This homemade teriyaki sauce is a blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil, all simmered together to make a sweet and savory condiment. Teriyaki sauce is great as a marinade or brushed over grilled chicken, meat and vegetables.
My family loves Japanese food including restaurant classics such as yakitori, shrimp tempura roll, and any dish that involves teriyaki sauce. I often keep a jar of this sauce in my fridge for quick and easy meal options.
In my opinion, homemade sauces and seasonings taste way better than the store bought versions. My teriyaki sauce is packed with flavor, and best of all, takes just minutes to put together.
What is teriyaki sauce made of?
This staple sauce contains basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Soy Sauce: I recommend using low sodium soy sauce, as this will give you greater control over the salt level of the finished sauce. You can always add a pinch of salt later if you feel that you need it. If you need to make your teriyaki sauce gluten free, use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
- Brown Sugar: This adds the classic sweetness associated with this sauce, as well as depth of flavor.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best here. You want to mince it as finely as possible, or use a garlic press to make short work of the chopping task.
- Ginger: Again, go for the fresh stuff. The ginger can be finely minced, or grated with a microplane.
- Honey: I find that the honey and brown sugar sweetener combination makes the sauce more flavorful.
- Sesame Oil: Choose toasted sesame oil whenever possible, as it tends to have a stronger flavor.
How do you make teriyaki sauce?
Place all of the sauce ingredients in a pan, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Whisk together corn starch with cold water, then slowly pour the corn starch into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil to activate the corn starch. Cook until the sauce is just thickened, then use right away or store for later use.
Tips for the perfect sauce
- Be sure to slowly mix the corn starch into the sauce, because if you pour it in all at once it may clump up. If you have any clumps of corn starch in the sauce, simply strain the sauce before use.
- Teriyaki sauce will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week and can be frozen for two months.
- Use this sauce to marinate meats, or simply grill your meat and brush the sauce on during the last few minutes of the cook time. This sauce also works great for stir fries, or serve a drizzle of it over steamed rice.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re serving a crowd or simply want to always have some sauce on hand.
While this recipe is great as-is, you can add other ingredients to make the flavors your own.
- Tropical Sauce: Substitute pineapple juice for water for a tropical flavor, and reduce the amount of brown sugar by 2 teaspoons.
- Spicy Sauce: Stir in sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
- Double Sesame Sauce: Add a few teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds to the sauce.
Once you try this homemade sauce, you’ll never go back to the store bought variety again!
More Asian inspired recipes you’ll enjoy
Teriyaki Sauce Video
- 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Place the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and sesame oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Whisk the corn starch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until dissolved. Slowly add the corn starch mixture to the sauce and boil for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.