teriyaki sauce!

i’m no cook, but sometimes i come across such easy recipes that i feel i should share it.  i happen to like teriyaki, so finding this easy teriyaki sauce recipe makes me quite happy.  i must say though, if you have any questions about the recipe i probably won’t be able to answer it, although i’ll try.  i know there are those professional type chefs that will probably have a million questions; like i said, i’m not a cook.  not by a long shot.  😦

easy teriyaki sauce


soy sauce (i like the kikkoman brand)


cooking rice wine/cooking sake (plain cooking sake/rice wines!  don’t use flavored ones unless you really want your sauce to have added flavor.  i don’t recommend it.)

if you’re feeling spendy use those super expensive drinking sake that cost about $70 a bottle.  but i think that’s just wasting money.  besides, it’ll probably taste better in your belly than in the pan.


the idea is super simple.  you maintain a 1:1:1 ratio of the three ingredients.  two tablespoons of each should give you enough sauce to cook a one-person portion.  add more for more meat or if you want more sauce.

after putting the three ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly and pour into a pan.  a saute pan is fine.  crank the fire to high or medium high & heat up the sauce until the edge starts to bubble slightly.  reduce the heat to medium (or medium low if you have a powerful stove), and put in your choice of meat.  i like chicken so i’m going to say chicken.

if you’re using boneless chicken breast with skin, put it skin side down, close the lid, and let it sit for a few minutes (3-5 depending on the meat size and your stove).  if you want you can peek; better if you have a glass lid that you can see through.  then flip it & cook it until it’s done, or to the doneness of your liking.  if you want crispier skin then flip it again to cook the skin some more.  if not then serve it on a plate of rice.

if you’re using boneless skinless chicken, cube the chicken to 1″ cubes (or whatever size you like) and put them in.  stir the meat around like you’re doing a stir fry.  cook it til the chicken is done to your liking.

if you’re a steak or pork lover, cook those instead.  just remember don’t cook the steak to death.  with pork, make sure you cook it to death (or well done) so you won’t get sick.

if you like a saltier teriyaki sauce, put in more soy sauce.  if you like it sweet, put in some sugar to make it sweet.  the sugar will melt and thicken the sauce, giving you that glossy shiny look.  (there’s sugar in the mirin as well, so you don’t really have to add sugar.)  how much more soy sauce, or how much sugar, you ask?  shoot, i don’t know what sweet or salty means to you.  you gotta experiment.  as far as the type of sugar, regular white sugar is fine.  or you can use that sugar in the raw stuff if you’re feeling iron-chefy.  don’t know about brown sugar, but i guess it can work.  try it.

pour whatever sauce left right on the chicken.  if you don’t have enough sauce make a little more (or a lot more) & pour that on.  serve the finished chicken with rice, make a small salad, and eat.  simple but pretty hearty meal.  whip up some miso soup if you want the whole experience.

[update mar. 24, 2010]

q&b brought up a good point.  she mentioned shao hsing wine.  i’m not an expert on rice wines so i’m not sure, but i think shao hsing has a flavor to it that may mess with the sauce.  to be safe i’d say stick with japanese cooking sake; they’re typically flavorless and perfect for this sauce.  shirakiku & kikkoman are pretty solid commercial brands.  but you’re free to experiment as much as you want.  🙂  another good point by q&b: be careful when you buy the cooking sake and mirin.  they can be mistaken with rice vinegar due to the color, especially mirin.  double check the label before you buy.

another quick point.  if you’re making extra sauce, you just heat up the mixture (soy sauce/mirin/sake) until it’s bubbling.  cook off the alcohol in the sake and mirin and you should be set.  if you want to taste it while it cooks, REMEMBER IT’S FRIGGING HOT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ADD SUGAR.  don’t burn yourself.

8 comments on “teriyaki sauce!

  1. One comment, keep in mind that cooking rice wine is different from rice wine vinegar. Make sure you pick up the right one. Cooking rice wine is sometimes call Shao Hsing or Shao Xing in Chinese, and it is usually clear in color. Rice wine vinegar is yellowish in color. I’ve made that mistake one too many times. 🙂

    • good point. stick with cooking sake then. it’s completely colorless and almost flavorless, and perfect for teriyaki sauce or any dish that needs a flavorless wine. shirakiku makes a decent one. if not then kikkoman.

      i think shao hsing has a flavor to it, and not recommended for this sauce. look for regular cooking rice wine if you’re going with chinese rice wines; i think they put them in plastic bottles now. but since it’s a japanese sauce i’d say use a japanese rice wine. 🙂

  2. Yes Shao Hsing does have a strong flavor. I bought one recently and man oh man, it was terrible. I need to find the original one that I always use. I’ll try your sauce one of these days, just have to find the sake cooking wine, shouldn’t be that hard. Thanks again for the recipe.

  3. Question, why would it be “FRIGGING HOT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ADD SUGAR”? Shouldn’t it just be “frigging hot” anyway with or without sugar?

  4. A couple of weeks ago, I tasted the most delicious Teriyaki short ribs ever! I was able to find out the ingredient list but not the proportions. This site has been helpful for the soy, mirin, and rice wine (1:1:1 ratio). But this recipe also had honey, vinegar, salt, and water. Does anyone have any suggestions for the addition of these ingredients?

    thanks so much,

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