It is surprisingly simple to make Teriyaki Sauce at home and there is nothing like a homemade teriyaki sauce. Rich with umami flavor, thick, and delectably sticky, you'll be putting this sauce on everything after the first time you taste it!
This teriyaki sauce blows store-bought teriyaki sauce out of the water. Plus you only need a handful of pantry ingredients to make this sauce and it's ready in as short as 10 minutes!
Use this teriyaki sauce as a topping for my crispy baked chicken wings, air fryer cauliflower wings, or my crispy tofu bites. You can also use this sauce instead of the honey garlic sauce in my honey hot salad recipe to make a teriyaki hot sauce. So good!
Why this is the best teriyaki sauce:
- It uses ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
- It is ready in literally minutes.
- It has incredible versatility; use this sauce as a dipping sauce, glaze, or marinade! (Or all 3!)
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Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
This recipe only requires a handful of pantry ingredients to make.
The ingredients you will need are:
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Brown Sugar
- Rice Vinegar
- Sesame Seeds
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Use Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce can be used as a marinade, dipping sauce, or glaze.
I will explain how to use teriyaki sauce as a marinade below, but to use it as a dipping sauce or glaze, fully prepare the sauce and let it cool at room temperature until the desired temperature is reached. Teriyaki sauce can be served hot or cold.
To use as a glaze: to use this sauce as a teriyaki glaze, let the sauce cool completely before brushing it on chicken breast, burgers, salmon, or shrimp. Cook the meat until it is fully cooked according to package directions and brush again with sauce before serving.
Important Tip- If you are brushing teriyaki sauce onto uncooked meat, make sure to divide the teriyaki sauce and dispose of any sauce that has come in contact with uncooked meat, and don’t forget to wash the brush!
Using Teriyaki Sauce as a Marinade
This teriyaki sauce can be used as a marinade too and it is so much better than any bottled sauce. Plus, you won’t have to go out of your way to gather ingredients as this sauce is made with staple pantry ingredients!
To use as a marinade: to use this sauce as a teriyaki marinade, in a mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients omitting the cornstarch. Do not cook the sauce, just stir the ingredients together and use it as a marinade for chicken, salmon, beef, etc. After marinating, dispose of any marinade that raw meat has come in contact with.
The Process- How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
There is just nothing that compares to a sticky homemade teriyaki sauce. This sauce only takes 10-15 minutes to prepare and it will last for up to a week in your refrigerator.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water.
2. Stir it together until the cornstarch is fully combined.
3. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes.
4. Add the cornstarch slurry into the saucepan, stir to combine, and place over medium heat, bringing the sauce to a boil.
5. Once boiling, lower to a simmer. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until it is thick and sticky. Let the teriyaki sauce cool before serving.
Hint: You will know the teriyaki sauce is done cooking when it has become clear and glossy and the haziness of the cornstarch mixture has cooked off.
Curating your own Teriyaki Sauce
Looking to spice things up?
Make this teriyaki sauce recipe uniquely yours, and curate and fine-tune the recipe to your taste.
Whether you have a certain dietary restriction or are after a different flavored teriyaki sauce. We have a bunch of ideas for you below!
Ingredient & Special Diet Substitutions
See below for options on how to make this recipe without processed sugar, to make it gluten-free, vegan, or soy-free teriyaki sauce.
- Brown Sugar- instead of processed brown sugar, you can use all-natural maple syrup as the sweetener.
- Vegan/Vegetarian- this recipe is already vegan/vegetarian, no substitutions are required.
- Soy-Free- substitute the soy sauce for coconut aminos to make this sauce soy-free. Coconut aminos are also gluten-free, too!
- Gluten-Free- substitute the soy sauce for tamari to make this a gluten-free teriyaki sauce.
- Low Sodium- to make this teriyaki sauce low sodium, replace the soy sauce with this recipe for a low-sodium soy sauce substitute.
Love a good teriyaki hot sauce? Or maybe you are looking for a sweeter version or a kid-friendly dinner idea? I've got you!
- Teriyaki Hot Sauce- prepare the teriyaki sauce recipe as stated below and stir in your favorite hot sauce until the desired spiciness is reached (my buffalo sauce works really well for this).
- No Spice- to eliminate all of the spiciness in this recipe just omit the crushed red pepper flakes.
A Fun Kid-Friendly Dinner Idea
Set the table with a tupperware container and a tight-fitting lid for each person.
Have your kids place some wings in their tupperware container and add whichever sauces they like (they can all be combined too!). Place the lid on the container and shake, shake, shake to coat the wings with the sauce.
Open the lid and they can enjoy their very own personalized flavor for dinner!
How long does homemade teriyaki sauce last in the fridge?
Store your leftover teriyaki sauce in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, just give it a quick stir before serving.
Dispose of and do not store any leftover sauce or marinade that has come in direct contact with raw meat.
No, it is not recommended for canning. Cornstarch is not an approved ingredient for safe canning practices.
Yes, it can be made gluten-free by substituting the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos.
Yes! No ingredient substitutions are required.
Simple Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Garlic minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- ½ teaspoon Ginger minced
- ½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- ¼ cup Cold Water
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.
- In a separate small bowl combine the cold water and cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is fully dissolved in the water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and stir, incorporating it with all of the other ingredients.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, lower to a simmer and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The sauce is ready when it is glossy and clear and all of the haziness from the cornstarch has disappeared.
- Remove it from the heat and serve hot or cold.
- To use this teriyaki sauce as a marinade, combine all of the ingredients, omitting the cornstarch. Do not cook the sauce, all you have to do is stir together the ingredients and pour it over whatever you would like to marinate. Be sure to fully cook your meat to the recommended guidelines after it has marinaded and dispose of any leftover marinade.
- To use this teriyaki sauce as a dipping sauce or glaze, prepare as directed and use as desired.