Loaded with flavor, this Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is so easy to throw together! Made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and brown sugar! It’s perfect for marinating meat and adding to stir-fries for a no-fuss dinner the whole family will enjoy.
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The Best Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Making takeout recipes at home is always such an easy option for me. It’s fast, healthy (much healthier than a restaurant!) and it tastes just like the real deal! This Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is all of these things and more! The best part for me is that it’s made of pantry staples that I always have in my cupboard, so I don’t need to make a special trip to the store.
This Homemade Teriyaki Sauce can be used in a couple of ways. It’s amazing to add to stir-fries with chicken or beef, plenty of vegetables, and noodles or rice. It also makes an excellent marinade for either grilling or baking. Chicken, beef, and salmon are my favorite proteins to marinate in this special sauce.
Once you see how easy it is to make this Teriyaki Sauce recipe, you won’t go back to store-bought!
What is authentic Teriyaki Sauce made of?
- Oil: I used a neutral oil (olive oil or avocado oil are perfect) to sauté the ginger and garlic, and then later I also added sesame oil for its rich, nutty flavor.
- Garlic & ginger: Minced ginger and garlic pack in a ton of flavor! Fresh is always best. I wouldn’t recommend using a powdered version.
- Soy Sauce: I always opt for low sodium soy sauce as it’s better for you. Regular soy sauce or gluten-free would be fine too, just add a little extra water so that it doesn’t turn out too salty.
- Water: Water thins out the sauce so that the flavor isn’t overpowering.
- Sugar: Teriyaki sauce is sweet and tangy so I added some light brown sugar. It has more flavor than white sugar and is my go-to for sweetening up sauces.
- Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar is ideal for this recipe. You can usually find it quite easily in the international aisle in large supermarkets, at your local Asian grocery store, or online. White wine vinegar is a good substitute if you can’t find it.
- Cornstarch & water: I mixed up a cornstarch slurry to thicken the homemade teriyaki sauce.
How to make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
1. Begin by making a cornstarch slurry. Add cornstarch and water to a small bowl and whisk until smooth and lump-free.
2. Next, add oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add in garlic and ginger and cook for two minutes stirring frequently.
3. Stir in soy sauce, water, brown sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer and add in the slurry (cornstarch water mixture.)
4. Simmer, whisking constantly until thickened (about 1-2 minutes). Keep an eye on the sauce because it can burn. The sauce is thick enough when it can coat the back of a spoon. Also, it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Store homemade teriyaki sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it! Store it in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw completely before cooking. This is perfect for batch cooking, and storing individual portions to throw on grilled meat or in a stir fry.
Tips for Success
- Buy pre-minced garlic and ginger. It makes life much easier without compromising on taste, and takes the prep time down to 0 minutes!
- Use this homemade teriyaki sauce as a marinade! It’s perfect for marinating chicken, beef or seafood before grilling or baking.
- Make a double batch and freeze half for later. Even though this recipe is ridiculously easy to throw together, nothing beats no effort!
- Add raw meat to the homemade teriyaki sauce and then freeze it. This is one of my favorite hacks! Once the sauce has completely cooled, add raw meat (diced chicken breasts, diced beef, or meat for baking or grilling) and freeze it. When you want to cook it, thaw it in the fridge overnight and add it to a stir fry, bake it, or grill it. SO easy!
What does Teriyaki Sauce go with?
I love cooking teriyaki dishes for dinner! Here are my favorite ways to use Homemade Teriyaki Sauce:
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Baked Teriyaki Chicken
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Teriyaki Meatballs
- Beef Teriyaki Noodles
- Easy Teriyaki Salmon
- Teriyaki Baked Salmon
- Orange Teriyaki Salmon
- 20-Minute Teriyaki Shrimp
Do you have to add cornstarch to teriyaki sauce?
To thicken the sauce, I highly recommend adding cornstarch. However, if you don’t want to use cornstarch you could also thicken it with another starch like tapioca or regular all-purpose flour.
What is the difference between teriyaki sauce and soy sauce?
Teriyaki sauce is more of a complete sauce, whereas soy sauce is more like seasoning. Homemade Teriyaki Sauce actually has soy sauce in it instead of salt, but it also contains other ingredients like ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and sugar.
What is the difference between teriyaki sauce and teriyaki marinade?
They are pretty much interchangeable! The main difference is how you cook with it. For the marinade, you would allow meat or vegetables to sit in the marinade for 30 minutes up to overnight. On the other hand, Teriyaki Sauce is added to meat and vegetables when cooking.
More take-out recipe to try at home
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- Add cornstarch and water to a small bowl and whisk until smooth and lump free.Add oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Add in garlic and ginger and cook for two minutes stirring frequently.
- Stir in soy sauce, water, brown sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer and add in slurry (cornstarch water mixture.)
- Simmer whisking constantly until thickened 1-2 minutes. Keep an eye on the sauce because it can burn. The sauce is thick enough when it can coat the back of a spoon. Also it will continue to thicken as it cools.Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.