At the school where I work at we are fortunate to offer the kids a foreign language. Of all the languages we could have picked, we opted for Mandarin.
As part of the curriculum, the teacher goes through what is authentic and not authentic Chinese food. At some point, after this lesson, we go on a field trip to Chinatown and take the kids shopping through Asian markets, stores, and a restaurant. All while flexing their newly acquired language abilities.
I've been lucky enough to sit through her class and pick up on some things here and there. But I think it was really important to sit through the lesson on authenticity. What we often associate with a certain ethnicity's cultural food might not translate if you were to visit the country of origin.
Taste and review
Now, teriyaki is Japanese in origin has the Trader Joe San name suggestions.
However, the product name here is more of an American hybrid. This isn't teriyaki, this is soyaki. So, no this isn't fully authentic to teriyaki. A true teriyaki is a thickened sauce.
What comes out of this bottle is thin like soy sauce. But unlike just plain soy sauce, you have a lot of overlapping ingredients that are often found in teriyaki recipes such as garlic, ginger, and sugar. Often times when I've been served teriyaki there are sesame seeds on top of the freshly prepared food which is also found in this marinade.
Now, as a point of clarification according to Just One Cookbook, the word Teriyaki actually refers to the cooking method and how it is prepared. She also clarifies the point of the authenticity of teriyaki compared to what Americans think of as Teriyaki.
So as a hybrid American concoction, it's not bad. If you were hoping for that glaze, you'll be disappointed. But if you love the flavor of teriyaki but the thin nature of soy sauce this is one to try.
For $2.99 it's not a bad marinade to keep around if you can handle the sodium levels here. I'm not sure if anyone marinades their meat using a tablespoon as a guide. I know I haven't. So there is that danger here of consuming a lot of salt. But for a product that is primarily soy sauce, that isn't unexpected either.
It's a flexible marinade that could be used on pretty much any protein or most veggies. I used mine with some ground pork. And would this be a good marinade to use to make fillings for dumplings? Absolutely.
If you can't get to a Trader Joe's, this item is available on Amazon through third-party sellers.
The bottle of Trader Joe's Soyaki:
The nutritional information:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
After being cooked with some ground pork you get:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Soyaki again. We liked the fact that this was not terribly sweet like so many teriyakis.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Soyaki
Product Name: Trader Joe's Soyaki
Product Description: Trader Joe's Soyaki is a perennial favorite and is sold all year long.
Trader Joe's Soyaki is a year-round marinade in the grocery aisle.
- Trader Joe's Soyaki is the best of two worlds: soy sauce and teriyaki.
- Yes, this is the viscosity of soy sauce with many of the flavors of a teriyaki.
- The sodium is quite high in this. In fact, 1 tablespoon is 21% of what you have in a day. When I'm marinating something, I never use a tablespoon.
Beth B. says
What else is in the dish you made? I see rice with veggies and something else. It looks like it has great potential for a lunch. Thank you!
Hey Beth! I used Trader Joe's Stir Fry Veggies and the fried rice with some ground pork. Made for some easy meal prep. I hope that helps!
I also like this sauce & am also careful to not use so much it would be considered a salt lick. I often augment it with a dash of sesame & chili oil. And then a splash of mirin & black vinegar. Lol....and I pour in a bunch of sesame seeds. Your soyaki lunch looks yummy!
Thanks! I love hearing how people use this and I love how creative everyone gets with theirs.
You could serve this as a dipping sauce for dumplings & gyozas. Or lightly brushed on the grilled items.
Yum! Great suggestions. Have you tried the gyoza dipping sauce? That was pretty darn good too.
I literally ALWAYS have this in my fridge!
Since i’m vegetarian I don’t use it for meats, but it’s fantastic on tofu, and i use it mostly as a condiment for roasted veggies, rice, a dipping sauce, or on noodles- basically anywhere i would otherwise use soy sauce.
If you buy the “high protein tofu” that is vacuum packed (no need to press it), slice or cube, then brush on the soy vay, and bake at 400 maybe 15min, flip and bake another 10min it’s the best stupid easy way to make tasty baked tofu
Hey Ttrockwood! I love tofu. I can totally see this going well with it as well.