How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
The SWEETEST teriyaki sauce recipe and it’s just made in ten minutes! It’s so simple to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it from the local store. The sweet and tangy flavor will add a Japanese touch to your salmon, chicken, and stir-fries!
If you are eager to learn how to make teriyaki sauce, you’re in the right place!
Not to brag, but this is the best teriyaki sauce recipe out there – it’s flavorful, easy to make, and way better than any store-bought sauce filled with tons of corn syrup and sugar. Best of all, you can enjoy this recipe vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.
From chicken teriyaki to shrimp teriyaki, this simple but amazing teriyaki sauce recipe is going to have you licking your fingers (and even your plate!) because it’s so good on so many dishes.
Prep it ahead and enjoy it as a stir fry sauce, glaze for salmon, or even as a marinade for chicken. It will add an Asian flavor to noodle or rice dishes and can be used as a dip for dumplings or shrimp. Make this your secret ingredient and take your teriyaki dishes to the next level.
Why is Teriyaki Popular?
By definition, it is “a Japanese dish of meat or fish that is grilled or boiled after being soaked in soy sauce marinade.”
If you take a look into history, you’ll discover that teriyaki is a cooking method that dates back to the 17th century in Japan. It’s a common method of marinating fish in sauce and then grilling it.
This sweet & dark sauce crept its way into the hearts of many Americans and became an Asian foodie’s favorite.
And it’s worth the hype!
You may be surprised, but teriyaki didn’t originate in Japan. The first teriyaki sauce ever was made in Hawaii by Japanese immigrants in the 1960s.
With their unique culture, cooking techniques, and tasty flavors, they combined pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce to get a tasty teriyaki marinade.
Today, sweet teriyaki sauce is prepared with brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, rice wine, sake, soy sauce, and more sugar! It has become one of most loved sauces among Asian fusion food lovers.
It not only gained popularity in the U.S but also in Japan. You can probably find teriyaki sauce in any-given strip mall, fast-food chain, store-front, and even in 5-star restaurants in Japan.
Here’s why we love this sauce:
- It’s Versatile – You can use it to marinate chicken, stir-fry, teriyaki salmon, in our favorite fusion bowls, and as a dipping sauce
- It’s Fast – It takes 10 minutes to make this sauce. That’s quicker than a trip to the store.
- Easy ingredients – You can make the best teriyaki sauce ever with just a few pantry ingredients and pack a delicious punch.
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
The best teriyaki sauce contains the following ingredients:
- ½ cup of soy sauce – start with a little amount, taste for saltiness, and add more as needed.
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar – we use brown sugar for this recipe, but you can swap it with maple syrup or honey.
- ½ cup of mirin – to add a subtle tangy aftertaste that makes teriyaki unique. It can be found in grocery stores. You can swap it for sake if you can’t find it.
- 1 teaspoon of garlic (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger root (optional)
How to customize your sauce
There are different methods on how to make teriyaki sauce. Once you understand the ingredients, you can mix and match flavors (within reason) to create your unique sauce.
- Salty base – You can contain the amount of salt by thinning with water.
- Sweetness – You can add sweetness with honey, crushed pineapple, or sweet wine.
- Thickness – You can boil it down to thicken. Cornstarch, flour, or potato starch adds a beautiful glaze.
- Acidity – Traditionally, sake adds acidity, but you can add rice wine, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar to add extra acidity to your sauce.
- Aromatics – Ginger and garlic add depth to the recipe.
- Garnish – A small dash of sesame seed oil adds a visually appealing look to teriyaki sauce.
How to Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce?
We’d love for you to have a taste of our teriyaki chicken, but for those times when you can’t get to Char’d, this recipe will take the deliciousness to your kitchen.
In this section, we’ll describe some easy methods on how to make teriyaki sauce on your own. It may seem hard to make, but it’s actually easy to do this homemade and enjoy it with delicious meals.
There are several methods for making teriyaki. It can be less thick if you want to use it as a marinade for beef or fish, or if you wish to use it as a dipping sauce or another ingredient, you can easily thicken it up.
Let’s discuss in detail, how to make teriyaki sauce in the simplest and sweetest way possible:
- Heat the saucepan.
- Pour the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar into the saucepan. Stir.
- You can add extra honey or crushed pineapple for extra sweetness.
- Gradually add the garlic and ginger root to your taste. Heat at medium flame and stir.
- Add cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water and whisk into the sauce.
- When the sauce has started to boil, reduce the heat to medium.
- Simmer for 1-2 minutes, until bubbly and thickened.
- Turn off the heat. Let the mixture pass through a strainer to trap the garlic and ginger (if you didn’t use the powdered form.
- Let it cool!
- Serve as a sauce or use as an ingredient to prepare teriyaki chicken or any meal at home!
Ways to use it:
- In a stir-fry – prepare the sauce ahead and toss the cooked stir fry in it, or brush on the meat before tossing it in the grill.
- Marinade – Marinate your chicken with teriyaki sauce for up to 24 hours to add that extra flavor.
- As a glaze – Brush onto salmon just before serving it.
- On teriyaki dishes – like our chicken teriyaki, pork teriyaki, and shrimp teriyaki.
Different Types of Teriyaki Sauce
When you’re in the mood for tasty grilled chicken, meat or fish tossed in a sweet-savory teriyaki sauce, you can go ahead and make your own from scratch. However, there are times when the bottled sauce is more convenient.
