Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Recipe. Look no further: Ready in 10 minutes, no junk ingredients, and crazy delicious – you’ll never use store-bought again! It’s simply the BEST!
It happened one too many times. I needed teriyaki sauce for a recipe and thought I had some on hand only to find – after all the other ingredients had already been prepped – that there wasn’t any. No doubt you can relate to this scenario, whether it’s teriyaki sauce or some other condiment like tahini paste, black bean sauce, or hoisin sauce. So I whipped up my own homemade teriyaki sauce…and have never touched store-bought since!
Trust me, after making this teriyaki sauce recipe, you won’t either.
This sauce is popular all around the world with its dark, bold, savory-salty-sweet flavor with lots of umami undertones. Its primary ingredients include soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and mirin.
The word teriyaki refers to both a Japanese cooking technique as well as to the sauce. It was developed in the 17th century and has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine, being served all over the world. The term teri in teriyaki refers to the aesthetic shine on the food created by the sugar content in the sauce, while yaki refers to the method of grilling. With its shiny luster and robust flavor, teriyaki sauce is a natural pairing for grilled foods.
How To Use Teriyaki Sauce
Quick and easy to make, this sauce is as versatile as it is delicious. Use it as a sauce or as a marinade (simply omit the cornstarch). You can use it for beef, chicken, fish and seafood, as a glaze, for barbecuing, in Asian salad dressings, in noodle dishes, stir-fries and more.
Can I Use It As a Marinade?
Absolutely. Simply omit the cornstarch, let the sauce cool completely, and you’ve got the perfect teriyaki marinade!
Wonderfully versatile, this is a sauce you can whip up quickly in a pinch to boost the flavor of your Asian-inspired dishes.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
This is a super quick and easy sauce to make, all you have to do is:
- Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, honey, sesame oil, mirin and water mixed with cornstarch together in a bowl
- Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and simmer for about 4 minutes until thickened.
- Your sauce is ready!
You can use it right away or store it in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks. And the flavors will get even better over time. Enjoy this fantastic best homemade teriyaki sauce in the dish of your choice!
Ready in less than 10 minutes, thoroughly delicious and free of fillers or junk ingredients, there simply is no good reason to EVER use store-bought again!
© Zoryanchick | Dreamstime
This delicious homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is incredibly easy to make and goes perfect in stir-fry recipes or tossed with chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables.
I am always looking to take my food over the top with a delicious complimenting sauce recipe. If you’re looking to expand your sauce recipe list, then definitely check out my comeback sauce or pesto.
Teriyaki sauce is a delicious syrup-like sauce that is often used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. It’s said that teriyaki sauce was created by Japanese immigrants in Hawaii who used a combination of pineapple, soy sauce, and brown sugar to make it. Today there are several variations as well as ethnicities that have their own version of teriyaki sauce.
The sauce is most used when to toss with protein and vegetables and served over rice or noodles. Here are the most basic ingredients for teriyaki sauce:
- Soy Sauce: The everyday sauce is good to use, but you can also use a combination of dark and light soy sauce.
- Sake: Any sake will work fine.
- Mirin: This sweetened rice cooking wine will provide great flavor for this sauce.
- Honey: I prefer this as a sweetener, however sugar or brown sugar can be used.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
Use these easy step-by-step instructions for making this homemade teriyaki sauce recipe from scratch:
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Whisk everything until it is completely combined and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 2 weeks ahead of time.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. You can freeze this covered for up to 3 months. The sauce will need to be brought to a boil before using if you freeze it.
You can add garlic, ginger, onion, and/or rice vinegar to this recipe to further enhance the flavor.
If using cane sugar or brown sugar as a substitute for honey, you will need to cook the ingredients over low heat while whisking until the sugar is dissolved.
Feel free to replace the mirin with sherry wine.
If you can’t get sake substitute for equal parts vodka and water.
More Sauce Recipes
Be sure to follow me on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!
When we talk about Japanese cuisine there is one thing to comes to mind: its delicious Teriyaki sauce, a perfect complement for roast meats.
Roasted or grilled, the thing is that in any dish we use it, it is going to have an unprecedented taste.
This sweet marinade drives everyone who tastes it crazy, but first it dazzles anyone who sees it due to its appearance. In fact, its name is due to this very aspect. Did you know that teriyaki is the combination of two words? It is indeed, on one side we have teri that refers to the brightness of the sauce, and on the other we have yaki, which refers the method of cooking, in this case, roasting.
