce to allow the flavors to penetrate into the meat, the beef is then grilled, broiled, or pan-seared. This allows the teriyaki glaze to caramelize and creates delicious char lines on the beef.
Teriyaki beef is a simple yet flavorful dish that is popular both as an appetizer and a main course. You’ll often find it in Japanese restaurants and hibachi grill restaurants. It’s also easy to make at home.
Factors That Affect Calorie Count
There are a few factors that affect how many calories are in a piece of teriyaki beef:
- Cut of beef – Tenderloin or sirloin will be leaner and lower calorie than ribeye.
- Cooking method – Grilling vs pan-searing vs broiling.
- Portion size – Larger pieces will have more calories.
- Thickness – Thicker cuts will have more calories than thin slices.
- Fat trim – More external fat means more calories.
- Teriyaki sauce – More sauce adds more calories.
The calorie count can vary quite a bit depending on these factors. Let’s take a closer look:
Cut of Beef
The cut of beef used for teriyaki is a major factor in calories per piece. Leaner cuts like tenderloin or sirloin will have fewer calories than fattier cuts like ribeye. Here is a comparison of common cuts:
|Cut||Calories per 3 oz Uncooked|
As you can see, a lean tenderloin contains only 120 calories per 3 oz, while a fatty short rib contains 210 calories for the same portion. So opting for a leaner cut of beef can make a significant difference.
How the teriyaki beef is cooked also impacts its final calorie count. Grilling, broiling, and pan-searing are all common cooking methods. Here is how they compare:
- Grilling: Allows fat to drip away, leading to about 10% calorie loss vs uncooked.
- Broiling: Similar to grilling, leads to about 10% calorie loss.
- Pan-searing: Seals in more juices and fat, less calorie loss.
So grilling or broiling the teriyaki beef can lower the calories by about 10% compared to pan-searing. However, the differences are relatively small.
The calories are also directly tied to the portion size of the teriyaki beef. Larger pieces with more beef will contain more calories. For example:
|Portion||Calories (for sirloin)|
As shown, every additional 2 oz of beef adds about 150 calories. So portion size has a direct impact on calories per piece.
The thickness of the beef also matters. Thicker steak cuts will have more calories than thin sliced beef strips. For example:
|1 inch thick sirloin steak||200|
|1/2 inch thick sirloin steak||150|
|Thin sliced sirloin strips||100|
Thinner cuts have less beef per bite, lowering the calorie count. So thin slices will be lower calorie than a thick steak.
Trimming off any excess external fat also helps reduce the calorie count. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, over twice that of protein or carbs. So removing visible fat can make a good impact:
|4 oz ribeye with 0.5 oz fat||230|
|4 oz ribeye lean||200|
Trimming just half an ounce of fat reduces the calories by 30 for this 4 oz portion. Trimming all external fat can further reduce calories.
Finally, the teriyaki sauce itself adds calories to the dish. The more generously you glaze the beef, the higher the calorie count will become. For example:
|Sauce Amount||Added Calories|
Each tablespoon of thick teriyaki sauce adds about 50 calories. Applying more sauce to flavor the beef also increases the calories.
Calories in Teriyaki Beef Recipes
Now that we’ve looked at the factors involved, here are the typical calorie counts for different teriyaki beef recipes:
|4 oz teriyaki sirloin steak||300|
|8 oz teriyaki ribeye steak||600|
|6 oz teriyaki tenderloin tips||400|
|5 oz teriyaki short rib||500|
|4 oz teriyaki beef strips||250|
These totals are based on average cuts grilled with 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce. As you can see, a typical full steak ranges from 300-600 calories, while strips are around 200-250 calories for average portion sizes.
Nutrition Facts for Teriyaki Beef
Aside from calories, here are some of the key nutrition facts per 3 oz serving of teriyaki beef:
As expected, teriyaki beef is high in protein and also contains a good amount of fat. The teriyaki sauce adds some sodium as well. But overall, teriyaki beef can fit into a balanced diet when enjoyed in moderation.
Ways to Make Teriyaki Beef Healthier
Here are some tips for lightening up teriyaki beef to reduce calories, fat, and sodium:
- Use lean cuts like sirloin or tenderloin instead of ribeye or short ribs.
- Trim off all visible fat before cooking.
- Opt for thinner slices rather than thick steaks.
- Go easy on the teriyaki sauce – 1 to 2 tablespoons is plenty for flavor.
- Use reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce.
- Grill, broil, or pan-sear instead of deep frying.
- Enjoy reasonable portion sizes.
- Balance with non-starchy veggies like a salad.
Following these tips allows you to indulge in flavorful teriyaki beef while still maintaining a healthy diet.
Is Teriyaki Beef Healthy?
Teriyaki beef can certainly be part of a healthy diet when enjoyed in moderation. Lean beef provides high-quality protein, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. The teriyaki sauce also contains antioxidants from ingredients like soy sauce and ginger.
However, teriyaki beef is high in sodium, so those with high blood pressure should be mindful of portions. It’s also high in saturated fat, so overdoing it could negatively impact heart health.
Overall, teriyaki beef is a great treat and can be healthy if you watch your portions, enjoy it occasionally, opt for lean cuts, and balance with veggies and whole grains.
So how many calories in a piece of teriyaki beef? There’s no simple answer since it depends on several factors like cut, thickness, cooking method, and portion size. But generally, a 3-4 oz serving of lean teriyaki beef contains around 200-300 calories. Thicker steaks have 350-600 calories or more for average portion sizes.
Teriyaki beef can fit into a healthy diet when eaten in moderation along with plenty of vegetables and fiber-rich carbs. Be mindful of sodium intake and enjoy lean cuts to help control calories and fat. With some adjustments, teriyaki beef can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your meal plan.