Quite simply, it’s tough to make teriyaki sauce too terribly spicy. Teriyaki is served in, and with, many Japanese dishes, but is known commonly as a soy sauce made sweet, often with honey or some other sugar plus ginger. For the “official” take on teriyaki, find your way to the Wikipedia definition HERE.
Not exactly a formula for spicy hot sauce goodness, huh?
Enter Tahiti Joe and his Tahitiaki Hot Sauce. In some ways, it resembles a majority of the Tahiti Joe hot sauces in that its base ingredients are the same. However, mixing in the right amount of soy sauce and other teriyaki ingredients to make it not be too saccharine was going to be the trick. Here’s the components and website description:
Ingredients: soy sauce, clam juice, vegetable juice (water, tomato, lemon juice, lemon oil, salt, ascorbic acid, malic acid, dehydrated parsley, carrots, bell pepper, celery), honey, red wine vinegar (contains sulfites), aged red peppers, brown sugar, parmesan cheese, fresh garlic in water, ginger, habaneros, jalapenos, onions, spices
While Tahiti’s Hot Sauces was hanging ten in Japan (actually, he was just surfing the net), he realized that he could take Japan’s famous Teriyaki sauce and make it Tahiti’s Hot Sauces style for all the chili-heads to crave and sweat for! That’s how Tahiti’s Hot Sauces invented “Tahitiaki!” Now, you can enjoy Tahitiaki the same way as Teriyaki, but with a unique flavor and heat that will tantalize your taste buds.
First impression and taste: Same TJ label and logo which I’ve commented on before, so I won’t rehash that again. We all care more about what’s inside the bottle first, right?
aroma certainly doesn’t give away much. It smells like teriyaki sauce…duh. The taste right out of the bottle, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. What a contrast in tastes! Sweet like you would expect from teriyaki sauce, but with a cumulative heat that gets hotter the more of it you eat. Now it doesn’t really top out at that high a heat level, perhaps no more than 4-5/10 or so, but is certainly one of the nicely-hot sauces of its ilk that I’ve tasted. The hot sauce flavor to me is more habanero-ish, but the heat profile is very much the jalapeno.
As for what I used it with…quite simply every Chinese and Thai dish that I would have normally used teriyaki sauce on already! Since many of them tend not to be all that spicy anyway (gotta get extra peppers in those dishes), this sauce added a modest amount of heat which I found to be quite nice. Used on grilled chicken, it was a nice spicy-sweet sauce poured over the chicken either right off the grill or any other way you cook it.
One suggestion that I received from TJ himself about this sauce was its use with vegetables…edamame in particular. Get yourself some fresh/frozen edamame, heat it up however you like, pour over a liberal amount of this sauce, and voilà…some spicy soybeans that are good as either a healthy snack or side dish for your favorite meal.
Overall recommendation: This sauce does not overreach and try to reinvent the wheel. Basically, it’s a really good sauce that mixes the well-known taste of teriyaki sauce and hot sauce flavor & heat. While great with expected foods such as the Oriental lineup of stuff, feel free to find more uses for it in other dishes as well. With the dearth of spicy teriyaki sauces out there, this might be one you want to keep a bottle of it around if you dig the taste. Enjoy!