Urb’s Pacific Northwest Teriyaki Joint Dressing

There’s a claim that teriyaki was invented in Seattle, which is kind of bullshit and kind of not – the words teri and yaki roughly translate to shine grill, an age old Japanese cooking method of grilling meats basted in sauces.

Teriyaki sauce, on the other hand, is Hawaiian – created when Japanese immigrants combined stuff they knew, like soy sauce and ginger, with new stuff from the islands like dark cane sugar and pineapple juice.

Teriyaki in Seattle was born in the spring of ‘76, when Toshihiro Kasahara opened Toshi’s Teriyaki. Not only did he do OK, he’s still kicking out killer teriyaki from 10 locations up and down the Puget Sound – So he gets full credit for launching a stunningly robust wave of followup teriyaki joints throughout the PNW – now as ubiquitous as espresso stands.

Toshi serves his teriyaki with rice and a tangy slaw, but many joints serve a simple side salad with theirs. Either way, once you’ve tried the really good examples of teriyaki joint salad/slaw dressing, you know you’re hooked.

So, with zero doubt, if you’ve ever had teriyaki in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve had a variant of this dressing. I love the stuff, and I bet you will too. There is no one version – like so many great sauces and dressings, everybody has their own swing at it.

This one is mine, and fair warning, it’s not one of those too sweet, whitish offerings you see from time to time – when it’s fully integrated, it looks like café au lait, but hell, it’s salad dressing, so that doesn’t bother me in the least. It makes a swell marinade for chicken too, by the way – make it with buttermilk and marinate wings before baking them. If you go all out and make fresh mayo at home for this, it’s outrageously good.

Urb’s PNW Teriyaki Joint Dressing

1 Cup Mayonnaise (Or Sour Cream, Mexican Crema, Buttermilk, or Greek Yoghurt)

1/4 Cup Toasted Sesame Oil

1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar

2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Ginger Juice

5-6 twists fresh ground black Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a non reactive mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to thoroughly incorporate.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

This dressing does not store well – refrigerated in clean glass, it’ll last a day or two before the emulsion breaks down – plan accordingly.

Author: urbanmonique

I cook, write, throw flies, and play music in the Great Pacific Northwet.

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