Teriyaki-style cooking is one of Japan's best known - and certainly one of its most delicious - exports. Around the world, the term, "teriyaki," is used to refer to meat or fish that has been grilled on skewers or pan-broiled, flavored either by marinating or basting with teriyaki sauce, a rich, tasty blend of soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar.
In Japanese, teri means "gloss," "luster" or "glaze" - an apt description of the mouth-watering sheen created by the basting sauce. Yaki means simply "grilled" or "broiled."
Cooking foods over charcoal is the classic Japanese method of preparing teriyaki; pans are a secondary technique. In Japanese cooking, teriyaki is prepared by brushing on the sweet soy-sauce-based glaze in the last stages of grilling fish, chicken, beef, pork or vegetables, usually over an open fire. The final basting stages not only make the food glisten but also add flavor.
Teriyaki-style cooking has long been a popular way to prepare large fish with a relatively high fat content, such as yellowtail and salmon, or more delicate fish and shellfish. Please click here for a recipe for Swordfish Teriyaki. The teriyaki method is also used to create yakitori, bite-size pieces of chicken on a skewer.