Learn how to make this homemade teriyaki sauce recipe in just 10 minutes! Teriyaki sauce is so very simple to make and tastes absolutely delicious on beef, chicken, pork, veggies, and more.
Homemade teriyaki sauce is SOOOO much better than the bottled kind. Make it once and I promise you’ll never go back to store bought. It goes great on everything from meat to veggies!
Why This Recipe Works
Easy – This quick teriyaki sauce takes only 10 minutes from start to finish. That’s faster than going to the store to buy it! Just whisk the ingredients together in a saucepan, cool, and either use right away or store for later.
Versatile – I mentioned I like to use this Japanese teriyaki sauce as a marinade or glaze for meat like chicken, steak, pork, and even seafood. But I also like to use it as a dip for raw veggies, or as a sauce for cooked veggies too. It also goes great with other ingredients, like Sriracha or chili oil if you want to take the heat level up a notch.
Keeps well – You can freeze or refrigerate any leftover teriyaki. It’ll freeze pretty much indefinitely, and up to two weeks in the fridge if you can wait that long to eat it all!
Tasty – This recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce isn’t just meant to be an imitation of the bottled stuff. Oh no, this takes the bottled sauce to a whole new level. Sweet and tangy, with just the perfect amount of ginger, garlic, and spice to make anything it touches taste that much better.
Low sodium soy sauce – Soy sauce is very high in sodium, and I think low sodium soy sauce is plenty saucy for this dish. Any low sodium soy sauce is fine.
Water – Just plain tap wateris all you need here. No need for filtered or distilled.
Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar is the same thing as rice wine vinegar. You can find it in the international or Asian food aisle. Any name brand is fine.
Sugar –regular, refined white sugar is perfect for this teriyaki sauce recipe. If don’t have any sugar or prefer the taste of maple, you can substitute ¾ cup of maple syrup, or substitute half maple syrup and half sugar. Or if you only have light brown sugar, you can use that too, though it will have more of a deeper, richer flavor than plain white sugar.
Ground ginger – Any name-brand ground ginger will work great here. You can also use fresh ginger too if you love the taste of fresh ginger.
Crushed red pepper flakes – I use any brand of crushed red pepper flakes; they all taste the same to me. But if you like, you can use 1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce or more (to taste) if you prefer.
Minced garlic – I use the minced garlic in oil all the time. Or you can mince your own or substitute garlic powder.
Corn starch – This is your thickening agent! Without it your sauce will not get that sticky, delicious consistency you want for a great teriyaki sauce.
Sesame seeds – I use white sesame seeds, but black would work fine or you could use a teaspoon or two of sesame oil, in a pinch.
How to Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Just 10 minutes and a handful of simple pantry ingredients is all you need to make this Japanese teriyaki sauce at home.
- In a medium saucepan, add the water, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes (or Sriracha), and stir.
- Let the mixture come to a boil at a medium temperature. Whisk/stir occasionally.
- Add corn starch to water or soy sauce and stir to create a slurry. Add this to the boiling sauce. Stir to thicken.
- Add the sesame seeds, stir, and serve. Or allow the teriyaki sauce to cool and store in the fridge or freezer.
Ideas for Using Teriyaki Sauce
Ready to put this teriyaki sauce recipe to the test? Reader favorite recipes include this Best-Ever Baked Teriyaki Chicken, Black Bean Teriyaki Burgers, and Teriyaki Chicken Tacos. And don’t forget to use it on my brand new Grilled Tri-Tip with Tiger Sauce!
- As a marinade for meat. You can use only teriyaki sauce or add the sauce together with other ingredients like I did for my recipe for Tri Tip Steaks with Tiger Sauce . Depending on the meat, you can marinate anywhere from 30 min up to 8 hours or overnight. If you’re using it as a marinade for seafood, you only have to leave the marinade on for about 20 min to an hour before cooking.
- As a glaze. The great thing about this homemade teriyaki sauce is that it contains some sugar which means it will caramelize as it cooks, leaving a nice glaze to seal in all the meat’s juices. I use a pastry brush or grilling brush to “paint” the sauce on the meat as its cooking.
- Teriyaki sauce goes great as a sauce for stir fries. Try my teriyaki beef stir fry or any combination of protein, veggies, noodles or rice with teriyaki sauce and any other Asian flavor combinations you enjoy!
- Although this is my favorite recipe for the best teriyaki sauce, it might not be the most super-duper, healthy version as it calls for 1 cup of sugar. Just remember this makes a pretty big batch of sauce and you’ll be dividing it between many servings so maybe that 1 cup isn’t quite as intense as it seems! To lighten this up a bit, feel free to scale back the sugar to your own preference.
- I recommend using the ground ginger if you have it on hand, BUT I want to let you know that I have run out before (gasp) and made this sauce without the ginger and it was still fantastic!
- I use a corn starch slurry to thicken this teriyaki sauce by dissolving the corn starch into 1/3 cup soy sauce, but if you want to make this simple teriyaki sauce a smidge healthier, you can swap out the soy sauce and use water instead and it will still taste delicious with just a slightly less intense flavor. So, either works, water or soy sauce – just make the slurry however you like.
- This homemade teriyaki sauce keeps well in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge, or even longer in the freezer.
- To reheat the sauce, stir it over medium-low heat on a stove top, or microwave it in a heat-safe, uncovered container in 30 second increments until warmed through.
More Asian Recipes
- 20-Minute Sticky Sesame Chicken
- Pork Fried Rice (better than any restaurant, I promise)
- Korean BBQ Chicken (SO popular, for good reason)
- Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry (or asparagus, or bok choy, or any other favorite veggie…)
- Chickpea Curry (you won’t miss the meat, trust me.)
Did you make this easy peasy 10 minute teriyaki sauce recipe? AWESOME! Please rate the recipe below! And don’t forget to use it on my new Grilled Tr-Tip recipe!
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup sugar - see note
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger - see note
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - or 1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce, to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons corn starch - + ¼ cup water or soy sauce, see note
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- In a medium sauce pan, combine soy sauce, water, rice vinegar sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes (or sriracha sauce), and garlic and give it a good stir.
- Bring heat up to medium, whisking occasionally until sauce comes to a boil.
- Stir corn starch into water (or soy sauce) and whisk into boiling sauce. Continue to stir as sauce thickens.
- Stir in sesame seeds. Serve with your favorite Asian-inspired dish or allow to cool before storing in airtight container in fridge for later use (see notes for "leftovers"). Enjoy!