Almost everyone has heard the term “Teriyaki Sauce” or “Chicken Teriyaki” at some point. However, little is known about the history and origin of the widely used Teriyaki Sauce. We've compiled some interesting facts (that you probably don't know yet) about Teriyaki Sauce for you. In this article, you'll learn what Teriyaki actually is, where the term is thought to originate from, how Teriyaki Sauce is produced, and which Teriyaki sauces you should definitely try if you're embarking on a culinary journey to the Asian region.
What does Teriyaki mean – and what is it exactly?
The term "Teriyaki" is derived from the Japanese words "teri" and "yaki". While the latter can be translated as "simmer" or "grill", "teri" roughly means "glaze". Teriyaki is a cooking method from Japanese cuisine – which, by the way, does not mean that Teriyaki is found on every menu in Japan. On the contrary: Teriyaki is indeed more of an American tradition, as many Japanese restaurants in the USA use the sweet and savory Teriyaki Sauce. Particularly successful in America is the classic Chicken Teriyaki.
Teriyaki Sauce is often used as a marinade. Fish, meat (especially beef and poultry), and even vegetables are soaked in the sauce and then fried, grilled, or stewed. Since the consistency of Teriyaki Sauce can be easily altered during production (more on that below), the sauce is suitable not only as a marinade but also as a dip.
Where does Teriyaki originate from?
Where exactly Teriyaki Sauce originates from is hard to say. According to our-happy-life.com, the history of Teriyaki Sauce begins in Hawaii. Japanese immigrants there created a distinctive marinade using local ingredients like pineapple juice and soy sauce. Interestingly, there is no official history of Teriyaki Sauce in Japan itself. This could indeed suggest that Teriyaki Sauce was first used in Hawaii. However, there is (to our knowledge) no concrete evidence for this.
Making Teriyaki Sauce
The classic Teriyaki Sauce consists of soy sauce, Mirin (rice wine), and sugar. The included Mirin is responsible for the unique gloss and tenderness of the meat. Additionally, it imparts the dish with an extraordinary and distinctive flavor. As an alternative to Mirin and sugar, Sake and honey can also be used. Using Mirin in the production results in a sweeter taste for the Teriyaki Sauce, while Sake imparts a slightly bolder flavor in comparison.
In making Teriyaki Sauce, equal parts of soy sauce, Sake (or Mirin), and sugar (or honey) are mixed well and then heated at low heat until the mixture has reduced to about half of its original volume. The low heat is important to prevent the sugar from caramelizing and to ensure that the alcohol in the Sake doesn't evaporate. The alcohol in the Teriyaki Sauce completely evaporates only when frying or grilling.
By the way, besides the three main components, other ingredients like bell peppers, ginger, or citrus components can also be present in Teriyaki Sauce. Traditionally, garlic and onions are not part of the classic Teriyaki Sauce. Nevertheless, many Teriyaki sauces include dried garlic or garlic powder on their ingredient list. Personally, we don't mind that at all – quite the opposite! Often, a bit of garlic adds that special touch to Teriyaki Sauce. However, as always, tastes vary – but you should definitely have tried it at least once!
Is Teriyaki Spicy? - How Japanese Seasoning Sauce Tastes
Japanese cuisine is known worldwide for its intriguing spices. The aromatic Teriyaki Sauce is also commonly associated with Japan. But how does the dark brown Teriyaki Sauce taste - is it spicy, sweet, or salty? The Japanese seasoning sauce has an intensely savory flavor of soy sauce, simultaneously slightly sweet, a bit spicy, and slightly salty. The included rice wine imparts the sauce with its own distinctive flavor. Due to its versatile taste, Teriyaki Sauce is used – not only in Japanese cuisine – for grilling, frying, and stewing. Another great attribute of Teriyaki Sauce is the shiny glaze it gives to fish, meat, and grilled vegetables, providing an appetizing shine.
Versatile Uses of Teriyaki Sauce
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Teriyaki Sauce can be used not only as a marinade but also as a dip. If you'd like to use Teriyaki Sauce as a marinade, soak your fish or meat in the sauce for about 30 minutes. Of course, you can wait a bit longer for a more intense flavor. Afterwards, grill the fish or piece of meat or sauté it in a pan. The meat/fish marinated in Teriyaki Sauce is often served with vegetables and rice. The sweet-savory taste is characteristic of a good Teriyaki Sauce, making it versatile. The Teriyaki Sauce can also be easily used as a dip. For this, you should heat the prepared sauce a bit more. This makes the Teriyaki Sauce even thicker and due to its already slightly sticky consistency, it adheres better to vegetable sticks & more. For those who prefer to marinate meat and fish with Teriyaki Sauce, ensure that the sauce remains thin in consistency.
6 Teriyaki Sauces That Will Delight You
Especially during the grilling season, our Teriyaki Sauces from Stonewall Kitchen are highly sought after. You can use the sauces for marinating, enhancing dishes, and as dips. Flavor-wise, there's guaranteed something for everyone with the Teriyaki Sauces. Let's briefly explore the different sauces and reveal what you can expect from the Teriyaki Sauces.
Maple Shallot Teriyaki Sauce
The Maple Shallot Teriyaki Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen is incredibly delicious and counts among our favorite Teriyaki Sauces. The combination of maple syrup from New England and onions with Asian Teriyaki Sauce is simply perfect!
✅ Maple Shallot Teriyaki Sauce goes well with: Sushi, salad, fish, shrimp, and beef
Organic Sesame Teriyaki Sauce
The Organic Sesame Teriyaki Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen is completely gluten-free. The oil from roasted sesame gives the sauce its distinctive flavor. Roasted garlic imparts a spicy touch that's harmoniously complemented by wildflower honey.
Update: This sauce has unfortunately left our assortment.
✅ Organic Sesame Teriyaki Sauce goes well with: Meat, spring rolls, soups, and stews
Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce
The Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen is a real gourmet sauce and is perfect for marinating, glazing, or seasoning dishes. The pleasantly spicy aroma of red jalapenos and exquisite cayenne pepper is perfectly rounded off by molasses and honey. Chopped and dried garlic provides the flavorful finishing touch.
✅ Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce goes well with: Poultry, beef, fish, pork, and Asian stir-fry dishes
Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Sauce
The Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen contains small ginger pieces, sesame oil, and exquisite honey. Molasses and apple cider vinegar provide the subtle touch of sweetness. This Teriyaki Sauce is fabulous for marinating and glazing meat and fish.
✅ Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Sauce goes well with: Beef tenderloin, chicken breast, fish, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers
Garlic Teriyaki Sauce
The Garlic Teriyaki Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen will delight you – if you're a fan of garlic. The fairly mild soy sauce is refined with brown sugar and roasted garlic. Nevertheless, the Garlic Teriyaki Sauce includes a pleasant spiciness, making it excellent for marinating and glazing various dishes.
✅ Garlic Teriyaki Sauce goes well with: Beef, poultry, fish, and vegetables
Lemon Teriyaki Sauce
The Lemon Teriyaki Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen and Legal Sea Foods is a versatile and aromatic sauce. The base is a flavorful soy sauce, which is perfectly rounded off with brown sugar, a bit of lemon juice, and lemon oil.
✅ Lemon Teriyaki Sauce goes well with: Fish, shrimp, scallops, grilled chicken, and Asian rice dishes