Homemade Cheriyaki Sauce/Glaze

Sometimes the food (spice combo, sauce, flavoring) you want is just not available.  It either doesn’t exist, you can’t find it, or you can find it but it’s not near you.  When this happens you just have to create your own. Turning an idea into reality is always the hard part. Rarely does the first attempt work, or is good enough to try again (with a tweak).  I happen to be good at mixing & matching flavors/spices…I don’t know why.  I can stare at ingredients, sometimes seemingly non-complimentary, and make them so.  I can almost taste the combination before I combine them.  This can’t be a unique ability…I think it’s just the past 20 years of kitchen experience (stunning successes and epic failures) that has just manifest into a useful tool.

The origins of my Cheriyaki comes from the blackcherry BBQ wings @ Blu Fig (New City, NY).  They are on the sticky/sweet side and very tasty. Actually my family likes them more than I do.  I prefer a bolder/spicier wing…but good is good, and it’s different, which always adds points in my book.  While eating one of these wings I thought, “this sauce could be good on salmon”.  In fact, I think my wife made a cherry salmon (or chicken?) dish years prior after attending to a very popular local cooking class…but the recipe was lost…forever.  The wing reminded me that cherry sauce is good…and could go on salmon.   

Always a hit has been my oven-baked (or grilled) salmon ( I use Wild King) with a “good” store-bought Teriyaki marinade/glaze (and yes, pay the extra buck or two for better (non-HFCS) ingredients) . But I couldn’t find a cherry-infused Teriyaki (plenty of garlic, pineapple, etc…), so I had to make it myself.  I started pitting whole dark cherries (for a deeper color) but eventually settled on the can below. Decent value, lots of ease, good quality, and guarantees consistency between batches.  With a sweet, cherry puree as a base, it was experiment time.  Oh, and use a non-flavored Teriyaki….not to compete with the cherry.  Add you own flavors, as needed, on your own terms.


1. Puree in blender 1-can of whole, dark cherries 
     Note: Do not strain. Blend at high speed, very well.

     Good deal at approx $3.25/can (as 8-pk). It’s $5/can in Stop&Shop

2. In a sauce-pan whisk/simmer with teriyaki sauce (your choice) and brown sugar (and/or Agave).
Optional: Molasses, Ginger/Garlic (depends on your Teriyaki sauce), ounce of fresh orange and/or pineapple   

- Start with ¼C of brown sugar / agave (add from there as needed)
- Nothing spicy or strong.  Goal is to let the cherry stand out. Sauce should be on the sweeter/thicker side.

Supposedly Cherry, Cardamom (lemon/liquorish flavor) and Black Pepper is some culinary Trinity.  I haven’t tried it…but since I save my extra Cheriyaki sauce, I can experiment by quickly adding these under heat.  I'm wondering if this new “Trinity Cheriyaki" would go better on chicken/pork...only one way to find out!

3.  Reduce down to a semi-thick glaze…it will thicken a bit when cooled.

1.  Once cooled, can use as marinade for salmon or chicken/pork (1+ hour).
2.  Brush onto food when mostly cooked.  Re-apply if needed. 
3.  Can quickly finish under the broiler to char the sugars (for look & flavor)

If you make this recipe, let me know how you like it!


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