Homemade teriyaki sauce is one of my family's favorite sauces. We use it on grilled chicken and whenever we make Chicken Teriyaki Bowls. Of course, you could always buy a store-bought sauce, but why?! You can make the best teriyaki sauce at right at home.
When I was in college, I used to buy to those teriyaki chicken and rice bowls that they had in the freezer section. They were good enough back then. If I had known how to make teriyaki sauce earlier, my tastebuds would have been a lot happier!
Plus, now that I'm an official grown-up who has to adult all the time, I like to make sure I'm eating healthfully and feeding my family whole food as much as I can. We use this great recipe on everything from stir fry to pork chops!
You can find this sweet, umami-packed sauce in our fridge pretty much perpetually. This easy teriyaki sauce recipe is super delicious and will keep for about three weeks in the fridge.
And one of my absolute favorite ways to serve this is in a teriyaki chicken burrito. If you've been hanging with me for a while, you already know I can turn any meal into a burrito. It's a gift!
What You’ll Love About This Recipe
- Easy: This recipe takes less than 10 minutes.
- Fantastic and Flexible: This is the absolute best chicken teriyaki sauce! But I've used it on grilled beef teriyaki as well. It even makes simple steamed veggies delicious.
- Healthy: Teriyaki sauce isn't always the healthiest thing on the menu at a restaurant, but this version has less sugar and zero preservatives.
This sauce does double duty as teriyaki marinade when I'm making teriyaki chicken. To make the marinade, simply take out a portion of the sauce (about ⅓ cup) before you cook it and dilute it with about a cup of water. If you want to make a Hawaiian teriyaki sauce marinade, you can use pineapple juice in place of the water.
What you'll need
- Soy Sauce: Traditionally, soy sauce is used in teriyaki sauce. If you need to make a gluten free teriyaki sauce, you can use tamari. I have also used liquid aminos as a substitute for the soy sauce.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar adds an acidic note to the teriyaki sauce. It helps to balance the sweetness of the sauce.
- Mirin: Mirin has a smooth, sake-like note to its flavor. It adds a subtle, rounded flavor to the sauce.
- Garlic: You can use fresh minced garlic, jarred garlic, or even dried garlic.
- Ginger: Use fresh ginger, jarred ginger, or powdered ginger.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a little bit of sweetness. You can also use honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds add a little texture to the teriyaki sauce. I also love the look of them in the brown shiny sauce.
- Crushed Red Pepper: If you like things a little spicy, you can add red pepper flakes. Of course, they are totally optional.
- Water: I typically use water to dilute this sauce. I have also used pineapple juice many times. Orange juice is also fantastic. Just be sure to adjust the brown sugar accordingly.
- Thickener: To make a thicker sauce, you will also need either cornstarch or arrowroot starch to make a thickening slurry.
Making homemade teriyaki sauce is so easy! Basically, you just add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and bring them to a boil. If you want a thicker sauce, you can use a slurry made of cornstarch and water as you see below, but this step is optional.
Step 1: Add all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients to a small saucepan. Start with the soy sauce.
Step 2: Add the garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes.
Step 4: Add the brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and mirin.
Step 5: Add the water.
Step 6: Bring all of the ingredients to a simmer.
Step 7: Add the cornstarch slurry.
Step 8: Bring the sauce to a boil while whisking continously as the sauce begins to thicken.
PRO-TIP: The sauce should coat the spoon. It will be the consistency of warm maple syrup.
Step 9: Add sesame seeds, if you are using them.
How to serve teriyaki sauce
Once the teriyaki sauce has cooled slightly, add it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
My favorite way to eat this teriyaki sauce is on a satisfying Chicken Teriyaki Bowl,
FAQs and Expert Tips
Homemade teriyaki sauce can be stored in an airtight container, in the freidge for several weeks.
Other Easy Dinner Recipes That You’ll Love
- Curry Rissotto
- Asian Chicken Meatballs
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Pork Ragu with Creamy Polenta
Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade
- ¾ cup soy sauce tamari or coconut aminos*
- 3 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic or 1 teaspoon of garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup brown sugar honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¾ cup water divided
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds optional
Making the Teriyaki Sauce
- Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan.
- Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and bring the teriyaki sauce to a simmer.
- While the teriyaki sauce is heating, mix up the thickening slurry and and set it aside.
- Once the sauce is simmering, add the slurry to the pan and whisk. Continue cooking, while stirring continuously until the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside. You will have extra.*