Teriyaki sauce, which originated in Japan, is popular in the United States and many other foreign countries. The combination of fragrant soy sauce and thick mirin, a sweet rice wine, is exquisite. It is an essential Japanese condiment used for both meat and fish dishes.
Have you ever wondered how this popular sauce is made? Here we will introduce an easy-to-follow teriyaki sauce recipe that will give you the taste of Japan right at home!

What is teriyaki sauce made of?

Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

What do you imagine when you hear the word teriyaki?
In actuality, there are some differences in the taste and how you enjoy the Japanese cooking method of teriyaki versus teriyaki sauce as it is known in the United States and other foreign countries.
Japanese teriyaki sauce consists of using soy sauce, sugar, and a sweet rice wine known as mirin. Mirin is a unique Japanese condiment made by fermenting steamed glutinous rice and a distilled alcoholic beverage.
Sometimes, mirin-like condiments are used (cheaper, fermented condiments with less than 1% alcohol can be used in the place of mirin).
When mixed, these ingredients make a sweet sauce used to glaze meat or fish while it’s being grilled. This cooking method was given its name due to the final product of meat or vegetables producing a shine, or in Japanese a teri, from being coated in the sauce
On the other hand, teriyaki sauce abroad is made from its own original recipe. It’s used for soaking meat or as a finishing sauce on already grilled meat.
In addition to soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (mirin-like condiments), ingredients such as garlic, foreign liquors, and spices can be found in the teriyaki sauce sold in foreign countries. This differs from the original Japanese condiment.

A popular soy sauce in both Japan and foreign countries. Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

The reason for the difference in the sauces lies in Kikkoman, a Japanese soy sauce brand, making its way to the United States.
After the war, in the 1950s, Japan began to export soy sauce again. Given this opportunity, Kikkoman had a strong desire to share the deliciousness of their soy sauce with Americans. This led to the invention and experimentation of using soy sauce to accent everyday American cuisine. Slowly but surely, dishes using soy sauce became popular.
In the midst of this, Japanese cuisine started gaining attention due to a boom in Japan’s popularity starting in 1958. Many Americans began to use soy sauce while eating BBQ and called it teriyaki. Due to this, Kikkoman produced a BBQ sauce called Teriyaki Marinade that became widely popular throughout t…

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