If you fancy teriyaki chicken or burgers tonight, then why not grab a jar of sauce for a quick and easy meal? Based on the Japanese style of cooking of the same name, teriyaki sauce has become synonymous with rich glazed meats and tasty stir fries.With so many different styles of sauce to choose from, this article takes a look at the top ten best teriyaki sauces and also looks at how and why teriyaki and teriyaki sauce became a firm favorite in the US. We review the nutritional content of teriyaki sauce and consider its sodium levels in the context of today’s dietary guidance.
The Soy Vay Very Veri teriyaki marinade & sauce (42 fl. oz) is our best pick as an award-winning sauce which is free from HFCS and preservatives.
The Kikkoman gluten free teriyaki sauce (10 fl. oz) is our best certified gluten free pick which is free from preservatives, HFCS and MSG.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Teriyaki Sauce
- 1. Soy Vay Marinade & Sauce, Veri Veri Teriyaki
- 2. Kikkoman Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce
- 3. Red Shell Teriyaki Sauce
- 4. Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
- 5. Mr Yoshida’s Sweet Teriyaki Marinade & Cooking Sauce
- 6. Seal Sama Sugar Free Teriyaki Sauce
- 7. The Rice Road Teriyaki Sauce
- 8. Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
- 9. Kikkoman Glaze, Teriyaki
- 10. Panda Express Chinese Mandarin Teriyaki Sauce
- Things to Consider Before Buying Teriyaki Sauce
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Teriyaki Sauce
1. Soy Vay Marinade & Sauce, Veri Veri Teriyaki
The award-winning Soy Vay Veri Veri teriyaki marinade & sauce (42 fl. oz) is kosher certified and free from preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Made from soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and onion, this sauce can be used as a marinade, in cooking or as a dipping/pour-over sauce.Some buyers have commented that the sodium level of this sauce is higher than they expected and like any bottle there can be a risk of some leaks during shipping. This also needs a through shaking before use otherwise sesame seeds and minced garlic can block the bottle neck.
2. Kikkoman Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce
Made with soy sauce made with rice instead of wheat, the Kikkoman gluten free teriyaki sauce (10 fl. oz) is certified gluten free. It also contains wine, onion powder, garlic powder and natural flavors. It is free from preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and MSG. This is a marinade and sauce which is suitable for cooking and table use. Like any teriyaki sauces, this can be on the salty side and it does come in a smaller 10 fl. oz bottle which costs more than regular teriyaki sauce
3. Red Shell Teriyaki Sauce
Free from saturated and trans fats, the Red Shell premium teriyaki sauce (12 fl. oz) is an all-purpose sauce for cooking or dipping. This thicker sauce contains soy sauce, cooking and sweet cooking wines, starch, dried onion, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, lactic acid and spices.This does come in a glass bottle so is at risk of shipping damage. As a thicker sauce it may not be as easy to use as a marinade
4. Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
The Kikkoman teriyaki marinade & sauce (40 fl. oz) is a thinner sauce which may not be as suitable for all types of cooking. This is a traditional teriyaki sauce which contains soy sauce, wine, onion and garlic powders. It also contains sodium benzoate and high-fructose corn syrupSome may find this sauce less flavorful and add extra ingredients such as chili to it when using.
5. Mr Yoshida’s Sweet Teriyaki Marinade & Cooking Sauce
Free from artificial preservatives or added MSG, the six pack of Mr Yoshida’s sweet teriyaki marinade & cooking sauce (17 fl. oz) is all-purpose sauce suitable as a marinade, or in cooking, baking and grilling. This sauce contains soy sauce, mirin, garlic, spice, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. This sauce does not contain sesame.There is a risk of some damage to the bottles during shipping and you may find that the sauce is a little thinner than other teriyaki sauces.
6. Seal Sama Sugar Free Teriyaki Sauce
Made with Splenda, the Seal Sama sugar free teriyaki sauce (12 fl. oz) contains just five calories per tablespoon of sauce. It also contains 300 mg of sodium – around half the sodium content of other teriyaki sauces. Some consumers have found that this does taste quite sweet although it is not sweetened with sugar and it can have a slight aftertaste. This sauce will need a good shake before being used otherwise it can run a little thin. This also comes in a smaller bottle and will cost more than regular teriyaki sauces.
