Teriyaki Sauce easy (1)
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  • Food: Teriyaki Sauce
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

I’m going to say it right now: this isn’t genuine Japanese teriyaki sauce. With a lot of ginger and garlic, it’s the American version of teriyaki sauce.

Without the additives, it tastes far better than store-bought variations. It’s also organically sweetened and gluten-free-friendly!

This recipe was born from a desire for a handmade alternative to store-bought teriyaki sauces. The previous day, my husband cooked a fantastic stir-fry with the canned type. Starting with the teriyaki sauce, I set out to reproduce it.

Later this week, I’ll post the stir-fry.

This sweet, salty, and thick teriyaki sauce is produced from scratch. It’s delicious as a glaze for grilled or roasted meats, or as a tasty complement to a simple stir-fry.

Stir or brush it on near the conclusion of the cooking process, not at the start, or it may burn.

I like to serve this sauce over rice or noodles with vegetables and crispy baked tofu. It’ll also perk up your jumbled-up weeknight fried rice.

When it comes to vegetables, teriyaki sauce complements cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, and snow peas particularly well.

Ingredients in Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce (1)
Food: Teriyaki Sauce (Source: The Spruce Eats)

To make this Americanized teriyaki sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients.

I based the components on retail-bought teriyaki sauce labels, and all of the ingredients can be found in a standard grocery store. Remember that teriyaki sauce is traditionally created with soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), and Sake.

Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

Regular is called for in most recipes, but I prefer reduced-sodium since it gives me more control over the salt content. Even yet, this sauce has a lot of salt in it. It’s always possible to add more salt, but it’s not possible to take it away.

Tamari is a wheat-free Japanese soy sauce that can be found next to regular soy sauce in well-stocked supermarkets.

If you wish to prepare gluten-free teriyaki sauce, use a certified gluten-free tamari (soy sauce typically contains gluten).

Maple syrup or honey

In most teriyaki recipes, honey and brown sugar are used in conjunction. I used pure honey instead of sugar because I wanted this recipe to be completely natural.

Use maple syrup instead of honey if you don’t want to use honey in your teriyaki sauce. It’s also fantastic!

Vinegar made from rice

Add a dash of rice vinegar to brighten the flavor and balance out the honey’s sweetness.

Garlic and ginger, fresh

This sauce has a strong flavor because of the fresh ginger and garlic. They taste “correct” to me because fresh ginger and garlic are frequent in American teriyaki stir fry.

With the addition of sake or mirin, authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce is created without these components.

Arrowroot starch or cornstarch

The starch thickens the sauce. The sauce would be rather runny without it. If you don’t want to use cornstarch in your teriyaki sauce, arrowroot is a great alternative.

To form a slurry, we’ll combine the starch with an equal amount of water. Before dumping it into the simmering sauce, we prepare a slurry to liquefy the starch and work out any lumps.

Preparing Your Fresh Ingredients

This sauce is simple to prepare. The only semi-difficult step is chopping the ginger and garlic.

  • If you’re using a fine grater, you don’t need to peel your ginger before grating it (a Microplane is best). This is my go-to tool for the job (affiliate link).
  • Garlic can be peeled and minced using a garlic press or by hand. I’m a huge fan of using a garlic press.
  • Shortcuts for garlic and ginger: I couldn’t find any that worked. Using store-bought minced garlic is never a good idea. It’s not the same at all. I also tried this sauce using ground ginger and garlic powder (1 teaspoon powdered ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoon ground garlic) instead of fresh ginger and garlic, and it wasn’t quite as nice. It was just revolting. It’s always nice to eat something fresh.

Teriyaki Sauce

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Time to cook: 5 minutes

15-minute total time

Yield: 1 1/4 cup

With this simple recipe, you can make wonderful teriyaki sauce! This recipe, unlike store-bought teriyaki sauce, is naturally sweetened and gluten-free. About 1 1/4 cup of sauce is yielded from this recipe.


Teriyaki Sauce

  • ½ cup reduced-sodium tamari, shoyu, or soy sauce*
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Slurry (to thicken the sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions For Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce yum (1)
Food: Teriyaki Sauce (Source: The Spruce Eats)
  1. Combine the soy sauce, water, honey, vinegar, ginger, and garlic in a small pot. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn’t overflow by keeping an eye on it.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth (we’re making a slurry to thicken the sauce). Set aside.
  3. Once the sauce has reached a simmer, mix the slurry again and pour it into the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, for another 30 seconds or until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Take the sauce off the stove and use it whatever you want. Allow cooling to room temperature before covering and refrigerating for later use. Fresh teriyaki sauce is preferable, but it will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.


  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Traditional soy sauces contain gluten; instead, use certified gluten-free tamari (I used the San-J brand).
  • MAKE IT VEGAN: Instead of honey, use maple syrup.
  • SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Make a simple veggie stir-fry with any leftover teriyaki sauce. Simply sauté your leftover vegetables in a little olive or avocado oil. Pour in some teriyaki sauce, toss a few times, then remove the skillet from the heat after they’re cooked and caramelized on the edges.