How To Make The Best Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Making your own batch of teriyaki sauce is easy, and it will taste much better than anything you can find at the store. This sauce is so good you will want a batch in the fridge at all times.
Here are a few reasons we love this teriyaki sauce recipe:
- With ONLY 5 ingredients, this teriyaki sauce is easy to make and tastes incredible.
- You can use it as a marinade, stir-fry sauce or glaze for meats and seafood. Think teriyaki chicken, salmon, and shrimp!
- The sauce keeps in the refrigerator for weeks! Make one batch today and have delicious teriyaki sauce on hand for dinner another day.
- You can freeze it! Freeze the sauce in individual servings or with meats for an easy meal down the road.
More: We use this easy sauce to make our Crave-Worthy Teriyaki Chicken. After marinating, we broil until the chicken is a little sticky, takes on a beautiful shine, and tastes fantastic.
Thick And Sweet Teriyaki Sauce
This thick and sweet homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is quick, foolproof, and so, so good.
Today Im sharing a stand-alone recipe for my absolute favorite teriyaki sauce. If youve ever wanted to make your own teriyaki sauce at home or havent quite found your perfect recipe, give this one a try.
You can make it in about 15 minutes, and its perfect as a thick and sweet glaze or as a marinade.
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!
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How To Make Your Own Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
I was surprised to read the ingredient list of Kikkoman teriyaki sauce. It doesnt contain classic Japanese ingredients like mirin or sake. Thats probably why people want to improve on the flavor.
Kikkoman teriyaki sauce is made of soy sauce, wine, sugar, garlic powder, spirit vinegar, salt, spices, onion powder, and water.
To make a similar teriyaki sauce at home, I recommend using soy sauce, mirin or sake , brown sugar , garlic powder, onion powder, rice vinegar, salt, spices, and water.
Also, add some cornstarch to make it thicker.
Heat up the liquid ingredients, and then as the sauce starts to form, add the brown sugar and a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to make it a thick sauce.
Can I Use This Sauce As A Marinade
Yes! Simply place cubed raw chicken or salmon fillet into a Ziploc bag, add sauce, seal tightly and freeze OR place in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight. When you are ready, thaw out and bake or cook in a skillet. So easy and saves time! Just remember to use all of the marinade and cook it with the meat.
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Expert Tips And Tricks
- Dont skip thesugar. The brown sugar and honey will crystallize with the other ingredients and helps the sauce to thicken up.
- Take the time to reduce. Simmering ingredients evaporates any additional water, thus thickening the liquid.
- Slurry the starch. A mixture of cornstarch and water is whisked together and THEN added into the sauce. Do not try and add the starch directly into the sauce without first mixing it together with water. If you do this youll end up with clumps of starch throughout the sauce.
- Cooloff. Once the sauce is completely cooked and looks to be CLOSE to your desired thickness, let it cool to room temperature. The simple act of cooling allows it to naturally thicken up as the sugar crystalizes and solidifies in the sauce.
How To Cook With Teriyaki Sauce
You can buy bottled teriyaki sauce at the grocery store or make an authentic version at home with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. The high sugar content means teriyaki sauce burns easily, so brush it on during the last few minutes of direct high-heat cooking such as on the grill or in the broiler. If you marinate meat in teriyaki sauce before you start cooking, drain or wipe off the excess before you put it on the grill or in the oven.
Teriyaki sauce can handle high heat during a quick turn in a wok, where it becomes thick and sticky and coats the meat and vegetables with flavor. It’s also OK to apply teriyaki sauce to chicken, fish, or vegetables before you bake a dish because the sustained lower heat works to caramelize the sauce. Serve teriyaki dishes with rice or bread to soak up the extra sauce.
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How To Make Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
IT. IS. SO. EASY. Really. Most homemade sauces are easy and require few steps, which means its not such a bad trade-off for having a homemade sauce thats made without any additives or excess ingredients.
This variation of homemade teriyaki sauce uses these ingredients:
- Soy Sauce the traditional base of teriyaki sauce
- Brown Sugar the hint of molasses adds a rich, sweet depth to the sauce
- Honey added for a little extra sweetness and as a slight thickener you can omit if youd like to reduce the amount of sugar
- Grated ginger and garlic my favorite flavor ingredients
- Chili Garlic Paste- this is where the spice comes in. I love adding chili garlic paste to recipes for an added kick, and of course a little more garlic. It gives a depth of flavor to the sauce that is oh so yummy. You could substitute with sriracha or red pepper flakes, too.
