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Learn how to make Teriyaki Sauce to give your weekly meal plan a sweet and spicy kick. This easy homemade sauce is perfect on meats, veggies, noodles, and rice, and it’s ready in about 15 minutes.

A glass jar of homemade teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki Sauce can transform the most boring meals into something fun and delicious. Whether you have a package of chicken breast in the freezer or a head cauliflower rolling around in your crisper drawer, Teriyaki Sauce is here to spice things up.

I love this recipe because it’s super simple and comes together fast. That means a homemade meal on the table on the busiest weeknights, and you’ll love it.

My favorite combination is chicken (skillet-poached or leftover), baked rice, and roasted broccoli. Drizzle with teriyaki and and grab your chopsticks: dinner is done!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. How to Make Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for how to make teriyaki sauce.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Mirin: Japanese cooking wine. It’s widely available at grocery stores, Target, and Walmart.
  • Ginger: If you don’t use a lot of ginger, you can store the whole root in the freezer, as-is. You can also grate it and freeze it in ice cube trays. Some grocery stores also sell tubes of grated ginger in the produce area and tiny cubes of ginger in the freezer section.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, sugar, water, mirin, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Remove 2 tablespoons sauce to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch.
Teriyaki sauce cooking in a saucepan.
  1. Return to the saucepan and continue simmering until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in honey, and cool to room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before using.
Pouring teriyaki sauce into a bowl to cool.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 1 cup teriyaki sauce. Feel free to double the recipe to feed more or have leftovers.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Teriyaki chicken marinade: For every 2 chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds), use ¼ cup teriyaki sauce. Marinade at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 1 hour. Grill or sauté the chicken breasts and serve with extra teriyaki sauce on the side.
A platter of Hibachi Steak with wasabi potatoes and teriyaki sauce.
Hibachi Steak with Wasabi Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce.

Recipe FAQs

What is teriyaki sauce made of?

Teriyaki sauce is made from a combination of soy sauce, sugar, mirin, ginger, and garlic. Some recipes add red chili flakes for spice, cornstarch for thickness, or honey as a finishing sweetener.

How do you make a gluten-free teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is nearly gluten-free all on its own. Just grab a bottle of GF soy sauce and you’re set!

What is a substitute for mirin?

Mirin is a Japanese cooking wine. Can’t find it? Substitute 2 tablespoons dry white wine OR rice vinegar AND 1 teaspoon sugar for the 2 tablespoons mirin in this recipe.

How do I thicken teriyaki sauce?

This homemade teriyaki sauce recipe uses cornstarch as a thickener. You could also use flour or arrowroot powder.

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Put your teriyaki sauce to work

A glass jar of homemade teriyaki sauce.

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce

Learn how to make Teriyaki Sauce to give your weekly meal plan a sweet and spicy kick. This easy homemade sauce is perfect on meats, veggies, noodles, and rice, and it's ready in about 15 minutes.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings (¼ cup each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine Asian
Calories 149

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated (from one 6-inch piece, peeled, see note 2)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, sugar, water, mirin, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer.
  • Remove 2 tablespoons sauce to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch. Return to the saucepan and continue simmering until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in honey, and cool to room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before using.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Mirin: Japanese cooking wine. It’s widely available at grocery stores, Target, and Walmart.
  2. Ginger: If you don’t use a lot of ginger, you can store the whole root in the freezer, as-is. You can also grate it and freeze it in ice cube trays. Some grocery stores also sell tubes of grated ginger in the produce area and tiny cubes of ginger in the freezer section.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes about 1 cup teriyaki sauce. Feel free to double the recipe to feed more or have leftovers.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Teriyaki chicken marinade: For every 2 chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds), use ¼ cup teriyaki sauce. Marinade at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 1 hour. Grill or sauté the chicken breasts and serve with extra teriyaki sauce on the side.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1688mgPotassium: 61mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
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I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Im not sure how but it ended up being way too sweet and had to throw it out, maybe I measured the sugar wrong who knows. :( I gave it five stars because I didn’t want to mess up your rating.5 stars

  2. Prep time of 3 minutes including peeling and grating the ginger?? How fast are you??

    Once brought to a boil even simmering hence will hold the heat. There is no way it will take as long as 10 minutes for it to thicken once the cornstarch mixture is added back in. It will thicken within 4-5 minutes. Allowing it to simmer for the extra 5-6 minutes however will allow the flavours to incorporate and mingle.