Teriyaki sauce cannot be left out of dinner if we want to have a fast and delicious meal.
History of Teriyaki sauce.
The history of this sauce comes from the seventeenth century, when the first Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii.
When they settled down in this city they experimented combining both countries‘ traditional cuisines.
As time passed, they found out that the mixture of red sauce with pineapple juice results in a distinctive sweet flavor.
They started using it in fish-based dishes and then afterwards with any kind of grilled meat.
Over time, the formula improved until it became the one we know today.
The amount of sugar in the Teriyaki sauce is the reason it is so sweet.
Nowadays, there are many traditional recipes using this sauce such as chicken in Teriyaki sauce or salmon with Teriyaki sauce, along with other kinds of meats and fish such as tuna, trout, mackerel and others.
What does the teriyaki consist of?
The teriyaki technique has been used historically in Japanese cuisine; for this reason it is emblematic in traditional Japanese dishes.
It consists of cooking the meat by roasting it submerged in a sweet marinade and glazing it several times with the same sauce.
Recipes with Teriyaki sauce.
Where to buy Teriyaki sauce?
You can get this sauce at any supermarket in your city since it is very common. Otherwise, you can get it on online supermarkets such as Amazon, Walmart and others.
Even though you can buy it in its original bottle, our recommendation is to make the sauce yourself.
There is nothing compared to making your own recipes, although it is true that buying it saves us time.
But here is the good news: this recipe is super simple and easy-to-make, so you will not overwhelm yourself with long hours of cooking.
There are several methods used to prepare Teriyaki sauce, that is why there are different versions. The recipe we show you today is the classic one. We will explain other ways of preparing it below.
Teriyaki sauce recipe
- May 3, 2019
Typical of Japanese cuisine, Teriyaki sauce has a sweet and delicious taste that is perfect for preparing roast fish and meats.
One thing that I love about this sauce is how the flavors are such a perfect combo! This homemade teriyaki sauce tastes so much better than a store-bought replacement.
This recipe is simple to make before any family dinner. It comes together in about 5-10 minutes and is ready to serve right away.
Another thing I love about this teriyaki sauce is that it is good and thick. Some people like thin sauce, but we prefer a thicker version here at my house. This recipe is thickened with cornstarch, so this is a homemade gluten-free teriyaki sauce.
Another thing you will love about this recipe is how well it holds. This sauce will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
- ¾ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger – if you have fresh, that’s even better. I didn’t, so I used ground.
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons water
Where Does Teriyaki Sauce Come From?
Teriyaki has been around since the 17th century. The first recipes that used this new sauce were from Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, which is how it gained popularity.
Most recipes that use teriyaki sauce are marinated in the sauce for 30 minutes or longer and then grilled.
Step-By-Step How To Make Teriyaki Sauce
- Add soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil to a small sauce pan. Mix and heat over medium heat.
- Bring the sauce to a low boil.
- In a separate, small bowl mix the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Slurries are used as a thickener. I love to use cornstarch for this.
- Slowly pour the slurry into the teriyaki sauce, whisking constantly.
- Continue to heat until it returns to a low boil and is thickened.
- Thats it! Sit back and enjoy.
How To Store Teriyaki Sauce
A great thing about this sauce is how well it holds. To store your leftover sauce, or prep it for the next day, pour the sauce in an airtight container of some sort and put it in the fridge. This teriyaki sauce will hold for up to 2 weeks.
Ways To Serve Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is super versatile, and tastes delicious on tons of things! One of my favorite ways to serve it is in a chicken teriyaki burger, but you can also add this sauce to fish, or with vegetables, or anything else you would like.
FAQ Teriyaki Sauce
Yes! It is a simple swap.
You can easily sub in honey. I prefer brown sugar, but honey is also really good!
This sauce easily stays good for 2 weeks, maybe even longer. It just hasn’t ever lasted that long in our house.
Homemade teriyaki sauce is so easy to make. It calls for only three (3) ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to make.
The best thing is that you can make your own teriyaki sauce in advance and keep it in the fridge.
Use it on your favorite teriyaki chicken, beef teriyaki or salmon teriyaki whenever you like.
Dinner is so much easier and quicker when you’ve mastered the skill to make this sauce.
Other Teriyaki Recipes You Might Like
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
The best sauce calls for only three (3) ingredients:
- Japanese soy sauce
For the soy sauce, I recommend Japanese brands, such as Kikkoman and San-J soy sauce.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce?