- Sesame Oil a touch goes a long way to add a nice rounded, slightly nutty flavor to the sauce
- Rice Vinegar my substitution for mirin. Mirin is more naturally sweeter than rice vinegar. You can use either!
- Corn Starch used in this recipe to make the more American-style teriyaki sauce, that is thicker in its consistency. You can always add more corn starch to make the sauce thicker or omit it entirely for a more traditional consistency.
So you have the ingredients, now what? This is the quick and easy part.
How To Make Teriyaki Sauce ~ Stove Top Directions
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How To Use This Sauce
There are so many ways to use this Teriyaki Sauce. Its perfect on many proteins, including pork, chicken, fish, and tofu.
- Yakitori or Kushiyaki Use it as a marinade or brush onto grilled skewered meats.
- Brush on sushi or cooked eel.
- As a sauce for rice bowls, noodles, and grilled vegetables.
- It is a great stir fry sauce .
- Add it to meatballs and use as an appetizer.
- As a dip for dumplings, chicken croquettes, fingers, or nuggets.
- Teriyaki Chicken Wings
- Mix it into ground beef or pork for burgers.
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Is So Much Better
You can easily find teriyaki sauce at your local grocer, attesting to its large popularity here in the states, but once you learn how to make it at home, youll find no reason to purchase the store bought stuff again. Especially when you can spice it up like I do.
I do love the sweetness of a good teriyaki, but I like a spicier version even more so. I find a little bit of heat helps to balance out the sweetness, and it goes perfectly with many different stars of your dish.
Its such a great recipe. I love mine with just a touch of heat and not so overwhelmingly sweet. Make it your own, my friends!
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Add Mixture To The Simmering Sauce
How to make teriyaki sauce thicker with flour. Leave the teriyaki sauce on a low heat to thicken. When you want to make teriyaki sauce thicker, drizzle some rice flour while youre heating the sauce. In a separate small bowl, prepare your cornstarch mixture by combining the cornstarch with your ¼ cup of water.
If you prefer flour, you may substitute this. If you prefer flour, you may substitute this. Simply drizzle the rice flour into your teriyaki sauce as youre heating it.
Itll thicken immediately, so you can easily determine when youve added the right amount. A general rule is use 2 tsp of flour. Adding either cornstarch or flour to thicken the sauce will result in a lightened color of the final sauce.
Stir regularly to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Some teriyaki sauces are also thinner in consistency compared to oyster sauce. Adding either cornstarch or flour to thicken the sauce will result in a lightened color of the final sauce.
Adding either cornstarch or flour to thicken the sauce will result in a lightened color of the final sauce. Is oyster sauce similar to teriyaki sauce? How to thicken sauce with flour.
So while its not exactly authentic, it does create an absolutely amazing glaze over chicken and other meats and is thick enough to make an excellent dipping sauce. When you want to make teriyaki sauce thicker, drizzle some rice flour while youre heating the sauce. Combine equal parts of flour and cold water in a cup.
How To Use Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
There are so many uses for homemade teriyaki sauce! Our favorite way to use it are in our Teriyaki Vegetable Stir Fry and our Grilled Teriyaki Mango Skewers. Or, brush it on the outside of this Teriyaki Veggie Burger . You can also use it as a homemade teriyaki marinade for meat: just marinade chicken or beef for about 30 minutes before grilling, or try our Teriyaki Salmon recipe.
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What Ingredients Do You Need For Teriyaki Sauce
You only need five ingredients to make this homemade sauce. Heres the rundown:
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce Soy sauce adds color, lots of flavor, and seasoning to the sauce. Its salty and strong by itself, but when you mix it with the other ingredients, it tastes incredible.
- Sugar Regular granulated sugar is all you need to make teriyaki sauce. It balances the salt from the soy sauce and helps to make the sauce sweet and glossy. Other forms of sugar work, too. Brown sugar, coconut sugar, and even honey will work. Swapping for other forms of sugar will affect the taste of the sauce slightly and can taste sweeter . As an example, we recently made this sauce with honey and found it much sweeter than when we make it with regular sugar. This isnt necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind when substituting other ingredients.
- Sake We dont cook too much with sake , but we love it when making homemade teriyaki. You dont need to break the bank when buying sake for this. Treat it the same as when using wine in cooking. Use something youd drink, but not something youd save for a special night. If you cannot find sake, there are some alternatives. Mirin is a sweeter version of sake. You can either swap it for the sake and leave the sugar amount as is or pull back on the amount of sugar slightly to accommodate the extra sweetness. Dry vermouth or dry sherry also work as a substitute.
