What Is in Teriyaki Sauce?

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Food-lovers everywhere enjoy wide varieties of flavor. From Mexican to Italian, individuals love to spice up dishes with special ingredients. However, how do you make some of those unique sauces and marinades yourself? Teriyaki sauce, a common additive to Asian dishes, is explained and explored here.

History of Teriyaki

Teriyaki is actually a relatively recent development in the culinary world. Of Japanese origin, the word “teriyaki” is a combination of “teri” meaning “glaze” and “yaki” meaning “broiling” (see References below). It was not incorporated into the English language until the mid-1960s. Since then, however, it has become widespread and is used in many common dishes today.

Types of Teriyaki Sauce

Several types of teriyaki sauce exist. You can browse the condiment aisles of most supermarkets to find a variety of “teriyaki” spice packets, marinades, sauces and glazes. However, teriyaki sauce most often comes either in complete liquid form or as a liquid filled with bits of key ingredients.

Manufactured Teriyaki Sauce

A widely known manufacturer of teriyaki sauce is Kikkoman, a company specializing in soy sauce production (see References below). The ingredients listed for Kikkoman’s Teriyaki Sauce include Kikkoman’s own soy sauce (including water, salt, soybeans and wheat), various wines, high fructose corn syrup, salt, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder and various other spices. Other producers of teriyaki sauce add monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, a flavor enhancer. However, the basic ingredients remain the same for most manufactured teriyaki sauces.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce can also be made from the comfort of one’s own kitchen. These recipes usually start with a base of soy sauce. However, many different ingredients can be added to that base. For instance, well-known chef Tyler Florence’s recipe calls for dark sesame oil, honey, fresh ginger, green onions, minced garlic, sesame seeds and the juice from two oranges (see References below). This recipe, of course, will appear more “chunky” than some of the manufactured recipes; however, many cooks prefer this alternative presentation and find the addition of fresh flavors appealing.

Teriyaki Dishes

The ingredients in teriyaki sauce allow for a complement to any number of dishes. Some of the more popular recipes include Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Steak and Teriyaki Vegetables. However, teriyaki sauce is beginning to be found in hamburgers, salads and other menu items in restaurants and kitchens across the country. It is, indeed, a versatile sauce that takes many dishes to the next level.

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