The standard teriyaki sauce has just 4 ingredients, which are soy sauce, Japanese sake, mirin and sugar.
And to figure out how much of each ingredient, you can simply apply the following ratio 2:1:1:1 (double of soy sauce compared to each ingredient). It’s that simple that it’s easy to remember off by heart.
Here on with this foundation, we can customise. Like reducing the sweetness, adding garlic, ginger etc for pizazz. For example, I like using maple syrup instead of white sugar, and I like it less sweet, so my customisation is the following:
My best teriyaki sauce ratio:
Soy sauce: 2
Japanese sake: 1
Maple syrup: 1 (can be substituted with honey)
Variation: add ratio 1 of rice wine vinegar and a clove of garlic or same size ginger for an aromatic version!!!! It goes well with chicken.
Once ratio’s sorted, then it splits into two camps when one goes about cooking with it.
Some people like to first start to fry the fish or meat or whatever they fancy eating with teriyaki sauce, then at quite an early stage in cooking, pour the sauce mixture ‘direct’ on to it and fry/ sizzle together until the sauce is thickened.
I never really liked that method though. The sauce mingles with the murky oil from the frying pan, and the juice from the ingredients water down the sauce (the salt in the soy sauce also draws out the juice!). Plus on another downside the little amount of sauce that you use will reduce so quickly in the shallow frying pan, that the sugars in it bubble, sizzle and burn. The result taste substandard, and needless to say, burnt.
Instead, it’s better to concoct the perfect teriyaki sauce separately by reducing it down to up to about a 1/2 or until to the perfect viscosity is achieved, and only then ‘coat’ the fried fish/meat with it by pouring it over. Here, you might even wipe away the excess oil in the frying pan with a paper-kitchen-towel before putting in the sauce. You’d notice the difference, it’s perfectly viscous sauce taste clean yet intensified, and will definitely have a gorgeously enticing sheen, like it ought to.
The best teriyaki sauce recipe:
In a small pot, put together the following ingredients. It uses the recommended ratio mentioned above.
Soy sauce: 30ml
Japanese sake: 15ml
Maple syrup: 15ml
(Since you’re boiling it down, the minimum amount of soy sauce is 30ml. If this yields too much for you, just make it anyway and reserve the excess in the fridge. It keeps for 1-2 weeks.)
Then simply reduce it down to 1/2. Ideally by simmering, not boiling lest it reduces too much when eyes are off.
(Teriyaki coated soy-mince & hijiki seaweed balls)