The Trio Of Ingredients You Need For A Teriyaki Sauce Base

While teriyaki sauce isn't one of the five mother sauces of classic French cuisine, it's a vital component of many Asian dishes, as well as a versatile workhorse in the kitchen. Sure, you can go buy a bottle at any grocery store, and you'll have plenty of brands to choose from, but learning to make your own teriyaki sauce makes sense for a couple of reasons — one of them being that it's super simple to make. 

It's based on a mere three ingredients, all of which are inexpensive and readily available at most grocery stores. Soy sauce, sugar or honey, and rice wine or mirin are the foundation of teriyaki sauce and it's the balance among these ingredients that's responsible for the saltiness, sweetness, and acidity that is the hallmark of a properly made teriyaki sauce. From there, you can tweak and customize your sauce to your liking, another reason to leave that bottle of ready-made teriyaki sauce on the grocery store shelf. 

Making your own teriyaki sauce leaves plenty of room for customization

One tablespoon of teriyaki sauce can contain more than 600 milligrams of sodium or more than 25% of the recommended daily allowance for most adults, according to Verywell Fit. Not only can making your own version allow you to opt for reduced-sodium soy sauce, making your sauce a better nutritional choice, but you can also adapt the additional seasonings and ingredients to suit your own palate.

Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine are often flavored with additional ingredients like ginger and garlic, then simmered in a saucepan until it's thickened. Both garlic and ginger are strong flavors, so preparing your own teriyaki sauce lets you be as heavy-handed or as sparing with your additional flavors as you like. The possibilities don't end there, either. You can spice things up with chili paste or hot sauce, add a rich kick of sesame oil, or even some pungent wasabi. And as for what to do with your sauce when you've finished it — there's no end to delicious uses for it. 

Boring grilled shrimp or chicken? Baste with teriyaki sauce, and you've got a winner of a meal. Bland steamed veggies and rice? Drizzle with teriyaki sauce, and even the kiddos will eat their vegetables. And teriyaki can be a component in a host of marinades and salad dressings as well. Three basic ingredients — soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine — fuse together to make a deceptively delicious kitchen staple.