7. The Rice Road Teriyaki Sauce
Free from preservatives and MSG, the Rice Road teriyaki sauce with sesame and ginger (78 fl. oz) contains soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic and chili pepper. It does not have any added alcohol and also contains less sodium than regular teriyaki sauces (250 mg per tablespoon). This is a marinade sauce, ideal for cooking with and stir frying, although some consider it may be a little thick for marinating with. There can be a chance of the bottle being damaged in transit.
8. Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
There is a risk of you receiving these glass bottles broken. Some have also commented that they think there is a little too much garlic in this sauce. It is recommended that it be used as a marinade for beef, ribs, poultry and shrimp, although it is also suitable in stir fries. Dues to its garlic flavor it may not be as suitable for all types of cooking as a regular teriyaki sauce is.You might also find this is more expensive to buy than regular teriyaki and it is also a higher sodium sauce with around 730 mg of sodium per tablespoon.
9. Kikkoman Glaze, Teriyaki
Suitable for brushing onto meat, seafood or fish in the last ten minutes of cooking time, or as a base for sauces, the Kikkoman teriyaki glaze (80 fl. oz) is a thick sauce. Along with soy sauce, sugar, onion, garlic, vinegar and spice, this also contains preservatives. A single tablespoon serving contains around 465 mg of sodium, making it a higher sodium sauce. Some consider this glaze can be a little bland and have added other ingredients to it, although this is marketed as a glaze, rather than a sauce.
10. Panda Express Chinese Mandarin Teriyaki Sauce
Suitable for using on meats, the twin pack of Panda Express Mandarin teriyaki sauce is free from high-fructose corn syrup and does not contain any added MSG. Some buyers have commented that this sauce does not taste as it would in Panda Express and some also consider this is a saltier teriyaki sauce.
Things to Consider Before Buying Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki is a style of cooking.
In Japanese cooking, how food looks is just as important as how it tastes, and teriyaki is one method to increase the visual appeal of food. Teriyaki used to just refer to meat or fish basted with a sweet and salty sauce and then roasted on an open fire or grill. In Japan, teriyaki is most commonly used for broiled or grilled fish. A sauce is applied to the fish a few times until it begins to caramelize.
‘Teri’ comes the word tare, which means glaze or luster and describes the sheen that the sauce gives to food. The tare is usually made by blending soy sauce (shoyu) with mirin (sweet rice liquor) or sake and sugar. This mix is then boiled down to reduce its liquid content and concentrate its flavors. This also cuts through some of the saltiness of the soy sauce and allows the sugars to produce a glaze when the sauce is applied to food.
‘Yaki’ means cooking over direct heat and is found in other cooking methods such as sukiyaki, teppanyaki and more.
Teriyaki has been around since the 1600s and developed from the time when soy sauce began to be mass produced around the city of Edo (now Tokyo). Soy sauce on its own was thought to be too strong for most dishes, but when it was blended with rice wine or sugar it became less powerful and also more affordable.
At this time, meat was rarely eaten, so early teriyaki recipes were for fish such as yellowtail, marlin, tuna, salmon and mackerel. Even today, yellowtail and marlin remain classics in teriyaki cooking although most home cooking tends to pan-fry rather than grill. Eel was also a favorite, but this is known as kabayaki although the sauce is as teriyaki. Some of the overseas uses of teriyaki have also gone to Japan - teriyaki burgers are now popular in Japanese fast food chains.
About Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is usually a cooking sauce rather than table sauce but can be used for dipping or as a condiment. A typical Japanese style teriyaki sauce will have balanced salt and sweet and should be glossy with an umami taste. Sauces available in the US are often free from alcohol and often contains other flavors such as toasted sesame oil, ginger and minced garlic.
