Top photo by Oliver Lindekugel/Flickr
When buying a bottled teriyaki sauce, most people associate it with Japanese cuisine as that’s what they see on television, their favorite Japanese restaurants, and other print or web advertisements. But unknown to many, there is a vast difference between with what authentic Japanese-flavored teriyaki sauce and the usual American-flavored teriyaki sauce is like.
Even big supermarket outside Japan, place their bottled teriyaki sauces in the “Asian cuisine” section.
“Traditional Japanese teriyaki refers to the whole process of grilling either chicken, fish, or beef while glazing it with a mixture of sweetened soy sauce. For it to last for years in proper storage, mirin or sake is added. It also makes the sauce more flavorful.
You can opt to create your own traditional teriyaki sauce but if you’re pressed for cooking time, you can pick the following bottled teriyaki sauce:
1. Yamasa Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
– Although it deviates from using the usual rice wine in making their sauce, they used “alcohol” and other “artificial flavors” which may suit some tastebuds. But for those who already know the original taste of teriyaki sauce, you may find this particular sauce taste too thick and strong.
2. Tabasco Brand Spicy Teriyaki Sauce
– Tabasco is known for its bottled hot sauces so it might come off strange for others to purchase a bottle of their teriyaki sauce. And yes, even their version of the sauce has a small amount of spiciness that gained mixed reactions from the consumers.
On the other hand, American-style teriyaki sauce is usually used in marinating various meat like chicken, fish, and beef. Then, sesame oil, sesame seed, ginger, garlic, and/or zesty fruits are added to the sauce produced in the usual Japanese-style of teriyaki cooking. Cornstarch is also added to make the sauce thicker and become a better dip.
You can try the following bottled American-style teriyaki:
1. Annie Chun’s Gourmet Teriyaki
– This bottled teriyaki sauce became famous for having a balanced taste of sweetness and saltiness. Its texture is like a syrup medicine and according to some who tried, it may have too much sesame seed.
2. Kikkoman Original Teriyaki Takumi Collection
– The brand Kikkoman is known for offering a variety of sauces and their teriyaki sauce is a great balance of ginger, garlic, and sesame. Unfortunately, their teriyaki sauce’s texture is less syrup texture compared to the bottled teriyaki sauce mentioned above.”
It maybe difficult for some to differentiate the traditional Japanese-flavored teriyaki sauce from the American-stlye by simply tasting them. But regardless, what is important is that the sauce brings out the umami flavor that Japanese cuisine promises to its consumers and provides them the nutrition that they need.