Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce, Thin or Thick

Salmon with Thick Teriyaki Sauce, Roasted Peanuts & Lime

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce, Thick or Thin
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate, by Mari

There are many versions of  Teriyaki sauce recipes, some are a little simpler than this one but this is my favorite. It is one I learned years ago from a Japanese friend from Hawaii ~ here's just the way he gave it to me ~ and you'll notice there are no proportions because it depends upon how much sauce you want to make.  Over the years I've changed it just a bit, see my notes beneath the recipe.
For the basic Teriyaki Sauce, 5 ingredients.
No measurements given because the amounts depend upon how much you want to make.
Soy Sauce and Dry Sherry  (Or Dry Vermouth or Sake) in 1 to 1 ratio.
(So, equal amounts of Soy Sauce to vermouth, or sake, or dry sherry)
Brown Sugar ~to make it as sweet as you like  (I use nearly a 1:1:1 ration~ equal amount of soy sauce, vermouth, etc. to sugar)  If you don't like it so sweet, use less sugar.
minced garlic cloves *
minced fresh ginger root *
Mix ingredients in saucepan, warm and stir just until sugar dissolves, cool and use as marinade, or store in a glass jar or bottle in refrigerator until ready to use. Will last several weeks.
My notes:
1.) I always use "Dry/Very Dry" Sherry, sometimes called "Cocktail Sherry" (not Sweet Sherry, and not Cooking Sherry")  
* I like the flavors of garlic and ginger, so I add lots!
2.) My family prefers Teriyaki sauce on the sweet side, so I tend to use nearly the same proportion of sugar as sherry & soy sauce. For example, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup Sherry, 1/3 cup Brown Sugar. Experiment to see how sweet you like it, start with less then add more until you like the taste.
3.)  For THIN sauce:  I bring the sauce ingredients to a quick boil, then turn off heat and allow the garlic & ginger to steep in the liquid as it cools.  For a smooth sauce (without the bits of garlic & ginger) pour the contents of the saucepan through a fine strainer, into a jar or bowl, leaving the garlic & ginger bits behind. (Optional step ~ if you don't mind the bits in your sauce, then don't bother straining.)
4.) For THICK Sauce ~ to be brushed on during the last minute or so of cooking, or served warm as a drizzle or dipping sauce.  (It is not the thin, liquid type used for marinating foods.) Bring ingredients to a boil, as directed above, reduce heat (strain at this point if desired, then return liquid to pan), continue simmering until desired consistency is reached. 
Note: This produces a sauce which is very concentrated in flavor, be cautious not to "over-reduce" the sauce, or it will be unpleasant in taste. The sauce will thicken even further upon cooling.

5.) Some prefer to use white sugar or honey instead of the brown sugar.  For additional flavor you might want to add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to the finished sauce. For spicy teriyaki add a pinch of dried, crushed red chili along with the garlic. Some like to add minced scallion to the sauce after it has cooled.

I hope you enjoy!

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