Tasty and versatile, Teriyaki sauce is one of the most famous and appreciated Japanese condiments both in the country and overseas. Here is his simple recipe! A tasty idea even for your packed lunch (Obento)!
In Japanese cuisine, there are some small tricks that can make a dish very simple, not only beautiful in appearance, but above all rich in flavor.
The Teriyaki style is certainly a great example! Whatever ingredient you decide to prepare following this technique, be sure that the result will be a truly inviting and tasty dish.
The name already describes its preparation 照 り 焼 き:
照 り = Teri = Bright, Glossy
焼 き = Yaki = Grilled
This is a technique that involves two phases. At first, the main ingredient is grilled or boiled and, just before the end of its cooking, it is sprinkled several times by a thick dark sauce until it begins to caramelize.
The sauce, called “Tare” in Japanese, is the reason why this technique is appreciated and used not only in restaurants but also in home cooking. It is a sweet and sour glaze prepared with soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar, all brought to a boil and left to cool until it reaches a dense consistency.
Its birth dates back to the Edo period, when, with the ever-growing development of soy sauce, considered by some to be too strong and concentrated, people start to search some solutions to make it sweeter.
First, they start to dilute first with some mirin and then with sugar. The result led to the birth of modern Teriyaki sauce!
While in the past, the Japanese diet was mainly based on the consumption of fish, the Teriyaki sauce was used in particular with salmon, yellowtail fish or mackerel. Today instead, one of his most important version doesn’t require fish, but chicken! Have you ever tried yakitori?
If you have never heard about it, they are long skewers made with the different parts of the chicken (breast, skin, liver and other entrails), grilled on special plates and immersed in the Teriyaki sauce during cooking. They are the symbolic dish of the Izakayas and the ideal street food during the Matsuri (festivities).
Yakitori are, however just an example. Today the Teriyaki sauce is really used in a myriad of recipes, some even original, like the teriyaki-flavored chips.
Each month I prepared a little of it and I keep it in the fridge. It’s the classic last-minute useful condiment, that you can use in your dinner just to give a bit more of sweet-and-sour flavor!
Here is what we will need to prepare our Teriyaki sauce.
Combine your ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, continuing to mix with the help of a spoon so as to prevent the sauce from sticking and burning.
Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to minimum and, continuing to stir, cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid begins to thicken!
Once ready, pour it into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge.
The Teriyaki sauce should not be used at the beginning of cooking, but only at the end. It should be added a little at a time with the help of a spoon directly on the ingredient that you have decided to serve until the desired flavor and color is reached.
Finally, it can also be added on the complete plate.
Have you ever tried to season your obento with this sauce? Here is the Obento for Yo, vegetables, and rice with chicken in Teriyaki sauce!
Teriyaki sauce has become increasingly popular abroad, and its recipe has been influenced by the West. For example, an alternative is to use Red Wine instead of sake or pineapple juice instead of sugar;
Historical Izakayas have been using the same teriyaki sauce for years! It is never completely replaced but new one is added every day to compensate the one used;
At Fast Food in Japan you will find Teriyaki Burger or, in some cafés, beautiful bowl with Teriyaki chicken and vegetables;
Itadakimasu! い た だ き ま す
Ele & Yo
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