We Don’t Need No Stinking Bottled Teriyaki Sauce!


Grilling is one of the simple pleasures in life, and when the weather is nice, I try to cook grilled food on my Weber at least two or three times a week.

Teriyaki sauce is probably one of the most popular glazes for grilled meats, and lord knows how much commercial, bottled product that tries to pass for real Teriyaki is sold in the United States. Just have a look at the ingredients on those things, and you’ll see tons of MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup and all kinds of nasty things you really don’t want to put into your body. Considering how easy real Teriyaki glaze is to make, there’s no reason to go out and put that crap on a decent peice of poultry or shellfish. Once you’ve made it yourself you will NEVER want to go back to that store-bought industrial garbage ever again.

This is all you need for the basic Teriyaki Sauce:

1 Cup of Premium Soy Sauce Try to get a Soy Sauce that has just Soybeans, Water, Wheat and Salt as ingredients, if you can. The lower grade Soy Sauces from Japan, China, Korea and the domestic-produced Kikkoman have alcohol and other nasty things in it. Spend the extra money for a good one. The Japanese term is “Marudaizu” for soy sauce (shouyu) that is only made with those four ingredients and is pretty much produced to the highest standards — it’s a general purpose sauce that is ideal for all cooking and condiment needs. Sometimes you will also find the word Marudaizu combined with the word “Tokusen“, which means “Premium”. Expect to spend about $7-$9 for a large bottle of Marudaizu-grade soy sauce imported from Japan produced by one of the big companies, like Kikkoman or Yamasa. The more expensive stuff at $20 a bottle or more is really artisan stuff that is for high-end sushi and kaiseki applications — its awesome but you don’t want to use it for cooking, it’s strictly a condiment. The organic Tamari-style soy sauces like San-J aren’t what you want for cooking applications either — they are wheatless, and again primarily only for condiment use. AsianGrocer.com has a basic Marukin brand soy sauce in a 36oz bottle with only water, soybeans, wheat and salt as ingredients for $2.99. Many lower-cost Korean-Manufactured Japanese-style brands are fine providing they only have the four ingredients. Do not buy “Lite” soy sauce — it’s just regular soy sauce with more water in it. Here’s an interesting shoot-out of Marudaizu Shouyus from Travel and Leisure Magazine.

1/2 cup of Chinese Rice Wine, or a combination of Sake and Mirin. A dry white table wine like a Pinot Grigio (not an oaky Chardonnay) is fine if you can’t get any of these.

3 Tablespoons of Sugar (White or Brown, brown will give you more of a molasses flavor).

2 Scallions, Finely Chopped.

Optional Components: Chopped Jalapeno Pepper or other mild chili, Grated Ginger, Minced Garlic, Chopped fresh Pineapple, Honey, Orange Juice.

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring with wooden spoon until sauce just starts to stick to the back of the spoon. Taste for saltiness. Add more sugar, or Orange Juice to taste. Remove from heat. Add toasted sesame seeds or toasted sesame oil.

Put the stuff in a glass or plastic container and use it as a basting sauce for your favorite grilled meats, seafood and vegetables. Keep it in your fridge, it will stay good for a while if sealed.

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Guess what — you can turn your Teriyaki Glaze into a fantastic salad dressing too by combining it with more sesame oil and either more citrus juice (lemon or lime juice) or some more vinegar.

8 Responses to We Don’t Need No Stinking Bottled Teriyaki Sauce!

  1. […] Certainly I’ve had my share of legitimately Japanese and Korean-style hibachi dishes (1) (2) (3) (4) but sometimes you want to go for the full blown, ersatz Japanese Rocky Aoki Benihana-style experience with all the schtick associated with it (click for Google Video). […]

  2. Tamari lover says:

    Tamari – wheat less soy sauce is maybe not for cooking mainly because it is too good/expensive to use for everyday cooking.

    shoyu (soy sauce with lots of wheat=cheap to make, sharper taste, good for everyday cooking)
    tamari(soy sauce with none or little of wheat=full-bodied, mild and rich but expensive=used for special meal like sushi or sashimi)

    San-J is acutally from a family owned authentic Shoyu maker in a rural town in Japan. They have a small factory in Richmond and is doing a great job making quality tamari. They don’t expand because they don’t want to be like kikkoman. They also make sure to make their good soy sauce to be certified Kosher. I think Jewish families should be happy to have San-J here in USA. Having a quality Kosher tamari is too good to be true!!!!!!!!

    But you are right in using regular soy sauce, not tamari for marinade. it make sense. San-J makes regular soy sauce too, they use less wheat than kikkoman still, because it is soy sauce and not wheat sauce with additives.

  3. jessica says:

    have you tried soy vay?? hmmf. You may not *need* it, but it’s damned good.

    • Yum! says:

      Soy vay is AMAZING!!!!! We just ran out and I am using a home-made sauce now and will try this one, but think Soy Vay is the one to use most of the time, it is totally addictive :- )

  4. […] thru the jasmine in your mind? So you went a bit overboard grilling up some shrimp, or perhaps some chicken, or maybe even some steak or some pork chops. Burgers even. You made too much food and now you have […]

  5. […] the teriyaki sauce I found a recipe online.  I adjusted some of the amounts since my original recipe called for 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce and […]

  6. blog by tina says:

    that looks great! I love to put siracha in mine!

  7. jubbiz says:

    Thanks, I’m going to use this tonight!

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