Learn how to make teriyaki sauce and ditch the bottled sauce for good! Our homemade recipe tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the grocery store and will make any of your favorite Japanese dishes taste even better. With a handful of easy ingredients and a short cook time, you’ll wonder why you ever bought store bought teriyaki in the first place!
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This recipe was originally publishes in May 2018. It has been updated with new pictures, instructions and content.
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What is teriyaki sauce?
Teriyaki sauce is a traditional Japanese sweet and savory sauce. It literally translates as “to shine (teri) to grill/broil (yaki).”
Teriyaki sauce has a combined salty, sweet flavor with hints of garlic, ginger, and sourness of vinegar. It is the perfect compliment to veggies, a great dipping sauce, marinade, or a great way to add flavor to rice.
Best Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
It will only take one taste to realize that the best teriyaki sauce recipe is on this page.
For one thing, it is super fast to make. It comes together with almost no prep work in less than 2 minutes.
Once it is done, you can easily add it to your favorite recipes, use it as a marinade or dipping sauce, or store it for later use in the fridge.
Our sauce also uses only easy to find ingredients, which means you don’t need to visit a specialty shop to get what you need.
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
When you make this sauce, you will need:
- Soy sauce - The base of the sauce, you really can’t substitute it.
- Brown sugar - This provides the sweetness and helps thicken the sauce.
- Seasonings - We use both minced, fresh ginger and garlic.
- Sesame oil - There is no great substitute for this since it adds distinctive, earthy flavor.
- Rice vinegar - You could use white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar in a pinch.
- Sesame seeds - These float in the sauce and provide a bit of flavor and visual appeal.
- Cornstarch and water - You’ll need these to make a slurry to thicken the sauce.
How to make Teriyaki Sauce in Instant Pot?
First, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, vinegar and sesame oil in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Set the pot to Saute mode and then bring the sauce up to a simmer while stirring frequently.
Allow the sauce to simmer for about 2 minutes or until the brown sugar has dissolved completely.
As it heats, combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the boiling sauce a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
Finally, stir in the sesame seeds before serving or storing.
How do you make Teriyaki Sauce on Stove Top?
- Stir the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, vinegar and sesame oil in a small saucepan set over medium high heat.
- Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and then allow it to simmer for about 2 minutes or until the brown sugar has dissolved completely.
- As the sauce heats, combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. You’ll need to stir it until no lumps are present.
- Once the slurry is ready, pour a little at a time into the simmering sauce until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Finally, stir in the sesame seeds before storing or serving.
Pro tips and tricks
When making this sauce, follow these tips and tricks:
- Mix the slurry ingredients (water and cornstarch) in a separate bowl before adding to the sauce to prevent clumps.
- When adding the slurry, pour a little at a time to avoid making the sauce too thick.
- Avoid over-cooking the sauce. It really only needs about 1 to 2 minutes of simmering to bring the flavors together. It will also thicken as it cools.
What is authentic teriyaki sauce made of?
Authentic teriyaki sauce uses a combination of soy sauce, sake, and rice wine mirin. The rice wine mirin is what gives this traditional Japanese sauce its sweetness.
What is the difference between teriyaki sauce and soy sauce?
Soy sauce forms the base ingredients for teriyaki sauce, so you need soy sauce to make it. The main difference is that soy sauce is mostly salty with some hints of sweetness. Teriyaki sauce is a bit sweeter and often has hints of ginger and other flavors added in. It also tends to be a bit thicker than soy sauce.
Does teriyaki sauce taste like soy sauce?
Teriyaki sauce uses soy sauce as its base, so there are hints of soy sauce in its flavor. Teriyaki sauce contains other ingredients that add a combination of sweetness and savoriness. The added flavors give teriyaki sauce a distinctive flavor from soy sauce.
How to thicken Teriyaki Sauce
We use one of the easiest methods to make our teriyaki sauce thicker, a cornstarch slurry. To make the slurry, all you need to do is mix a half a cup of cool water with a tablespoon of cornstarch.
Once well combined, you need to mix the slurry into the boiling sauce. You should quickly see the sauce thicken as you mix it into the sauce.
For best results, we recommend adding a small amount at a time so you don’t make the sauce too thick.
What flavors pair best with Teriyaki Sauce?
Teriyaki sauce uses a combination of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for flavor. It also uses a sweetener, like brown sugar, to make it slightly sweet.
You can pair the sauce either with other mild flavors. It goes great mixed into rice or as a marinade for veggies before roasting or grilling them.
When you make a stir fry, you can experiment with using teriyaki sauce as a base. You may also like dipping egg rolls or other Asian-inspired dippables into the sauce.
Does this easy teriyaki sauce recipe need to be refrigerated?
We recommend pouring the sauce into a sealable container and then placing it in the fridge. It won’t last long if you leave it on the counter or other areas to store.
How long will this easy teriyaki sauce last?
When you pour the sauce into a sealable container and place in the fridge, the sauce should last about a week. You can then mix the cooled sauce into your favorite Asian-inspired meals or use it as a marinade for your favorite veggies.
How can I use the sauce?
If you like Teriyaki sauce, you will love the recipes we have that uses the sauce to enhance the flavors
Let us know what you think
- Soy sauce - 1/2 cup
- Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
- Fresh ginger, minced - 2 teaspoons
- Sesame oil - 1 teaspoon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Rice vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Sesame seeds -1 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup Water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- First, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, vinegar and sesame oil in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Set the pot to Saute mode and then bring the sauce up to a simmer while stirring frequently.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for about 2 minutes or until the brown sugar has dissolved completely.
- As it heats, combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the boiling sauce a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Finally, stir in the sesame seeds before serving or storing.