How to Make Teriyaki Sauce

Keep a jar of this homemade Teriyaki Sauce in your refrigerator, and your monthly food budget will thank you. It’s a delicious miracle worker on just about anything that could use a little sweet and spicy kick, and gives carryout a serious run for its money.

Drizzle teriyaki sauce over pork chopschicken, and salmon—or use it as a marinade for next-level grilling. Trying to eat more vegetables? Let this gingery, garlicky Japanese teriyaki sauce recipe be your go-to; it makes broccoli, green beans, and asparagus absolutely addictive.

Keep a jar of this homemade Teriyaki Sauce in your refrigerator, and your monthly food budget will thank you. It’s a delicious miracle worker on just about anything that could use a little sweet and spicy kick, and gives carryout a serious run for its money
Pin Now To Save! PIN IT

Best of all, this teriyaki sauce is a thick one, so it clings to every nook and cranny without ending up in the bottom of your bowl.

Making a larger batch of Teriyaki Sauce for a big family? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

What does teriyaki mean?

When food is prepared in “teriyaki” style, it is seasoned with soy sauce, sake, and mirin, which gives a silky, smooth lustre to the sauce. In the states, teriyaki is most often the name given to the sauce itself, which is found in bottles at the store. In Japan, everyone makes their own sauce at home—you can’t buy it. That’s how easy it is to make.

Is teriyaki sauce the same thing as soy sauce?

Teriyaki Sauce vs. soy sauce…what’s the difference? Teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, but it’s thicker, sweeter, and more complex. Soy sauce is a thin, salty sauce that is made from soybeans. Both are great, but they have their purpose.

Teriyaki Sauce ingredients:

Here’s what’s in the sauce, with lots of good ideas for substitutions, too:

  • Soy sauce. (find a gluten free brand if you’re gluten intolerant.)
  • Sugar.
  • Water.
  • Mirin. An easy to find Japanese sweetened cooking wine
  • Grated ginger. Don’t use a lot of ginger? Good news, ginger root can be stored whole in the freezer, as-is. You can cut hunks off of the frozen ginger as you need it…genius, huh?
  • Garlic.
  • Red pepper flakes.
  • Corn starch.
  • Honey.

How Teriyaki Sauce is made:

  1. You’re hardly going to believe how easy it is to do. Let’s make some sauce!
  2. In a saucepan, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, water, mirin, ginger, and red pepper flakes and bring everything to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
    Keep a jar of this homemade Teriyaki Sauce in your refrigerator, and your monthly food budget will thank you. It’s a delicious miracle worker on just about anything that could use a little sweet and spicy kick, and gives carryout a serious run for its money.
  3. Then take out a couple tablespoons of the sauce and combine it in a small bowl with the cornstarch to make a slurry. This keeps the cornstarch from clumping and makes it easier to incorporate into the rest of the sauce.
  4. Pour the cornstarch slurry back into the sauce, stir well, and bring back up to a boil. Stir frequently until the teriyaki sauce thickens.
  5. Finally, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the honey. Let it cool to room temperature. Store in a jar and use within the week.
    Keep a jar of this homemade Teriyaki Sauce in your refrigerator, and your monthly food budget will thank you. It’s a delicious miracle worker on just about anything that could use a little sweet and spicy kick, and gives carryout a serious run for its money.

How to make gluten-free Teriyaki Sauce:

Is Teriyaki Sauce gluten-free? Believe it or not, soy sauce is made from wheat, so the trick to making teriyaki sauce gf is finding a gluten free soy sauce.
Some store-bought gluten-free soy sauces include: San-J Organic Gluten and Wheat Free Tamari Soy Sauce, or Eden Organic Soy Sauce. But no matter what, read the labels carefully as formulations may change without warning.

Making Teriyaki Sauce without honey:

Easy! Just use agave syrup, or a tiny bit of extra sugar. Or, just leave it out.

Teriyaki Sauce with ground ginger:

Fresh zingy ginger is the way to go with this sauce, but a reader suggested that a little ground ginger and fresh lemon juice (to brighten the flavor) work just as well. 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root is equal to 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.

Keep a jar of this homemade Teriyaki Sauce in your refrigerator, and your monthly food budget will thank you. It’s a delicious miracle worker on just about anything that could use a little sweet and spicy kick, and gives carryout a serious run for its money.

How to make a mirin substitute:

Technically, this isn’t mirin, but another clever reader suggested using white wine and a little sugar: 1 and 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1/2 cup of white wine. Leave a comment if you’ve tried it!

How to make teriyaki sauce without cornstarch:

To thicken teriyaki Sauce without cornstarch, you can add flour, or arrowroot powder to your mix to help thicken your teriyaki sauce. Follow the instructions in making a slurry and stir frequently so the thickener doesn’t clump.

Teriyaki is fabulous on:

  • Salmon. Grilled salmon is wonderful when brushed with the sweet and spicy glaze.
  • Beef. A quick beef and broccoli stir fry is so much healthier than delivery.
  • Noodles. Veggie noodle bowls pack crazy flavor with teriyaki sauce drizzled on the top.
  • Chicken. This is a no-brainer! Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring! Grill up some chicken breasts on Sunday for the week ahead. Teriyaki chicken salad for lunch.
  • Meatballs. Plain old meatballs are anything but when simmered in teriyaki sauce.
  • Pineapple. Grilled chunks of pineapple brushed with homemade Teriyaki glaze. Pineapple never had it so good.
5 from 3 votes

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce

Keep a jar of this homemade Teriyaki Sauce in your refrigerator, and your monthly food budget will thank you. It’s a delicious miracle worker on just about anything that could use a little sweet and spicy kick, and gives carryout a serious run for its money.
Course Pantry
Cuisine Asian
Keyword hibachi, teriyaki
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 95kcal
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (from one 6-inch piece, peeled)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, sugar, water, mirin, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes (everything except corn starch and honey). 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This form collects your name, email, and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. natasha

    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. Ian MOSTOWY

    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. Denita

      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)

    2. meggan

      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!

  3. Cassie

    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 dressing 5 stars

  4. casnavy

    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. meggan

      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!

Scroll to top