With a tangy sweetness that keeps us coming back for more, teriyaki dresses any dish up to the nines. It's an ancient cooking style that's evolved into a salty-sweet way of life, used today to add a spicy tenderness to meat, fish and vegetables in Japanese cuisine.
Head to Yuzu & Co to sample their signature sauce, or try Matsuri's teriyaki-coated meat and fish for savoury blending with sweet. If sushi is more your style, Tenkai Sushi's Teriyaki Chicken Long Roll features a blend of fresh rice, salty seaweed and spice-infused chicken.
Back to the roots
The term 'teriyaki' originally referred to a method of cooking first developed in 17th Century Japan. The teri part denotes the shininess that comes from cooking ingredients with sugar, and yaki just means cooking – it's the same character that appears in yakisoba, sukiyaki or okonomiyaki.
Teriyaki sauce as we know it today was probably created by Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, who blended pineapple juice with soy sauce to make that distinctive savoury-sweet flavour. The sauce developed over the years, and modern stuff is made using brown sugar, garlic, rice wine, sake, soy sauce and sugar.
Breaking with tradition
Although most of us think of teriyaki as a sauce, in Japan the word refers mainly to the cooking style – especially using fish such as mackerel and tuna. Japanese cuisine started getting popular in the U.S. during the 1960s, and chefs began to use teriyaki sauce as a dip for bites like chicken wings, crispy tempura vegetables, and sushi.
Nowadays you can find teriyaki sauce everywhere, from fast food joints to curry dishes – it even makes the odd appearance on pizza. Some dishes still use pineapple juice, which contains special enzymes that make meats super tender. But it's still best when it comes from Japanese restaurants, done the proper way.
Teriyaki your tongue
Most Japanese venues put their own twist on teriyaki, adding more soy for a salty kick, or using extra rice wine or honey for a smoother flavour. Yuku & Co's Beef Teriyaki combines succulent beef with warming ginger soy, healthy edamame and a sharp blend of teriyaki. If fish is more up your street, opt for their Barramundi Teriyaki, or Matsuri's popular Kingfish Teriyaki dish.
But sometimes you want everything in the same bowl, donburi-style. Tenkai Sushi makes one of the best Teriyaki Dons around, offering a choice of tender beef, rich salmon, succulent chicken or smooth tofu served with rice in a sweet teriyaki sauce.
Add that teriyaki tang to your next night in. Deliveroo puts a range of mouth-watering teriyaki creations and other Japanese dishes at your fingertips in seconds.