The Best Teriyaki Sauce Recipe Ever

I came up with this Teriyaki Sauce Recipe about 18 years ago when I was trying to experiment with more recipes and food ideas to mix up my usual cooking routine. Whether you’re looking for a sauce for rice, or just dipping, this recipe is perfect.

teriyaki-sauce-in-bowl

How to Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

The first time I made it I seriously considered bottling it and trying to market it. It’s THAT good! I called the neighbor over and made her taste it to ensure my taste buds were working properly. She demanded the recipe and stayed for dinner that night. Good thing I always cook for an army!

Ingredients for Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (you can also use brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions for Teriyaki Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Using a whisk, give it a stir. Be sure to scrape the bottom so all of the corn starch and sugar aren’t sticking. mix it well with your whisk.
  2. On medium-high heat, bring your mixture to a low boil. Continue to boil until the sauce thickens. This happens kind of fast once it reaches a low boil or simmer. So stir it constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  4. If you wish to use this as a marinade, add the juice of half a lemon. (Acid helps break down the fats in your meat.)
teriyaki-sauce-in-bowl
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5 from 12 votes

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

This homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is better than any version you've ever made. Forget the teriyaki sauce bottle from the store. Make this!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: teriyaki sauce, teriyaki sauce recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 42kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • ½ cup sugar you can also use brown sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger you can also use fresh
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Using a whisk, give it a stir. Be sure to scrape the bottom so all of the corn starch and sugar aren't sticking. mix it well with your whisk.
    teriyaki sauce ingredients
  • On medium-high heat, bring your mixture to a low boil. Continue to boil until the sauce thickens. This happens kind of fast once it reaches a low boil or simmer. So stir it constantly.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • If you wish to use this as a marinade, add the juice of half a lemon. (Acid helps break down the fats in your meat.)
    teriyaki sauce recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 0.2IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Teriyaki Sauce Variations

Make it Gluten Free

It’s actually a lot easier to make teriyaki sauce gluten-free than you might think. Follow the recipe above and instead of using regular soy sauce, use gluten-free sauce or tamari (tamari shoyu) instead.

Make it Lower Sodium

Teriyaki sauce is inherently higher in sodium. But if you’re looking for a lower sodium option, swap the regular soy sauce for low sodium soy sauce.

Use Garlic Powder 

Though we definitely recommend using fresh garlic, if you don’t have any on hand, you can use garlic powder instead. One medium-sized garlic clove is around the equivalent of 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder. With that said, if you’re substituting garlic powder for fresh garlic, keep in mind that the powder has a slightly different flavor and may not provide the exact same taste as fresh garlic. We recommend adding it slowly and tasting it while you do.

Teriyaki Sauce Substitution

If you don’t have teriyaki sauce on hand (and you don’t feel like making your own), you can try the below substitutions:

  1. Soy sauce and sugar: Mix equal parts soy sauce and sugar (preferably brown sugar) to create a simple teriyaki sauce substitute. You can adjust the sweetness level to your liking. Adding a splash of mirin or rice wine vinegar will provide some tanginess. Note: It can be confusing, sometimes, but rice wine vinegar is actually the same as rice vinegar. 
  2. Hoisin sauce: Hoisin sauce is a Chinese condiment that has a similar sweet-savory flavor profile to teriyaki sauce. You can use it as a direct substitute or mix it with a bit of soy sauce to thin it out and achieve a closer taste to teriyaki.
  3. Oyster sauce: Oyster sauce is another Asian sauce with a rich, savory flavor. Mix it with a little bit of sugar or honey to add sweetness and balance the flavors. A splash of soy sauce will help bring the flavor closer to teriyaki.
  4. Ponzu sauce: Ponzu is a Japanese sauce made from soy sauce, citrus juice, and other ingredients. Although it’s tangier than teriyaki sauce, it can be a suitable substitute. You can add some sugar or honey to balance the acidity and achieve a more teriyaki-like flavor.

