This ten minute homemade teriyaki sauce is going to knock your socks off! So much tastier than bottled, it is a luscious tangy sauce that adds so much flavor to your chicken, salmon, stir fries and more.
Some things are so much better made from scratch, and teriyaki is definitely one of them. This homemade teriyaki sauce is going to have you licking your fingers and possibly your plate too because it’s so damn good!
This homemade teriyaki sauce is not exactly new around here, I used this recipe in this Vegan Teriyaki Stir Fry and this Teriayki Salmon Glaze. I also used a variation in this Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken recipe!
But it’s about time I shared the standalone recipe with you, so you can prep it ahead and enjoy all week. I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to use what I think is the BEST teriayki sauce recipe out there!
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What’s to love about this homemade teriyaki sauce?
- it works as a stir fry sauce, a marinade, or a glaze
- you can control the saltiness (does anyone else find store bought teriyaki sauce SO salty?!)
- it’s so tasty you will be licking your plate clean!
How to make teriyaki sauce?
You are not going to believe how easy it is. And the best part is you can make this teriyaki sauce vegan, paleo and gluten-free!
Shall we discuss the ingredients in teriyaki sauce?
- soy sauce– for that strong savory flavor. I strongly recommend you use reduced sodium soy sauce. Gluten-free or paleo? Use coconut aminos, but start with half the amount and taste for saltiness, adding more in as needed.
- sweetener– I use honey in this particular recipe but you can swap for equal amounts of maple syrup or brown sugar
- garlic & ginger– you can use fresh or powdered. If you want a silky smooth sauce, use powdered!
- mirin– this ingredient trips some people up. It adds a tangy aftertaste that is characteristic of teriyaki. Can’t find it? Swap for sherry or just leave it out.
- sesame oil– adds a little flavor dimension to this teriyaki sauce. Toasted or regular are both fine.
How to make teriyaki sauce:
- Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
- Stir together corn starch (or arrowroot powder) with cold water and whisk into the pot.
- Simmer another 1-2 minutes, until thick and bubbly (as pictured below)
What are some ways to use this teriyaki sauce recipe?
- in a stir fry– you can prepare the sauce ahead and toss the cooked stir fry in it right at the end OR you can shake together the teriyaki sauce with cornstarch and thicken it right in the pan with the stir fry. Find directions in this post.
- as a marinade– marinate your chicken for up to 24 hours in this teriyaki sauce recipe. Pro level– freeze chicken right in the teriyaki sauce for extra flavor! *if you are going to brush more teriyaki sauce on your chicken before serving, reserve some which has not touched the chicken.
- as a glaze– we love brushing it onto our salmon just before serving. Check out this Teriyaki Salmon Glaze recipe!
Tips & equipment for the BEST teriyaki sauce
Finger Lickin’ Homemade Teriyaki Sauce (10 minutes!)
- 2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (see *)
- 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated finely; or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mirin (may be swapped for sherry or omitted)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water and whisk into the sauce.
- Simmer for another 1-2 minutes, until bubbly and thickened.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to use it as a glaze
- Brush on chicken or salmon during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking, then brush again just before serving.
How to use it as a marinade
- Marinate chicken, tofu or pork for 2-24 hours before serving. You may wish to reserve some of the (fresh) marinade for brushing on before serving.
How to use it in a stir fry
- After cooking protein and veggies, toss all ingredients in the sauce just before serving.