Teriyaki sauce is magic. You can put it on anything. Meat, fish, tofu, any kind of vegetable suddenly tastes more amazing than before. However, bottled teriyaki sauce is full of all kinds of weird ingredients, is too sweet, too sticky, and too thick and costs $5 to $8 a bottle. Teriyaki sauce is really quick and easy to make. I make it once a week. I find it particularly handy when I’ve got odds and ends of veggies I need to cook and a miniscule bit of meat that I need to stretch out over the last two cups of rice in the pantry.
To make teriyaki sauce, you only need three pantry staples and an optional extra.
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup mirin (this is rice wine vinegar – available at most major supermarkets and easily found in Asian markets)
1 tablespoon sugar (any) or honey (This is the maximum amount of sweetener you should add, and feel free to use less and adjust to taste).
A small coin sized piece of ginger (optional. I often find a shrivelled piece of ginger in the vegetable bin of my fridge, and this is what I use).
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, stir to dissolve the sugar or honey.
Allow to simmer for about five minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce should reduce to a sticky but pourable consistency. The longer you cook it, the more reduced and stickier it will be. Allow to cool.
Meals with Teriyaki Sauce:
This is a pungent sauce and a little can go a long way. It sounds like a small amount, but I find this amount is enough for two to three meals. This is the minimum amount of sauce I’d recommend making, so multiply the quantity as needed.
This sauce is so versatile. You can use it to marinade meat or seafood before cooking, or dress cooked food with it afterwards.
For the ever popular teriyaki chicken, take four chicken thighs, pan fry then drizzle with half the recipe of sauce.
Teriyaki Vegetables and Tofu
Tofu, pumpkin, mushrooms, green beans, spinach and eggplant are particularly good drizzled with teriyaki sauce.
Teriyaki Noodles for the School Lunch Box
My son’s favourite kinder lunch is a handful of cooked udon noodles that has been dressed with a teaspoon of teriyaki sauce and scattered with toasted sesame seeds. Paired with diced cucumber, it’s an ideal lunch. When you’re looking for udon noodles, try to find the frozen blocks rather than the small ‘shelf fresh’ packs or fridge packs. Frozen udon noodles are the kind used in Japanese restaurants and have a chewier more toothsome texture and no weird smell.