Remember that these substitutions might not perfectly mimic the taste of teriyaki sauce, but they can still provide a delicious and similar flavor profile for your dishes.

teriyaki sauce recipe ingredients

Storing Teriyaki Sauce

Now that you’ve gone through the trouble of making homemade teriyaki sauce, you want to make sure that you’re storing it properly. Follow the below steps to ensure your sauce last as long as you need it to:

  1. Allow your teriyaki sauce to cool completely: After cooking, let the sauce cool down to room temperature to prevent bacterial growth and ensure proper storage.
  2. Choose an appropriate container: Opt for an airtight glass or BPA-free plastic container that is suitable for storing sauces. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid to keep the sauce fresh and avoid any leaks. We recommend storing your sauce in a mason jar or small bowl with a tightly-sealed lid. 
  3. Pour the sauce into the container: Carefully transfer the cooled teriyaki sauce into the chosen container, leaving a little space at the top for expansion.
  4. Label and date the container: Use a permanent marker or a label to write the date and contents on the container. This will help you keep track of the sauce’s age and prevent it from being forgotten in the back of the fridge.
  5. Refrigerate the sauce: Place the container in the refrigerator, ideally in the back where temperatures are more consistent. Properly stored, homemade teriyaki sauce should last for up to two weeks in the fridge.
  6. For longer storage, freeze the sauce: If you want to store the teriyaki sauce for an extended period, you can freeze it. Pour the sauce into a freezer-safe container or a resealable plastic freezer bag, leaving some space for expansion. Seal tightly, label with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  7. Thaw and reheat when needed: To use the frozen teriyaki sauce, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or use the microwave’s defrost function. Reheat the sauce gently in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.

Teriyaki Sauce FAQs

What is teriyaki sauce supposed to taste like?

Teriyaki sauce is a blend of sweet and savory flavors, with a hint of tanginess. Its rich, glossy texture and umami-packed taste perfectly complement a variety of dishes, making it a popular choice for marinades, glazes, and dipping sauces.

Is teriyaki sauce healthy?

Incorporating teriyaki sauce in moderation can add a healthy touch to your meals as it includes useful nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from its soy sauce and ginger ingredients. Nevertheless, it is crucial to be mindful of the amount of store-bought teriyaki sauce you consume due to its high levels of sodium and sugar. You can also consider preparing a homemade version with lower levels of sodium and sugar to maintain a balanced diet.

What is the difference between soy sauce and teriyaki sauce?

Soy sauce is a salty, fermented condiment made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and water, while teriyaki sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce that incorporates soy sauce as a primary ingredient, along with additional components like sugar, ginger, and garlic. Teriyaki sauce is typically thicker than soy sauce and is commonly used as a marinade or glaze for various dishes, while soy sauce is more versatile and can be used in a broader range of recipes.

Is teriyaki sauce Chinese or Japanese? 

Teriyaki sauce originates from Japan and is a staple in Japanese cuisine. The word “teriyaki” itself combines two Japanese terms: “teri,” which refers to the shiny glaze, and “yaki,” meaning grilled or broiled, emphasizing its traditional use as a glaze for grilled dishes in Japanese cooking.

What is teriyaki sauce made of? 

Teriyaki sauce is traditionally made from a simple blend of ingredients, primarily consisting of soy sauce, mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine), sugar, and sake.

Can I use teriyaki sauce in place of soy sauce?

While teriyaki sauce and soy sauce share a common base ingredient, they have different flavors and consistencies. Teriyaki sauce can be used as a substitute for soy sauce in some cases, but keep in mind that it will add a sweeter and thicker consistency to the dish compared to the salty, thinner texture of soy sauce.

What sauce is closest to teriyaki sauce?

