If you're new to a plant-based diet, you may be curious, is teriyaki sauce vegan friendly? Well, buckle up because we're about to explore this savory world of flavors + share our favorite brands and a homemade recipe.
What Exactly is Teriyaki Sauce?
Alright, let's roll up our sleeves and delve into the fascinating backstory of teriyaki sauce. Picture yourself whisked away to Japan's Edo period, somewhere between the 17th and 19th centuries.
This was when grilling and simmering were all the rage in Japanese kitchens. At this point in time, soy sauce, an umami-packed marvel made from fermented soybeans, was the star of the culinary show.
When soy sauce, sake, sugar, and later, mirin, were thrown together...teriyaki sauce entered the chat.
The word itself is a cool fusion of "teri," meaning "shine," and "yaki," which simply translates to "grill or broil."
This was the secret sauce, so to speak, to give dishes a glossy finish. Early teriyaki recipes were all about crafting the perfect sweet and savory combo.
Fast forward to the mid-20th century, and teriyaki sauce was ready to conquer the world, especially in the West.
Teriyaki chicken swooped in and stole hearts, igniting a nationwide obsession leading to the teriyaki(ing) of literally everything.
So, there you have it, the epic journey of teriyaki sauce, from its humble beginnings in Edo-era Japan to its superstar status today.
Traditional Ingredients in Teriyaki Sauce + what to look for
Now, let's break down what ingredients are in traditional teriyaki sauce:
- Soy sauce - you can opt for one made with tamari if you're gluten free or even coconut aminos for a soy free option. We usually opt for a low sodium soy sauce options to control the amount of salt in the final dish
- Sugar - or another sweetener, you'll want to look out for honey since it's not vegan
- Vinegar - typically this is rice vinegar, sake, or mirin, all A-OK on a plant-based diet
- Ginger + Garlic - maybe some chilies in the mix too
Ingredients to watch out for include fish-based elements like bonito flakes or fish sauce. While not traditional in teriyaki sauce, always keep an eye on those labels to confirm 100% vegan ingredients
The Best Store Bought Gluten Free Vegan Teriyaki Sauce Brands
Now, let's discuss the crème de la crème - the best vegan teriyaki sauce brands out there. Here are our go-tos, each of these are gluten-free which means most are also soy-free.
It seems hard to source a teriyaki sauce that checks all the boxes which is why we recommend making your own at home. But, in a pinch, these brands always hit the spot.
One of the only teriyaki sauce brands made with tamari instead of coconut aminos and no honey!
No refined sugar, all plant-based ingredients - you can't go wrong with this tasty option!
Full of flavor and made without soy, gluten, grains, or canola oil, teriyaki sauce is totally vegan too! From glazing tofu to sautéing veggies, this marinade and sauce will do the trick!
With a little added Island flair, this teriyaki sauce features pineapple juice and spicy ginger.
The Best Homemade Vegan Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
Feeling adventurous? How about whipping up your very own easy vegan teriyaki sauce? Check out our easy DIY recipe!
It's oil free (although you can add a drizzle of sesame oil for some added nuttiness if you'd like) and made with lower sodium vegan soy sauce. No pure maple syrup or cornstarch slurry here, we're keeping it classic and authentic!
How to use Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
Whether opting for a store bought brand or making your own homemade sauces, now that you're armed with your very own vegan teriyaki sauce, let's talk about how to unleash its full potential:
- Drizzle it over your stir-fried veggies and tofu for a flavor explosion.
- Marinate your favorite plant-based protein, like tempeh or seitan, and then grill it to perfection.
- Make a vegan teriyaki noodle bowl by mixing cooked noodles with sauce. Then, add vegetables and get ready for a delicious bowl.
So, there you have it, a tantalizing tour of the vegan teriyaki sauce world. Time to get saucy in the kitchen and elevate your vegan dishes to a whole new level of yumminess!
Traditional teriyaki sauce is vegan, although do watch out for ingredients like honey.