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Teriyaki Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

It seems everyone who lives outside Japan today has heard the word teriyaki, but most people still do not know exactly what it means. In any large American supermarket, finding a bottle of something called teriyaki sauce is as easy as locating a bottle of shoyu (soy sauce). I’ve studied many labels on these teriyaki sauce bottles, and have always found inauthentic recipes. Now you can learn to make real, basic teriyaki sauce, with mirin, and enjoy this delicious cooking style. Teriyaki is a name for a special grilling technique (teri means “glossy”; yaki means “grilling”). This technique requires a basting sauce, called tare. Continual basting with tare imparts a deep, rich, caramelized flavor to the grilled food, and at the same time gives it an attractive, glossy brown appearance. The original teriyaki no tare (teriyaki basting sauce) recipe employs only shoyu (soy sauce), mirin (sweet cooking wine), and sometimes sugar. Adding other seasonings—honey, grated ginger, grated garlic, chopped scallions, fruit juice, fresh or dried chile or toban jiang (chili-bean sauce)—produces any number of teriyaki sauce variations. After mastering the authentic basting sauce, create your own, so that you no longer need to buy a bottle of prepared sauce at the store.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low-fat, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesalty, savory, sweet, umami, winey

Type of Dishbarbecue sauce, marinades

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • ¼ cup sake (rice wine)
  • ¼ cup shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the mirin and sake over low to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the shoyu and sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook the mixture over low heat for 25 minutes. Let the sauce cool, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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