Teriyaki Sauce

In the U.S. most supermarkets carry a variety of “teriyaki sauces,” which are then used to marinate, stir-fry, or grill an assortment of foods. In Japan, teriyaki is a grilling yakimono technique. “Yaki” refers to grilling, broiling, roasting, or pan-frying. “Teri” means “glossy.” The glossy-sauce is made by cooking mirin, sake, and shoyu until it is thick and shiny. With continuous basting while the food is cooking (or occasionally at the end of cooking), the sauce carmelizes into a lustrous glaze. In Japan, teriyaki usually means fish: yellowtail, marlin, skipjack tuna, salmon, trout, and mackerel. But Western style meats are often treated to the teriyaki method of cooking: chicken, pork, lamb and beef. Teriyaki usually involves larger pieces of food as opposed to
skewered bites.


Can you see in the picture how little restraint I showed? Corn carmelized on the grill is irresistible!

So sweet, tender, and juicy…


Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki no tare
yields 1/2 cup sauce
page 77

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • Chicken Teriyaki with Orange1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup shoyu
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

In a small saucepan, heat the mirin and sake over low to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the shoyu and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook the mixture over low heat for 25 minutes. Let the sauce cool, then store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.  The sauce should be as thick as honey!  If it’s too thin, it won’t stick to your food when grilling or broiling.

Other seasonings you can add to this sauce: honey, grated ginger, grated garlic, chopped scallions, fruit juice, fresh or dried chile or toban jiang (Japanese chile bean sauce), spices…

I made the Chicken Teriyaki with Orange back at the beginning of my blog, but did not include the recipe. (1/2 the above recipe, 1/2 cup orange juice, and 2 cloves).

Teriyaki chicken on the grill
Mr. Tess grilled 4 skinlesss chicken thighs (on the bone) over a hot charcoal and wood fire. I heated the half of the teriyaki sauce (1/4 cup) in a heavy cast iron skillet and added some minced garlic and toban jiang. When the chicken was cooked, I added brought the chicken in and glazed it in the hot sauce. Note, Ms. Shimbo’s recipe is all cooked in a heavy skillet in the kitchen! Remember, yakimono includes pan-frying?

Some cooking tips:

The pan on the right is chicken braising in a lemon, wine, garlic, and herb liquid—we’re usually cooking for only two, so when we fire up the grill, it’s a good idea to make more than one meal. That chicken benefited with the flavor of the applewood smoke and made an easy to eat meal another day.

I grill corn with the husks. It seems to promote carmaelization rather than burning. It’s unnecessary to soak the corn before grilling; soaking means the corn steams. To butter corn without a melting mess all over your plate, butter a half slice of bread. Rub it butter side to the corn to melt, and the bread absorbs the extra butter.

More Yakimono Recipes From Tess

⇐ Previous Post Next Post ⇒
Yuan Yaki, Japanese Grilling Beef Donburi

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