Teriyaki sauce - Properties and uses in food

Teriyaki sauce – Properties and uses in food Is it bad for your health?

What is teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce (照 り 焼 き) is a traditional Japanese sauce made from soy, sake, and sugar. The taste of teriyaki sauce is slightly sweet and sour; the color is dark brown.

The word derives from Teri: shine and yaki: fire, which reflects the result of its uses in the kitchen; adding Teriyaki sauce to meals they acquire a characteristic sheen and color.

Due to its nutritional properties, it cannot be said that it is a food that stands out. However, it cannot be said to be bad either. It is an ideal sauce to substitute for table salt in moderate quantities.

One of its main ingredients is sodium glutamate, also called a flavor enhancer. In combination with proteins and fats, glutamate can enhance flavors, making the dish aromatic and irresistible. However, it is precisely this fact one of the possible health dangers.

Nutritional properties

Sugar and salt are the primary nutrients in teriyaki sauce. 100 ml of sauce contains approximately 15-20 g of sugar. Therefore, one of its nutritional properties is its high glycemic index.

About 3-5% of traditional teriyaki sauce is sodium chloride. Remember that the recommended use of salt is no more than 5 g per day. In larger quantities, it can represent a danger to the cardiovascular system.

Teriyaki Sauce – Nutritional information in 100 ml

  • Calories – 90 – 150 kcal
  • Salt content – 3-5 g
  • Proteins – 6-10 g
  • Total fat – 0-3 g
  • Total carbohydrates – 15-20 g
  • Of which sugar – 15-20 g

Teriyaki sauce – benefits and uses in meals

While it cannot be said that teriyaki sauce is a condiment with significant health benefits of its nutritional properties, the best gift is that it is low in saturated and trans fats. Its use in moderate amounts is allowed even under the rules of healthy eating.

In gastronomic terms, one of its benefits is the improvement of the taste of the dishes. The most common uses for teriyaki sauce in meals are:

  1. To season meats

One of the most common uses in the kitchen is to add teriyaki sauce to season meats. Due to its sweet and sour properties, this sauce blends perfectly with red meat, chicken, salmon, and fresh tuna.

  1. With shirataki noodles

Teriyaki sauce pairs perfectly with shirataki noodles. A type of white pasta that is low in calories. Its main ingredient is Konjac flour: a type of low-calorie vegetable fiber.

  1. In vegetarian salads

Teriyaki sauce, tofu, and kale are a traditional combination of Japanese salads. Some recipes combine kefir, sesame seeds, and cucumber.

  1. Sushi

One of the best known uses for Teriyaki sauce is as a condiment for sushi. It is an alternative to soy sauce for those who prefer the sweet and sour taste.

Is teriyaki sauce terrible for your health?

The dangers and contraindications of Teriyaki sauce are attributed to sodium glutamate, its high content of simple carbohydrates, and the content of sodium chloride. All compounds with poor properties for people with heart problems.

In amounts greater than 3 g, monosodium glutamate can increase appetite. Studies confirm a significant increase in body mass index, triglyceride levels, and blood sugar. (1) (2)

Teriyaki sauce is not sour in moderate quantities. However, it is a food with sodium content. Research claims that diets high in sodium increase the chances of coronary heart disease and events. (3)

Another of its possible dangers is its high sugar content. 100 g of teriyaki sauce provides about 15-20 g of sucrose. This fact suggests it is a poor choice for a type 2 diabetic diet.

How to make homemade teriyaki sauce?

Preparing homemade teriyaki sauce is possible. It is needed based on soy sauce, sake, mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine), and cane sugar. Some recipes also use sesame, ginger, garlic, and pineapple oil.

An alternative with sweeter properties than the traditional rice wine recipe is to replace the wine with apple cider vinegar and cane sugar with honey.

Here you can see how to make Teriyaki sauce at home the easy way. It requires only four ingredients and five steps. Due to its high salt content, it can be stored in the refrigerator for more than three weeks without problems. Here’s how to make homemade teriyaki sauce:


  • 200 ml of soy sauce
  • 200 ml de sake
  • 200 ml of Mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • Two tablespoons of brown sugar


  1. In a deep nonstick pot. Pour the soy sauce into the pan, and add the sugar over low heat.
  2. After the sugar has dissolved, add the sake and mirin to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and cook for 20-30 minutes until half of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. When the sauce is thick and shiny, remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Pour the teriyaki sauce into a glass bowl and let it settle.

How to replace rice wine?

Teriyaki sauce can be made without rice wine. Instead of sake and mirin, you can use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white wine and two teaspoons of chia or canola oil. Some recipes include dried and ground ginger and garlic. For a thicker consistency, you can add two teaspoons of cornstarch.


Teriyaki sauce is a classic ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Its most common uses in meals are preparing meats, Japanese salads, and sushi.

Labeling it as immoral is not the right thing to do. However, since it contains a high content of sodium glutamate, salt, and sugar, its amount should be moderate.

Its contraindications are for people with a tendency to be overweight, obese, and have disorders related to the cardiovascular system.

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