This westernized version of teriyaki sauce is thought to have evolved from Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, where brown sugar was more available than rice. A Hawaiian teriyaki may also contain pineapple juice - the bromelain in pineapple is able to tenderize red meat. Hawaiian teriyaki was the inspiration for Kikkoman’s bottled teriyaki sauce which it introduced to the US in 1961.
The thicker US-style is easier for basting with during cooking and its high sugar content helps give a thick caramelized coating. This style can sometimes contain starch and may be labelled as a grilling sauce.
A thinner teriyaki is more helpful for marinating it is absorbed into the meat or food easier. These types of teriyaki sauce will often be labelled as marinade. These can also have stronger flavor as the flavor develops over time as the meat is marinating. A minimum recommendation is to soak meats in teriyaki sauce for at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow the flavor and glaze to come through, although you may find it better to marinate for two hours or more.
You should avoid marinating fish for longer than 30 minutes however, as after this time, the marinade can actually start to break down the flesh of the fish. Once you have finished marinating, dispose of any leftover marinade.
In real word terms though, there is often little difference between teriyaki sauces in the US, most are all-purpose sauces and marinades unless the manufacturer explicitly states that it is best used as a marinade or as a condiment/dipping sauce.
Teriyaki can have many uses, but it is mainly used to add flavor to stir fries and as a base for chicken wings, ribs or in ground meat for burgers.
Teriyaki Sauce Nutrition
As soy sauce is often the main ingredient in teriyaki sauce, it does mean that it is high in sodium. A tablespoon will have around 690 mg of sodium which is almost half of our American Heart Association recommended daily intake of 1,500 mg.
Extra sodium in the bloodstream pulls more water into the blood vessels causing the volume of blood vessels to increase. This in turn causes an increase in blood pressure. This increased pressure can damage or overstretch blood vessel walls and contribute to faster depositing of fatty plaques. All of which forces the heart to work harder, making high blood pressure a major risk factor for heart disease.
One estimate suggests if we drop our sodium consumption to less than 1,500 mg per day, there could be an overall decrease of blood pressure by 25.6% and healthcare savings of $26.2 billion. This could also reduce deaths from between half a million to 1.2 million from cardiovascular disease. Higher amounts of sodium in the body also contributes to bloating
A tablespoon will contain around 16 calories, with 3 grams of this being carbs and one gram of protein. It does not contain any fat.
Teriyaki sauce also contains some small amounts of minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium and a small amount of B-complex vitamins.
Some teriyaki sauces also contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener made from corn starch. The corn source is often GMO corn and a number of consumers are concerned with consuming foods from GMO sources. Also, like table sugar, excessive consumption of HFCS is linked to health disorders such as diabetes as well as weight gain.
Storing Teriyaki Sauce
Unopened teriyaki sauce should be stored in the same way as soy sauce – in a cool and dark place away from any direct sources of heat or sunlight. Unopened and properly stored teriyaki sauce is usually safe to use after its ‘best by’ date as this is not a safety date, rather it is a date by which the manufacturer estimates that the sauce will remain at its best. If a sauce says ‘use by’ then it should be used by this date or disposed of.
Not all sauces need storing in the refrigerator once open, some manufacturers do not specify. If you do refrigerate it though, it can help it stay at peak quality for longer. It will probably keep in the fridge for up to 12 months, but you may want to check it before using it if it has been in there for a while. Look for any evidence of mold in the bottle or a change in its appearance. Also give it a good smell, if the odor seems off then it is probably better to dispose of it.
Teriyaki sauce is high in sodium which is a natural preserver, so if you do use your bottle quickly, you can just leave it in the kitchen cupboard for a few months until used. Just make sure the cap is fastened tightly to keep it air tight.
Teriyaki sauce is an easy way to bring flavor to meats and other Asian-style dishes. Because teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, it is often high in sodium which means it is not always suitable for all diets. Teriyaki can also contain added ingredients such as HFCS.In this article we have reviewed the top ten teriyaki sauces and looked at what they can bring to you cooking as well as a look at its nutrition. We have also looked at the evolution of teriyaki sauce and how it become so popular. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our review and that is helped you to choose the best teriyaki sauce to keep on hand for those nights when only teriyaki chicken will do.