Take out teriyaki has been a staple since as long as I can remember. Whenever anyone didn’t feel like cooking, teriyaki was always everyone’s first choice. Loads of sticky white rice, syrupy sweet sauce over crispy chicken. And that weird salad off to the side that was always warm and gross and no one actually ate. In college we’d walk to the teriyaki place next to the 19th St. Deli and pick up dinner for $5 with enough leftovers for lunch the next day, if the roommates didn’t eat it first. After college it was Teriyaki Thursday in front of the tv watching Survivor. Then it was homemade teriyaki with Yoshidas. Teriyaki sauce is awesome!
But then everything changed when we eliminated rice and sugar and chemicals from our diet. No more teriyaki. Period. And that was sad at first, but as time went on, delicious food was made and food of the past became exactly that, of the past. And then years later on a random Monday when teriyaki is the only thing anyone wants, good old-fashioned ingenuity went to work and teriyaki is what everyone gets. Behold.
Paleo Teriyaki Sauce (adapted from One Good Thing)
1 ½ cups cold water
½ to ¾ cup coconut sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
½ cup coconut aminos
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until sauce is thick and syrupy.
This makes a lot and can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for a week or so; reheat until smooth. Use as a condiment over chicken or steak and cauliflower rice or stir fried meat and vegetables over glass noodles. Grill a burger patty, spread with teriyaki sauce and wrap it in cabbage leaves with a slice of grilled pineapple. This sauce can also be used as a marinade for steak or chicken, and then when grilled and it becomes caramelized and delicious.
I’m sure paleo purists don’t agree with paleofying teriyaki sauce and might even argue it isn’t paleo at all. My efforts aren’t to cheat paleo ideology; my goal is to make delicious food for my family that isn’t full of grains, refined sugar, soy products, and chemicals. I can’t control what they eat away from home, so I make available to them healthy options at home. This teriyaki sauce is far and away a better option than what’s offered for take-out or on the shelves at the grocery store, not to mention more cost effective. So when my family sits down and eats vegetables and meat with this teriyaki sauce on top, and walks away satisfied and happy, I call it a win regardless of trendy food labels.