How To Customize Your Sauce:
Creating your own asian sauce from scratch is easy once you understand the types of ingredients you need. Once you understand this you can mix and match within reason with what you have on hand!
- Salty base: soy sauce, tamari or liquid aminos. Thinned with water to tame the salt overwhelm.
- Sweetness: traditionally mirin and sake but in our recipe we sweeten with honey and crushed pineapple. Substitute: white sugar, brown sugar, or a sweet wine.
- Acidity: traditionally sake adds some acidity, but in our recipe rice wine vinegar and pineapple juice. Substitute: orange juice, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Even if you are making the base recipe its best to add the acidity in if you can in some fashion, its really not well balanced without it.
- Thickener: you can boil it down to thicken or cornstarch creates a beautiful shiny glaze. Substitute: flour, potato starch or arrowroot powder.
- Aromatics: ginger and garlic add amazing depth to the recipe. Substitute: finely minced shallots, finely minced onion, dried ginger and garlic powder
- Garnish: sesame seeds add visual interest and a crunch that is delightful. A small dash of sesame seed oil is also lovely
While each substitution is not perfect, the ratio and balance is super important to create something edible. Start with our ratios and then tweak to adjust with what you have on hand!
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Easy Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
Using fresh garlic and ginger is key here, it will create the best flavor in this teriyaki sauce. Find the list of measurements for each ingredient located in the recipe card below.
- Low sodium soy sauce: I love using low sodium because it still has all the flavor and is better for the heart.
- Brown sugar: You can use either dark or light brown sugar in this recipe with excellent results.
- Apple cider vinegar: This gives it a bit of tang that is custom in teriyaki sauce.
- Garlic cloves minced: You will want to use fresh garlic not jarred or powder. It will give you the best flavor this way.
- Sesame oil: Look for sesame oil near the olive and canola oils. It can also be found near the bottles of vinegar.
- Freshly grated ginger: Fresh ginger looks like a root, it is covered in a tough outer skin thats brown and can be found in the produce section of the store.
- Water: You will want to use cold water to mix better with the cornstarch.
- Cornstarch: This will thicken the sauce to the most ideal consistency.
What Does It Taste Like
A sweet and tangy sticky sauce, authentic teriyaki delivers a big hit of salty umamifrom its simple base of soy sauce and mirin, a low-alcohol, sweeter version of sake,a traditional Japanese rice wine. Less traditional teriyaki recipes often include flavors such as garlic, ginger, citrus, and sesame.
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Can I Double This Recipe
Yes. This recipe will make 2/3 to 3/4 cup of sauce, which is usually perfect for a meal or two depending on how youre using it. If youd like to double or triple the recipe, simply extend the simmering time slightly as needed for the sauce to thicken.
To change the recipe yield, in the recipe card below, hover over the serving size or click if youre on mobile, and slide the slider. No other cooking changes are needed.
Where Did Teriyaki Sauce Originate
Teriyaki originates from Japan, but in Japan it actually refers to a method of cooking: by grilling foods in a mix of soy, mirin and sugar. A dish like chicken teriyaki is actually more of an American food than a Japanese one! It is thought that teriyaki sauce comes from Japanese immigrants who settled in Hawaii. They created a marinade using local products like pineapple juice blended with soy sauce. This eventually turned into what we today call teriyaki sauce. So bottom line: teriyaki sauce has Japanese roots, but its more of an American creation than authentic Japanese.
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How To Make A Sweet Delicious Teriyaki Sauce
By | Submitted On February 20, 2009
Although its origins are steeped in 17th century Japanese tradition, teriyaki sauce has gained wide popularity in western cuisines, especially in the United States. This sweet sauce was customarily used as a marinade for grilled meats but it also serves very well as a dipping sauce for vegetables, seafood and rice. Its flexibility has made it a welcome addition to many recipes.
3/4 to 1 cup brown sugar1/4 tsp garlic powder1/8 tsp ground ginger1 tbsp cornstarch
In a medium pot, combine the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cornstarch. Mix well. Over medium heat, bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Mixture should thicken slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
There are a number of variations to this recipe that you can try. Some cooks have used sake or mirin instead of soy sauce. For a different consistency you can try using honey instead of the brown sugar. Adding onions or scallions can make for a nice departure from the norm. Experimentation with sauces is fun and can give you that unique flavor that will impress your family and friends.
Cheri Brennan is a food and cooking enthusiast. She has prepared food and special recipes for parties and gatherings for family and corporate settings. To get more great recipes, tips and resources please visit