All about Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is widely used in Japanese cuisine, as an ingredient or as an accompaniment. Usually made from soy, it is used in the preparation of various grilled foods, such as chicken, meat and fish. 

Due to its frequent use in cooking, you have probably come across it in a Japanese restaurant or even on a supermarket shelf during the seasoning session.

The fact is that Japanese food is very popular in our country and in the world and several of its ingredients are becoming more and more present in our cuisine, teriyaki sauce is a great example of this.

In this article, we will learn more about the tarê sauce, its origins, its variations and a way to prepare this sauce in your own home. We will also clarify the differences between tare and teriyaki sauce.

A little of the History of Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki (照り焼き) is a full-bodied and shiny sweet and sour sauce. According to some historians, the sauce was invented in the 17th century by a Japanese chef.

However, some historians believe that the teriyaki sauce was an invention of Japanese immigrants who went to Hawaii around 1960, they created the sauce from products found in the region by mixing it with the soy sauce.

Over time, teriyaki sauce has been implemented in various dishes of Japanese cuisine. Today, the sauce has gained new ingredients that are basically soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger.

Nowadays, Japanese food is highly consumed worldwide. Due to Japanese immigration to the USA in the 1960s, an increasing number of Japanese restaurants in the country made teriyaki sauce popular.

With this impulse caused by the popularization in the United States, the teriyaki sauce was modified and gained new ingredients and forms of preparation. Urbanization, new cultivation methods and the influence of other countries and cultures influenced teriyaki sauce, today it can be found in several countries.

It was also no different in Brazil, Japanese food has been widely consumed for a long time and the teriyaki sauce has been gaining its space within Brazilian cuisine, today it is possible to find many tutorials on YouTube and on recipe sites teaching dishes with Japanese sauce.

all about teriyaki sauce

What does Teriyaki mean in Japan?

If Teriyaki sauce was an invention of immigrants, what does it mean teriyaki in Japan? Is there such a sauce in the country?

Teriyaki is a technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade.

The sauce is usually used in several yellow-tailed fish, marlin, tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and also in meats, hamburgers and meatballs.

In Japan, sweet soy sauce is not called teriyaki but satoushouyu [砂糖醤油]. Of course, some may understand, since it is about marinating food in sweet sauce.

all about teriyaki sauce
Teriyaki in Japan

Famous Dishes With Teriyaki

Teriyaki made from soy sauce, is used in the preparation of many oriental and western dishes, as in grilled foods; chicken, fish and meat in general.

It is also often used as an accompaniment to Japanese cuisine. Now let's talk about some of the most famous dishes that have teriyaki sauce as their main ingredient.


The teriyaki chicken is based on the Japanese teriyaki recipe. The chicken is grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade. The dishes usually come with chicken breast with rice topped with sweet and sour teriyaki sauce.

Despite its popularity, teriyaki chicken elsewhere are not as popular and are therefore not widely consumed. Despite having a Japanese origin, the dish is very inspired in the city of Seattle and is widely consumed in the United States.


a hamburger teriyaki is a variety of hamburger that usually comes with teriyaki sauce as a topping or side dish. Also, another way to do it is to prepare the hamburger meat with the sauce.


Teriyaki Tofu is a vegetarian dish made with fried tofu. After frying the tofu and it is golden, the teriyaki sauce is still added to the pan, cooking the tofu together with the sauce. It is excellent as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to rice. This is a dish for people who don't like tofu very much.


In Japan, one of the most available fish for consumption is salmon, so many Japanese prepare teriyaki salmon at home. In this dish the salmon is grilled until golden and then the dish is finished with the teriyaki sauce.

all about teriyaki sauce

How to Prepare Teriyaki Sauce at Home

Now that we have learned a little bit about the origin of teriyaki sauce, let's learn a simple recipe, which you can make there at home.

This sauce recipe is the mainstay for all of their teriyaki dishes and is also the way the Japanese do it on a daily basis. You will need only 4 simple ingredients: soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar. 

The secret to making the sauce work is to use the same amount of the first three ingredients and then add the sugar to your taste. To make it a little easier, memorize the formula below:

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of withdraw
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin
  •  1 tablespoon in soup of sugar

To thicken the teriyaki sauce, you can reduce it in the frying pan until it has a thicker consistency. Another option is to add 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

If you like, you can also add ginger and other spices to your liking. There is no perfect teriyaki sauce, so it is important to always adjust the teriyaki sauce for each recipe you want to prepare.

all about teriyaki sauce

What Are the Differences Between Tare and Teriyaki Sauces?

Today, the names teriyaki and tarê are very associated with each other, as they have several characteristics in common, are bittersweet, have a thicker thickness and have common ingredients, such as soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar and sake.

Another interesting detail about teriyaki is that it is very associated with the sauce, but it can also refer to cooking methods such as: grilling or frying in the pan and finishing with sauce.

But talking about teriyaki and its relationship with tarare. The teriyaki sauce is actually derived from the tare sauce, and can be seen as an improved version of the original tare, it is generally used when preparing various types of grilled dishes, which gives a more juicy appearance.

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