To make this easy sauce, you just need to heat up all the ingredients in a small sauce pan.
Reduce the sauce on simmer or low heat, until the sauce becomes thicker.
Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use the Sauce as a Marinade?
Yes, you can certainly use the sauce as a marinade. It’s great to marinate chicken, shrimp or meat.
Is It Gluten Free?
This recipe is not gluten free. Most soy sauce has gluten.
However, you can use Tamari soy sauce which is gluten free. San-J Tamari soy sauce is a good choice.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
This recipe yields 1/2 cup or 127 calories.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
You can use the sauce to make the following recipes.
Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs
5 Secrets to 20 Min Dinners
Get tricks for quick & easy meals!
Homemade teriyaki sauce made of three ingredients and great on chicken, beef and salmon. This teriyaki sauce recipe is easy, healthy and the best!
- 1/3 cup Japanese mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium preferred
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Combine all the ingredients of the Teriyaki Sauce in a sauce pan.
- On low heat, simmer and reduce it to a thicker consistency, about 10 minutes.
Watch the cooking video on this page for step-by-step guide.
This recipe saved my butt! The last one I was using had ginger but I found out it went bad while I was cooking, and I found this recipe and it’s so much better and easier!
How long will it keep in the refrigerator?
It keeps for weeks.
How does this make 1/2 cup the total ingredients don’t equal 1/2 cup?
Cibelo kid, it makes close to 1/2 cup. 1/3 cup is 0.33, 3 tablespoons of mirin and sugar equals 0.19 cup. So 0.33 + 0.19 is 0.52. After the sauce reduces, it will be slightly less than 1/2 cup.
Essentially the recipe I’ve used for decades. I use brown sugar, and usually a rounded tablespoon, which is slightly more sugar than a leveled one, and a little less than a “heaping” one. Baffles me why anyone would ever buy bottled teriyaki sauce when the homemade version is closer to restaurant taste, cheap, and easy. You can keep a bottle of Mirin in the fridge for months, but there are so many ways to use it, mine rarely lasts more that a couple. It adds great taste, but if you can’t find it, just about any white wine will work, or even mild rice vinegar, in which case, you might want a pinch more sugar. I’ve been known to improvise freely. Thanks, Bee, for another great budget buster.
Thanks for your sweet comment.
You mention four ingredients but list only three. Is something missing? Thanks!
It’s 3 ingredients, typo.
I can’t wait to make this, it is on my weekend agenda. I’m a kidney dialysis patient, so have to watch my sodium. This recipe will open up the tastes my husband and I have been missing the past year. So excited! I took it to the Dietician at my kidney center to share with her. She is going to put it in the next kidney newsletter. I will be sure to remind her to give you credit. I’ll tell her to put your website in there too. Maybe you will get some new customers! My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. So he has to watch sugar and sodium. He is doing pretty good, refuses to take meds or insulin so I have been teaching him how he can cook with some herbs and spices to give it flavor, without compromising his efforts. He is not using salt or sugar, eating more veggies (if I cook them) and walking several days a week. That was our compromise for not taking the meds. He tested at 300 when we started. He is down to 195 now and still doing good at sticking to the program. I know he sneaks a coffee with lots of sugar sometimes, but better than before when it was an every day thing.
If someone says they don’t like Japanese food, make them eat something with teriyaki sauce, and they will change their mind. Most people will know of teriyaki chicken, but really, you can use this sauce on anything — beef / pork / fish / tofu / mushrooms / broccoli / whatever!
You could buy a bottle of pre-made teriyaki sauce at the supermarket, but it’s easy to make, so you should just do it yourself!
Here’s my go-to, authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce recipe. Making it at home is also healthier than any store bought versions which will have added more preservatives and sugar. All you need is four essential ingredients.
I don’t know if it can even be considered a recipe — it’s just mixing some ingredients together. Well, I guess that’s exactly what a recipe is. 🙃
Simple Japanese teriyaki sauce recipe
I have split this recipe into two options — (1) make the sauce as needed, or (2) make a big batch of it for later use.
I usually just make it as needed since it’s easy enough. But, if you want to eat teriyaki often, then making a batch would definitely be more convenient. Maybe, you can bottle it and sell it to your friends 🙂
In either case, the most important thing is the ratio of ingredients. This recipe is adapted from 白ごはん.com.