    I love the recipe. The use of mirin is a nice touch. On that note though you’re not doing the average home cook any favours by getting them to find mirin and then misleading them with the timings. Also it is pretty important to constantly stir the sauce while simmering in order to incorporate the cornstarch and keep your teriyaki from burning. This is a sweet sauce and is very prone to burning especially at the bottom of the pan and if left simmering for 10 minutes unattended. After the 4-5 minutes it will start to bubble and boil again too but keep the heat where it is and continue stirring.

    Admittedly I am writing this note before actually trying your method. So I will try what you have suggested and see if my 25 years as a chef have somehow failed me.

    I know my comments might come off as being a bit harsh but it is the truth. I’m just either the first person to read this recipe that has extensive knowledge or the first of a bunch to say something.

    1. Hi Ian! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Honestly I think your job as a chef is one of the hardest and under-appreciated in the world… although I hope that hasn’t been your experience. Regarding the ginger, I would remove the peel with a spoon and have it done in 30 seconds or less, and then grating 2 teaspoons on a microplane should take 2 minutes tops. But, maybe I’m just fast and I will definitely adjust the prep time. I appreciate the feedback! I am going to make the sauce again following the timing you have suggested and see what happens. Whenever I get questions like yours (or requests for substitutions or changes) I like to test the recipes again. By doing this, I find mistakes and other areas where recipes could benefit from more details or clarification. I’m sure you’re right about the timing on the sauce and I know for sure at least one time I burned it… but I left it unattended for 30 minutes boiling while something happened with one of my kids. But either way, I think the timing is more nuanced than I describe in the recipe. And you’re right, I need to pass this along to the readers. You aren’t harsh… let’s say refreshingly honest! Because you are a chef I love it. If you were some random person on the street arguing with me about food safety it’s just boring, but you obviously know what’s going on. So thank you. I will definitely work on the recipe (testing it out and explaining more details about the process). I’m so grateful to you, you have no idea. Thank you so much!

    2. Meggan, I am curious to know if you have tried your recipe with Ian’s changes. I also saw where someone used ground ginger instead of fresh and was wondering what the difference will be and how much ground I should use. I just don’t have a real need to keep fresh ginger on hand as I don’t use it often. I LOVE Teriyaki but the store bought one that’s thick enough to my liking always seems too spicy for my teenage children (although, I enjoy it)

  3. Super delicious, I didn’t have mirin or fresh ginger so I substituted lemon juice and ground ginger. I kept everything else the same and it came out fabulous. I used it to make a creamy teriyaki salad dressingΒ 5 stars

  4. If you don’t have “Mirin” (Japanese sweet cooking wine) you can substitute White Wine and Sugar:

    1 and 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1/2 cup of white wine.5 stars

    1. This is an awesome subsitution!!! Thank you so much. I’ve always wondered if there was something we could use instead. I will add it to this post and any others with Mirin. Thank you again!

    2. 1 and 2 tablespoons? What? Do you mean 1 cup and 2 tablespoons? I’m confused.

    3. I think this person meant 1 OR 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1/2 cup white wine, vermouth, or dry sherry. The reason the exact amount of sugar isn’t specified is because it depends on the sweetness of the wine you’re cooking with. If you’ve had Mirin in the past and know what it tastes like, it’ll be easier for you to know much sugar to add. I would start with 1 tablespoon, and you can always add more if your teriyaki sauce isn’t sweet enough. I hope this helps! Thanks! Sorry for the confusion. -Meggan