Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

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This easy teriyaki sauce recipe makes for a tasty sweet and savory flavor booster! It’s a combination of soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil thickened with cornstarch.

Homemade teriyaki sauce recipe

A classic Japanese-style teriyaki sauce can be swiftly made right at home in just five minutes. Balancing just the right ratio of savory, sweet and pungent ingredients elevates the umami flavors. Cornstarch helps to create a luxurious glaze that thickens in just seconds when heated.

This quick and easy sauce clings nicely to slices of meat, tofu, steamed vegetables, and tiny rice granules. This condiment is versatile to add flavor as a stir fry sauce when making wok-fired dishes or as a dipping sauce.

pre-portioned ingredients to make teriyaki sauce

The main ingredients

Teriyaki sauce is composed of soy sauce, water, rice wine, rice vinegar, and a sweetener like honey, maple syrup or brown sugar as the base ingredients. These provide a balance of savory, sweet, and tangy notes.

To add more depth and appetizing aromatics, I use freshly minced garlic, minced ginger, and sesame oil. You can substitute ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger for fresh as a convenient swap. Dried seasonings are more intense in flavor so less is needed.

How to make teriyaki sauce

  • Whisk together water, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, wine, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and water.
  • Simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in cornstarch slurry and cook until it thickens.

pouring cornstarch into a saucepan

Thicken the sauce

Using a thickening agent like cornstarch is essential to create a shiny glaze that sticks to the food. It’s best to disperse the starch in water first before heating up the sauce. Adding the cool cornstarch slurry to the hot liquid prevents the sauce from clumping.

Make sure to constantly whisk the sauce as the slurry is added so the starch granules stay separate, swell, and effectively thicken.

Perfect for stir-fry cooking

This teriyaki sauce recipe works well when making a stir-fry in a large wok or pan. Move the protein or vegetables away from the center, creating a well-shape then add the sauce mixture towards the end of the cooking process.

Let it bubble and simmer over medium-high heat for 1 minute, then add in the cornstarch slurry, continuously stirring until the sauce thickens up. Toss the ingredients with the sauce and serve immediately.

whisking homemade teriyaki sauce in a small pan

How long will it last?

It’s best to use the teriyaki sauce the same day for the best consistency. Cornstarch loses its thickening power when it’s reheated and thin out. The sauce base can be mixed together and stored in an airtight container or jar up to 3 days in advance. Then add the slurry when heating the sauce so that it stays nice and thick.

Ways to use teriyaki sauce

teriyaki chicken rice bowl with broccoli and carrots

Substituting the cornstarch

Arrowroot powder is a comparable substitute for cornstarch, keeping the sauce translucent. Use 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder dissolved in 4 tablespoons water. Although flour is an effective thickener, it will turn the sauce opaque and murky in appearance, which is great for gravy but not teriyaki sauce.

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Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Easy 5-minute teriyaki sauce recipe! The sweet and savory flavor will enhance your favorite proteins, vegetables, and rice.
Pin Print Review
3.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time5 mins
Servings 21 servings
Course Condiment
Cuisine Japanese

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup water
  • cup soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin rice wine
  • 1 ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water, to add to cornstarch slurry

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl whisk together ¾ cup water, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
  • In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Add the sauce mixture to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, once the liquid begins to simmer, cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, and whisk to combine.
  • Continuously whisk the sauce until it thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon, 30 to 60 seconds. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
  • If desired, strain the sauce to remove the garlic and ginger.
  • Serve the sauce warm with desired food.

Equipment

Notes

  • Makes: 1 cup (315ml) teriyaki sauce
  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon (15ml) - 21 servings
  • Substitute ¼ teaspoon garlic powder for minced garlic.
  • Substitute ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger for minced ginger.
  • Substitute 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder dissolved in 4 tablespoons water for cornstarch slurry.
  • Substitute coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari for soy sauce.

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Nutrition Facts
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 24 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 207mg9%
Potassium 11mg0%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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5 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Judy says

    I know I will be making and using this on a regular basis. I do a lot of stir fry vegetables right now. Also I try to keep carbs at or under 5 for teriyaki sauce so this is a good fit for us as well at only 6 carbs. Thank you Jessica. Wishing you and your family a good week ahead. xo

  2. Dave says

    Thanks for this kitchen hack. Love your posts!!! I know you like to create recipes from household staples. But, I’ll use Ultratex or Ultratex 3 in recipes like this where smoothness and clarity is important. It completely dissolves in liquid with no after taste or texture (you already know this). It’s inexpensive and it works well. I use it in my dry ranch mixes.

  3. Cindy says

    I made the teriyaki and it was so easy and SO tasty! I sliced thin carrots and steamed them with pea pods. Made brown rice and that was my base then added cooked chicken and veggies on top with the sauce drizzled all over!🤤

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