Use this Teriyaki Sauce for teriyaki chicken, salmon, a marinade, dipping sauce, and more! It’s quick and easy to make and so much better than store-bought sauce.
This homemade teriyaki sauce has the best combination of sweet and savory flavors. It’s thick, tangy and so versatile!
I like to make my own teriyaki sauce instead of buying it at the store because I can control the ingredients and flavors. It’s so simple to make, there really is no reason not to make your own. This teriyaki sauce recipe takes just 15 minutes, tops, and you will be wowed by the flavor!
This sauce makes the best Teriyaki Chicken, which we love to serve over rice with a side of broccoli for an easy dinner. I’ve also used this sauce on baked salmon – so good! You can use it in place of Stir Fry Sauce in a Chicken Stir Fry.
Authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce often includes mirin and/or sake for sweet, fruity flavor. Since I don’t keep those ingredients in my kitchen (and you may not either) I opted to use common pantry ingredients in this easy teriyaki sauce recipe.
- Soy Sauce: I recommend using low sodium soy sauce so that the sauce doesn’t turn out too salty.
- Brown Sugar and Honey: To bring the sweet to this sweet and savory sauce! I like to use a combination of brown sugar and honey for more depth of flavor and less refined sugars. If you prefer to use only brown sugar, you can. Pure maple syrup can be substituted for the honey if desired. I don’t recommend using only honey or maple syrup because their flavor may be too pronounced in the sauce.
- Rice Vinegar: For a touch of sour to balance out the sweet and salty flavors.
- Sesame Oil: Adds mild sesame flavor.
- Fresh Ginger and Garlic: Fresh is best here! Fresh ginger and fresh garlic bring lots of flavor to the teriyaki sauce.
- Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce.
- Water: You’ll stir the cornstarch and water together to make a slurry. The water also helps to thin out the sauce a bit. You can replace the water with pineapple juice if you’re making Pineapple Chicken (don’t forget to also add pineapple chunks to your pineapple chicken!).
Want it spicy? Add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a bit of heat.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
Making the best teriyaki sauce is so simple! Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
- In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until the sauce comes to a simmer, 2-3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Whisk this cornstarch slurry into the sauce. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
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Ways to Use Teriyaki Sauce
There are so many ways to use this teriyaki sauce!
- It makes the best Teriyaki Chicken.
- Pour it over salmon and bake to make Teriyaki Salmon.
- Use it as a marinade for chicken, shrimp, pork or steak.
- Brush it on grilled shrimp or serve it as a dipping sauce.
- Use it in noodle dishes, like these Teriyaki Noodle Bowls.
- Use it in a stir fry (like this Broccoli Stir Fry) in place of stir fry sauce.
- Use it as a glaze for grilled meats.
How Long Does Teriyaki Sauce Last?
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this teriyaki sauce will last for about 1 week. Be sure to let it cool before storing.
Is this Recipe Gluten Free?
You can make this recipe gluten-free by replacing the soy sauce with gluten-free tamari, gluten-free coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce.
The Best Teriyaki Sauce
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey, or pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until the sauce comes to a simmer, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Whisk this cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the pan. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Serve immediately over chicken, fish, etc., or let cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Recipe makes 1 cup of sauce.
- You can adjust the sweetness to your tastes. For a less sweet sauce, reduce the brown sugar to 2 tablespoons.