The word "teri" means to "make shiny", while the word "yaki" means to "grill or broil".
"True" Japanese-style teriyaki sauce requires these primary ingredients...
1 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of mirin
1 cup of cooking sake (or 2 cups of mirin)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 finely chopped habanero chile
- Combine all primary ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool
- Add your own optional ingredients
What you're looking for is a thick, heavily sweet sauce that gives meat a shiny glaze.
Marinate your jerky meat and let stand for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
With "true" Japanese-style teriyaki, the mirin and sake are the ingredients that create it's characteristic fermented flavor, while the ginger gives it that light bit of pungent contrast that cuts through the heavy sweet.
Meanwhile, American-style teriyaki leaves out the mirin and sake, and substitutes vinegar, while it leaves out the ginger and substitutes garlic. Many jerky brands will completely leave out the vinegar, which gives jerky a more bland, sweetened soy sauce flavor.
Here are some jerky brands that have managed to create authentic, Japanese-style teriyaki jerky...