But which bottled teriyaki sauce is the best?
If you want a brand that knows how to make teriyaki sauce, here are some to help you make your selection:
Best original: Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
This one is generally considered the best teriyaki sauce available in stores. Kikkoman brand has blended its signature brewed soy sauce with sweet rice wine. Garlic, onion, ginger, and sesame are added to give it a bold flavor.
It’s great to use as a marinade or as a dipping sauce for a variety of dishes. It tastes great on chicken or grilled salmon to complement the richness of the fish.
Best gluten-free: Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
Inspired by the Japanese style of soy sauce, this is one of the best marinades on the market. It uses high-quality ingredients to make the quality sauce, free of preservatives and comes in different sizes.
Best of all, it is made with gluten-free tamari and has a more pronounced flavor and richer color than regular soy sauce. It’s suitable for dipping and marinades for beef or fish.
Best soy-free: Coconut Secret Teriyaki Sauce
If you are allergic to soy, you can still have a great teriyaki experience with this soy-free sauce. Coconut aminos add the same savory flavor (umami) to dishes as soy sauce. This sauce is soy-free, gluten-free, low-sodium, organic, and with balanced flavors.
Best for paleo: Primal Kitchen Teriyaki Sauce
This paleo-friendly sauce is made with coconut aminos, tapioca starch, orange juice, ginger, garlic, and lots more. Its spicy taste works well with stir-frying, glazing, marinating, and dressing for salads. It doesn’t contain any gluten, grain, or soy so everyone can use it irrespective of dietary restrictions.
Best for chicken: Mr. Yoshida’s Original Sweet Teriyaki Marinade
This sweet and tangy sauce pairs well with chicken, beef, pork, and mixed vegetables. Whether you crave chicken baked in teriyaki sauce or stir-fry some wings, this well-rounded sauce is a keeper.
4 Most Popular Teriyaki Meals
Aside from teriyaki chicken, there are dozens of delicious teriyaki meals worth trying too. The most popular ones are pork, beef, and shrimp.
Teriyaki can also be prepared with different cooking methods. You can cook it in the oven, broiler, open flame, or on a stovetop. If you prepare teriyaki in a slow cooker, it will result in a tender piece of beef or pork.
You can try them out and choose your favorite taste. Try incorporating chicken teriyaki sauce with noodles, rice, protein, or veggies.
This is the most popular teriyaki meal. If you haven’t tasted this tender chicken glazed in flavorful teriyaki sauce, then you’re missing out.
At Char’d Kitchen, we serve teriyaki chicken with stir-fried veggies (broccoli, cabbage, and carrots) with sesame seeds. You can request beef, shrimp, or even tofu!
If you want to stray from the usual teriyaki chicken, then go for pork. Thinly sliced pork is coated with teriyaki and then and grilled in a hot skillet.
If you love a good rice bowl recipe for dinner at home, try teriyaki don. Yummy grilled pork with teriyaki glazed in a frying pan with a bed of shredded lettuce and steamed rice.
This shrimp cooked in teriyaki is perfect for a weeknight dinner when you need something quick, light, delicious, and healthy. It has a salt-sweet mixture and goes with steamed rice and broccoli.
This is a tender beef steak grilled and glazed with sweet teriyaki sauce, and served with a fresh citrus salad and steamed rice. It’s also a great addition to your beef burger and barbeque sauce. You can also cover ribs in sauce to give them a sweet taste.
What’s the difference between soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and teriyaki marinade?
Soy sauce is an ingredient used in making teriyaki sauce. It is made from a fermented paste of soybeans, brine, roasted grain, brine, and salt.
Soy sauce involves soaking soybeans in water for several hours and steaming them. Wheat is roasted, ground into flour, and mixed into the steamed soybean.
We recommend low sodium soy sauce when making teriyaki to help prevent salt overwhelm.
On the other hand, teriyaki marinade is a thinner version of teriyaki sauce that marinates chicken, beef, and fish. It’s slowly absorbed into the meat for several hours. It’s kept thinner for easy absorption.
Lastly, teriyaki sauce is for brushing on meats before grilling, stir-frying, dipping sauce, or as an ingredient for teriyaki meals. It can be thickened more either by boiling down or adding cornstarch and other thickening agents.
How To Store Teriyaki Sauce
Homemade teriyaki sauce can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, but be mindful of herbal ingredients that can shorten shelf life.
Homemade sauce can freeze just fine. Let it cook completely and store in an air-tight freezer container, or freeze flat in a ziplock bag.
Can I make Teriyaki sauce gluten-free and paleo?
Absolutely! As long as you use gluten-free soy sauce and thicken with cornstarch. You can use coconut aminos, but start with half the amount and taste for saltiness, adding more as needed.
Looking for the Best Teriyaki meals in Texas?
Char’d Kitchen offers delicious meals that pair perfectly with teriyaki sauce. We give people the freedom to mix and match different Asian flavors, including delicious teriyaki meals. You can enjoy our customizable teriyaki chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu at the best prices.
You don’t need to go far for healthy, sweet teriyaki meals. You can find our restaurants in Fort Worth, Mansfield, and Richardson Texas.
Want to enjoy a sumptuous meal from the comfort of your home?
Ordering online from Char’d Kitchen is simple. We have partnered with Door Dash and UberEats to ensure fast delivery to your home, office, or anywhere!
You are one click away from biting into your perfect teriyaki meal made just for you!