The amount/volume listed below is an example for if you want to make 2-3 portions of teriyaki “something” (i.e. chicken, beef, tofu, etc.).
|Ingredient||Amount / Volume|
|Soy sauce||3 tablespoons / 45 mL|
|Mirin||3 tablespoons / 45 mL|
|Sake / rice wine||3 tablespoons / 45 mL|
|Sugar||1 tablespoon / 15 mL|
Magic teriyaki ratio
3:3:3:1 (soy sauce : mirin : sake : sugar)
- a pot or pan
- a spoon
- bowl to mix together ingredients
- Optional: jar or bottle to store sauce (if making a large batch)
Option 1: Make as required
This option is for if you just want to make teriyaki sauce as you need it. Let’s say you’re cooking some good ol’ teriyaki chicken:
1. First, mix all sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Cook the chicken (or other ingredient) in a pan until fully cooked through (or about 80% cooked). Then, pour the sauce mixture into the pan on medium to medium-high heat. The sauce mixture should start bubbling violently like below:
3. Let the sauce bubble and reduce. The bubbles should start getting bigger as the liquid boils away.
4. When the liquid has 90% disappeared, turn the heat to low, and continue cooking for a bit. When the sauce is thick enough so that it is sticking to the chicken (and your spoon), you’re done!
5. Let the food cool down a bit, and the sauce will thicken even more. Eat!
Optionally, you could cook the sauce separately, and then lather it on top of the chicken or other ingredient. If you do this, you can just put the sauce ingredients directly into the pan/pot to mix (and save yourself from washing an extra bowl). The benefit of cooking the sauce together with your chicken (or other ingredients) is that the chicken will absorb more flavor when cooking.
Option 2: Make a large batch
If you want to make a large batch of teriyaki sauce, increase the volume of each ingredient, but keep the same ratio (i.e. 3:3:3:1). For example, you can use 3 CUPS of soy sauce/mirin/sake to 1 CUP of sugar.
- Put all ingredients into a pot and stir together.
- Warm the mixture on medium/medium-low heat until just the sugar is dissolved. We DON’T want the liquid to bubble/boil, or even cook the alcohol off. We just want the sugar to dissolve into the liquid.
- Use your spoon to see if there are any sugar granules remaining. When there’s none left, you’re done!
Still some sugar left
Sugar completely dissolved
Now, whenever you want to make some teriyaki flavoured dish, just take your homemade sauce out of the fridge and you’re good to go! Technically, you don’t even need to store it in your fridge, as none of the ingredients used need to be refrigerated. Just remember to cook the sauce as there is still alcohol in it.
(Batch technique adapted from Adam Liaw on Youtube)
- Adjust the ratio of soy sauce/mirin/sake/sugar to your personal taste. I like things a bit saltier, so use the 3:3:3:1 ratio in this recipe. If you like like things a bit sweeter, you can increase the proportion of sugar; maybe try a 2:2:2:1 ratio. Play around with it until you find something you like.
- Saltiness may depend on the brand of soy sauce you are using, as well as the sake/rice wine. Many rice wines made for cooking have added salt content so that they are not considered drinking alcohol. Keep this in mind when making your sauce.
- If you like things spicy, add some chili powder to the mixture. Try other seasonings/spices and see what you get!
- You can also try adding some dashi stock to the mixture for more depth of flavour.
- Marinade your meat/fish in the teriyaki sauce before cooking for even more flavour!
Healthy Japanese teriyaki sauce recipe?
Is teriyaki sauce healthy? Not really — the classic Japanese teriyaki sauce recipe has plenty of sodium and sugar. On the bright side, this homemade version will be much healthier than any store bought ones which have added preservatives and even higher sugar content.
If you want to make an even healthier version, you can try substituting sugar with honey, or some other sweetener (maple syrup teriyaki anyone??). The taste will change, but I’m sure it will still be delicious. You can also use low-sodium soy sauce, and make sure your cooking sake and mirin has no (or minimal) salt added.
Awesome! Now you can make your own authentic, and f*cking delicious teriyaki sauce. It’s super easy, and only requires four ingredients. You can make it as needed, or make a large batch for extra convenience whenever you want to whip up a quick Japanese meal.
What’s your favourite teriyaki dish? Let me know in the comments below!
Also see the Easy Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry recipe to make use of your homemade sauce!
