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What Does Teriyaki Sauce Taste Like? Everything You Need To Know About Teriyaki Sauce

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Teriyaki sauce is a popular Japanese condiment that has become increasingly popular in cuisines around the world. 

This flavorful sauce has a unique taste that combines sweet and savory flavors, and it is incredibly versatile in its use. 

What Does Teriyaki Sauce Taste Like Everything You Need To Know About Teriyaki Sauce

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about teriyaki sauce, including its history, ingredients, flavor profile, and how it’s used in cooking.

So let’s get into everything that you need to know about the popular sauce that is teriyaki sauce!

What Is Teriyaki Sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and savory sauce that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is made by combining soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (a sweet rice wine), along with other ingredients such as sake, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.

The sauce is typically thickened with cornstarch to give it a smooth, glossy texture.

Teriyaki sauce is known for its distinct umami flavor, which comes from the combination of savory soy sauce and sweet mirin. 

It is often used as a marinade for meats, fish, and vegetables, and can also be used as a glaze or dipping sauce. 

In recent years, teriyaki sauce has become popular outside of Japan and is now commonly used in a variety of fusion dishes.

The History Of Teriyaki Sauce

The origins of teriyaki sauce can be traced back to Japan in the 17th century, during the Edo period. At the time, teriyaki referred to a method of cooking fish or meat by grilling or broiling it with a glaze made from soy sauce and sugar.

The word “teriyaki” is a combination of two Japanese words: “teri,” meaning “glossy” or “shiny,” and “yaki,” meaning “grilled” or “broiled.” This describes the signature appearance of the sauce when it is applied to food and caramelizes under high heat.

Over time, teriyaki sauce became a popular condiment for a variety of dishes, and its recipe evolved to include additional ingredients such as mirin, sake, garlic, and ginger. 

As Japanese cuisine gained popularity around the world, so did teriyaki sauce, and it is now a staple ingredient in many kitchens worldwide.

Today, teriyaki sauce is not only used in traditional Japanese dishes but also in fusion cuisine and as a marinade or sauce for a wide variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables.

The Ingredients Of Teriyaki Sauce

The ingredients of teriyaki sauce can vary depending on the recipe, but some common ingredients include.

  • Soy Sauce: This provides the savory, umami flavor that is characteristic of teriyaki sauce. You can use either regular soy sauce or low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Sugar: This adds sweetness to the sauce and helps to balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce. You can use brown sugar, white sugar, or honey.
  • Mirin: This is a sweet rice wine that is essential for adding sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce. You can use either sweet mirin or hon-mirin (true mirin), which is more expensive but has a higher quality.
  • Sake: Sake is a Japanese rice wine that adds flavor to the sauce. You can use either sweet or dry sake.
  • Garlic: This adds a pungent, aromatic flavor to the sauce. You can use either fresh garlic or garlic powder.
  • Ginger: Ginger adds a slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavor to the sauce. You can use either fresh ginger or ginger powder.
  • Cornstarch: This is used to thicken the sauce and give it a smooth, glossy texture.
  • Water: Water dilutes the sauce in order to achieve the desired consistency.

Some variations of teriyaki sauce may also include additional ingredients such as green onions, sesame oil, or hot sauce to add more depth of flavor and spice.

How Is Teriyaki Sauce Used In Cooking

Teriyaki sauce is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways in cooking. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways that teriyaki sauce can be used in cooking. 


Teriyaki sauce is a popular marinade for meats, seafood, and vegetables. You can marinate the food for as little as 30 minutes or overnight to infuse it with flavor.


Teriyaki sauce can also be used as a glaze for grilled or broiled meats, seafood, and vegetables. 

To do so, brush the sauce onto the food during the last few minutes of cooking to create a caramelized, shiny finish.

Stir-Fry Sauce

Another way to use teriyaki sauce is as a stir-fry sauce to flavor vegetables, noodles, and meats. 

To use it as a stir-fry sauce, add the sauce to the stir-fry during the last few minutes of cooking.

Dipping Sauce

Teriyaki sauce makes a great dipping sauce for appetizers such as chicken wings, egg rolls, or potstickers.

Salad Dressing

Teriyaki sauce is also an excellent choice when it comes to dressing for salads or slaws, especially those made with Asian ingredients such as cabbage, carrots, and sesame seeds.

Overall, teriyaki sauce is a great way to add flavor and depth to a variety of dishes and can be used in many different ways in the kitchen.

Teriyaki Sauce Dishes

Teriyaki sauce can be used in a variety of dishes, so let’s take a look at some potential dishes that are easy to make with teriyaki sauce. 

Teriyaki Chicken

This is a classic dish where chicken is marinated in teriyaki sauce, then grilled or baked until tender and juicy.

Teriyaki Beef

Similar to teriyaki chicken, this dish features marinated beef that is grilled or pan-fried and served with vegetables and rice.

Teriyaki Salmon

Salmon fillets are brushed with teriyaki sauce and grilled or baked until flaky and flavorful.

Teriyaki Tofu

For a vegetarian option, tofu can be marinated in teriyaki sauce and sautéed or grilled until crispy and caramelized.

Teriyaki Stir-Fry

This dish features a variety of vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms, stir-fried with meat or tofu, and a generous amount of teriyaki sauce.

Final Thoughts

Teriyaki sauce is a delicious and versatile ingredient that has become a staple in many kitchens around the world. 

With its combination of sweet and savory flavors, it adds a unique taste to a variety of dishes, from classic teriyaki chicken to stir-fries and burgers. 

Understanding the history and ingredients of teriyaki sauce can help you appreciate its culinary significance, while also giving you the knowledge to experiment and create your own dishes with this flavorful sauce. 

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner, teriyaki sauce is a valuable ingredient that can help you elevate your cooking to the next level!

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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