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.
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.
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.