A thick teriyaki sauce will coat your meat, rice and vegetables, giving your teriyaki chicken recipe a cohesive flavor and a great mouth feel. Thick teriyaki sauce acts as a glaze and a binder, infusing flavor while also adding satisfying texture. There are many ways to thicken a teriyaki sauce, and the route you take depends on allergens, desired results and the ingredients you have available.
You can thicken teriyaki sauce using cornstarch, wheat flour, rice flour or brown sugar.
Ingredients for Thick Teriyaki Sauce
- Cornstarch. To thicken teriyaki sauce with cornstarch, use 1 tablespoon cornstarch per ¼ cup of water. Whisk the cornstarch and water together to form a smooth mixture. Heat the remaining teriyaki sauce ingredients; add the cornstarch slurry and then simmer for a minute or two, stirring almost constantly. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Wheat flour. If you add wheat flour directly to your teriyaki sauce, you’ll end up with a lumpy mess. The best approach when using wheat flour is to make a roux by heating some type of fat such as vegetable oil, and then adding an equal amount of wheat flour. Stir to combine over low heat and then add about ¼ cup of water per 1 tablespoon of flour. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring almost constantly until the mixture thickens.
- Rice flour. Rice flour is simply ground-up rice. Like rice, it absorbs liquid as it cooks, so it’s an easy option for thickening teriyaki sauce. Simply drizzle the rice flour into your teriyaki sauce as you’re heating it. It’ll thicken immediately, so you can easily determine when you’ve added the right amount.
- Brown sugar. Thickening teriyaki sauce with brown sugar will make it unusually sweet, so this option works well if you prefer an especially sweet teriyaki sauce. Unlike white sugar, which simply dissolves in liquid, brown sugar also contains molasses, which is naturally thick. Simply add a few tablespoons to your teriyaki sauce as you’re heating it. If your teriyaki sauce recipe calls for white sugar, reduce the amount or completely leave it out to balance the sweetness of the brown sugar.
The Heating Reduction Method
You can also thicken teriyaki sauce (or any other sauce) simply by increasing the cooking time. The heat of the cooking process causes the liquid to evaporate, making the mixture thicker and intensifying the flavor. This technique is typically used in classic French sauce-making, but it can work for teriyaki sauce as well because the chemistry of evaporation and thickening is the same for any liquid. Make sure to use very low heat and stir often enough to keep your sauce from sticking and burning.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Methods
Cornstarch does the job relatively quickly and easily, but you have to wait for it to cool before you can tell whether your sauce has achieved the desired thickness. Wheat flour is easily available, but making it into a roux involves an extra step. It also isn’t a viable option if you’re avoiding gluten, although, in that case, you’ll also want to check carefully and make sure that the soy sauce you’re using is gluten-free. Both wheat flour and cornstarch may turn your sauce a light shade of brown, although this isn’t an issue unless you’re expecting a darker colored sauce.
Rice flour is easy to use, and you can tell right away whether your teriyaki sauce is thickening to your satisfaction, but you may have trouble finding it except in specialty grocery stores. Brown sugar may make your sauce too sweet, and the heating reduction method has the advantage of requiring no extra ingredients although it does take additional time.
Rick has experience as a cook and chef for multiple Asian-inspired restaurants in NYC, as well as being a charcutier for several French and New American restaurants.
The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 2 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 22g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 19g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This Japanese-style teriyaki sauce recipe, similar to that which is often enjoyed at restaurants, can be easily made at home with just a few simple pantry ingredients in only 10 to 15 minutes.
Teriyaki sauce is made using a combination of soy sauce, mirin (a sweet cooking sake), and sugar. While it can be made with just soy sauce and sugar, the addition of mirin adds a beautiful luster to the sauce and mimics that restaurant quality feel. It’s sweet, tangy, and a little sticky.
If you are looking to add to your repertoire of Asian cooking skills, this sauce is a great one to know how to make. Because it’s easy and requires pantry staples, if you have some vegetables and a protein such as chicken or shrimp at home and the ingredients for teriyaki sauce, dinner can come together very quickly, even on a weeknight.
Traditional Japanese teriyaki sauce is thin in texture, in contrast to the typical bottled teriyaki sauce which tends to be very thick and sticky.
Westernized recipes for teriyaki sauce may include the addition of a slurry of cornstarch and water (1-to-1 ratio) to thicken the sauce, but the addition of a cornstarch slurry is entirely up to you.