Flavor Focus: Teriyaki

These days, facets of Japanese culture can be found everywhere in North America, from the Marie Kondo method to J-pop to anime to street style. But no Japanese export is more ubiquitous than Japanese cuisine – and in particular, teriyaki. 

Teriyaki is a cooking method commonly used in Japan, but thanks to an avid Western appreciation of Japanese cuisine and culture, teriyaki has become widely popular in North America and all over the world. 

Teriyaki refers to any kind of food that is grilled or broiled in a delicious glaze of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. The word itself combines two Japanese terms: ‘teri’ and ‘yaki.’ The former, ‘teri,’ refers to the glossy luster that the sugared sauce gives to the food, while the latter is the method of cooking on a grill.

In Japan, the teriyaki style most often uses a wide range of fish, while red and white meat dishes are more common in the West. It’s become incredibly popular among American barbecue enthusiasts, and teriyaki glaze can now be found sitting side-by-side with classics like BBQ sauce and ketchup.

The Asian continent is known for its wealth of culinary styles, flavors, and ingredients. And Japan, in particular, is beloved for its culinary excellence. According to Mintel, global trends are increasingly centered around innovations from the East; the world of fine dining is no exception.

And with the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games on the horizon, now is the perfect time to explore Japanese culinary traditions. According to Mintel Research, the impending Tokyo Olympics are an ideal opportunity for North American retailers to dabble in Japanese flavors. It’s a chance to delve into the beautiful Japanese culture and cuisine while simultaneously experiencing it on TV.

With more Japanese-inspired flavors and ingredients making their way into Western grocery stores, it’s never been easier to add a little Asian spice to your cooking. Simply toss a few spoonfuls of teriyaki glaze onto your dish before it hits the pan, and you can enjoy the rich, savory tastes of Japanese-style cuisine.

Whatever you may be grilling, there is a prime opportunity to introduce teriyaki flavors into your meal. Of course, rich, tender salmon and succulent steaks are the perfect vessels for teriyaki barbecue this summer. But Mintel says that teriyaki is also an excellent condiment for flavoring unique meat alternatives. These include everything from seitan and cauliflower to tofu and ‘vegetarian meat.’ Teriyaki flavors can turn even the most health and eco-conscious substitutes into classic comfort foods.  

Simultaneously sweet, sticky, savory, and tangy, teriyaki delivers a big hit of flavor to your dish of choice. And as Mintel accurately reports, it’s so incredibly versatile! Teriyaki can be used with everything from meat, fish, and vegetable dishes, to packaged snacks like chickpea bites and beef jerky, sauces, dressings, and savory spreads. It’s even used in pet and baby food!

Teriyaki is more than just a Japanese staple: it’s a cross-cultural experience and an opportunity to try something new. What will you create today with Trilogy’s teriyaki flavors?

Interested in learning more? Reach out to your sales representative or contact us today.

Trilogy Flavors, Inc.