Homemade Teriyaki Sauce made with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. This easy and healthy sauce is wonderful for chicken, salmon, noodles, veggies, stir fry and kabobs.
A complete Asian feast that my family loves having is this easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce with potstickers, Sticky Lemon Chicken and Chinese Chicken Salad. Of course the evening would not be complete without a refreshing dessert of Lemon Sorbet or an after dinner Lemon Prosecco Cocktail.
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Homemade Teriyaki Sauce vs Authentic Teriyaki Sauce
My friends, this recipe is not a traditional Teriyaki Sauce that is part of Japanese cuisine and featured at many Japanese restaurants . However it is amazing tasting and adds in a depth of flavor that is great for all kinds of recipes and dishes.
Authentic Teriyaki Sauce has just four ingredients: sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar. However, you may find that the additional ingredients become a favorite for you and your family as they have been for mine.
The secret to making the best Teriyaki Sauce at home is combining basic ingredients that are salty (soy sauce), sweet (brown sugar and honey), savory (garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes and sesame oil) and that have acidity (rice vinegar). The good news, many of these are pantry staples that you probably already have at home.
- Soy Sauce– Use Tamari for gluten-free needs. This is my favorite all-time low sodium Tamari.
- Water- Orange juice or pineapple juice may be substituted for water in equal parts. This adds a delicious additional layer of flavor.
- Brown Sugar– Either light or dark brown sugar. (In a pinch, white sugar can be substituted in equal parts.)
- Rice Vinegar– Many recipes call for mirin, which is a sweet rice wine. However, rice vinegar is also fermented and I prefer the slightly tangy taste. The addition of honey helps to bring in the sweetness that mirin would impart. (Additionally if in a pinch, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar may be substituted.)
- Toasted Sesame Oil– This is my favorite sesame oil.
- Ginger– Either 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
- Garlic– Use crushed or minced fresh garlic. However, 4 teaspoons of garlic powder can replace fresh garlic but I do highly recommend sticking with fresh garlic.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes– Adds a mild heat. However, this can easily be eliminated for anyone who is sensitive to heat.
- Cornstarch– Important thickening agent. This cornstarch lasts for what feels like forever.
- Honey (not pictured)- An optional ingredient that helps to add the sweetness that Mirin would add.
How to Make the Best Teriyaki Sauce
- Prepare ginger and garlic.
- To a small saucepan add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar and honey if using.
- In a separate small bowl make a slurry with the water and cornstarch.
- Whisk the slurry into the saucepan.
- Bring the saucepan to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low heat.
- Stirring occasionally, simmer for 5-7 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Additional Ingredient Options
The best part of making Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is that it can be tailored to your personal taste. Here are a few additional simple ingredients that makes this sauce even more flavorful.
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.
- Chopped green onion, about 2-3 scallions.
- Pineapple juice or orange juice to replace the water in equal parts.
- 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice.
Thiner vs Thicker Sauce
For a thiner sauce use just 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and simmer for 3-5 minutes. However, for a thick sauce use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will this sauce last?
This Homemade Teriyaki Sauce recipe will last for up to one week when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Ideally, making this a day before using helps all the flavors to marry making it even more delicious.
Does this recipe work well as a marinade?
Yes, this recipe makes an amazing Teriyaki Marinade for chicken thighs, chicken breasts, salmon and beef. However, to use as a marinade eliminate the slurry ingredients.
What should I do if my Teriyaki Sauce is too salty?
I do recommend using a low sodium soy sauce or Tamari. This does help to eliminate the chance of an over salty Teriyaki Sauce. However, sometimes life happens and it can still end up to salty. If this does happen, add half portions of all the ingredients with the exception of additional soy sauce. Repeat the cooking process following recipe instructions.
Can this recipe be used as a dipping sauce?
Yes, this recipe makes a wonderful dipping sauce for potstickers, wontons and dumplings.
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If you enjoyed this Homemade Teriyaki Sauce please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce *See Note #1 below
- 1/2 cup water *See Note #2 below
- 1/4 cup brown sugar *packed, either light or dark
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes *See Note #3 below
- 2 tablespoons crushed garlic *about 6-8 large cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey *optional, See Note #4 below
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Combine first 9 ingredients in a small saucepan.
- In a small bowl make a slurry by whisking together last 2 ingredients until smooth. Whisk slurry into contents of saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer for 5-7 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.