Hoisin sauce is the closest alternative to teriyaki sauce, as it also offers a sweet and savory flavor profile. However, hoisin sauce has a thicker consistency and a more robust taste, so use it sparingly and adjust the quantity according to your taste preferences when substituting it for teriyaki sauce. Oyster sauce is also a close second.

Best Ways to Use Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Beef

Cut thin strips of London broil or your favorite cut of beef. Marinade for 1 hour to overnight covered in teriyaki sauce. Soak wooden skewers for 20 – 30 minutes in water (so they don’t burn), and skewer the meat strips onto the skewers. Grill or bake your beef skewers to the desired doneness. They don’t take long to cook if your meat is cut thin.

Teriyaki Chicken

Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. place boneless skinless breasts (or your favorite cut of chicken) in the pan in a single layer. brush on one coat of your sauce. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Add another layer of sauce. I do this 3 to 4 times, depending on how thick the meat is (every 10 minutes) Delicious! Serve with rice or noodles for a sweet and tangy dinner. Sprinkled with a dash of sesame seeds, this recipe is a not-to-miss.

Teriyaki Salmon

Teriyaki salmon is the best salmon, in my humble opinion. I love this recipe because of how easy it is to make and how delicious it comes out. If you like this recipe, try my Cheesecake Factory Miso Salmon (let me know what you think!)

Teriyaki Shrimp

Sauté your shrimp in butter just until pink. add in your teriyaki sauce and serve over rice. Try adding in some steamed veggies for a complete meal. Wonderful every time! If you like this recipe, you love our Texas Roadhouse Shrimp recipe.

Beef Jerky

We tried something new with this easy teriyaki sauce recipe for the first time! BEEF JERKY!! In a NuWave oven (or air fryer of choice). We marinated the thin strips of beef in the teriyaki sauce for about an hour. Then we cooked the beef strips in our Nuwave oven on power level 3 for 2 1/2 hours. Flipping them over halfway through. They were amazing!

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29 thoughts on “The Best Teriyaki Sauce Recipe Ever”

  1. I hope they do! It’s definitely a staple in our house! … Kimberly I went to comment on your comment (the fondant post) and instead of hitting reply i hit remove! Yikes! Im so sorry it was not intentional. Im off to work but will try to head over to lou lou gils before i go!! Have a great night 🙂 Sorry again!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just made it tonight as a chicken marinade, and my husband was very complimentary about the result! Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  3. First tried this a few weeks ago on steak and it was amazing. Tonight, using it on Alaskan salmon on the grill. Thanks for the recipie

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa, glad you enjoyed it. I have kept it in the fridge in a mason jar for about 2 weeks. Haven’t tested it any longer than that, it usually doesn’t last lol

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Wow! This teriyaki sauce is out of this world!! I no longer buy pre-made sauces and spice packets, so was excited to try your recipe for teriyaki sauce. You were right. It is fantastic! I am serving it tonight on chicken with rice and broccoli. I cannot wait! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    I just made this…Smells terrific. Put it on country ribs in the crock pot. Will definitely be making this again. Got the recipe through yummly.

    Reply
  6. I made this last night – it smells fabulous! It was a bit tricky converting US to UK measurements but I got there in the end. Have been using as a dipping sauce – will start marinading tofu and broccoli tonight! Thanks for posting this recipe – it was exactly what I was looking for!

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    I’m stuck in quarantine and I’m trying to cook things that do not come in a box. This sauce is divine! Thank you, thank, thank you.

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    I keep going back for a spoonful to make sure it really is that good. I need to stop eating the marinade. Its incredibly good – thank you for such a great recipe. I used tamari to keep it gluten free. Just delicious!!

    Reply
  9. 5 stars
    I used tamari too (and yes to gluten-free recipes)!

    This made the best teriyaki sauce ever. I love black pepper and used a bit more. Also, I used those little “ice cubes” of garlic and ginger, since I had them handy in the freezer.

    I love this so much that I used it on every piece of salmon I cooked in the last month. 🙂

    Reply

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