This homemade teriyaki sauce is both sweet and savory, and it comes together in no time! It’s perfect for marinating as well as serving alongside chicken, beef, seafood, tofu, noodles, and assorted vegetables.
Recently, I’ve been making an effort to prepare more fast and easy weeknight dinners since Jeff and I are often both wiped out in the evenings. Weekends are for preparing bulk freezer meals like my Cincinnati chili, which we’ll often have for dinner.
If I’m going to cook something from scratch, it needs to involve minimal effort, otherwise we’re probably having a frozen pizza instead (and I don’t mean my homemade frozen pizza, unless there’s already one ready to go).
This homemade teriyaki sauce recipe comes together in just a few minutes, and works as both a glaze and a standalone sauce. I especially love using it with salmon and chicken (be sure to check out my teriyaki salmon recipe).
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
For this easy teriyaki sauce recipe, you’ll need the following:
- Soy sauce
- Mirin (see note below)
- Garlic cloves
- Ginger (fresh or ground)
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Toasted sesame oil
What is Mirin?
Mirin is a Japanese wine that’s similar to sake, but it has a bit more sugar and a lower alcohol content. You can find mirin in the international aisle of most grocery stores, and it’s also available online. Keep in mind that some brands like Kikkoman label it as aji-mirin.
If mirin is unavailable, you can substitute in dry sherry or sweet marsala wine. Rice vinegar and dry white wine will also work, but you’ll need to add around 1/2 teaspoon sugar per tablespoon to balance the sourness.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
To make this homemade teriyaki sauce, first stir together the soy sauce and cornstarch in a saucepan to make a slurry. Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan, except for the sesame oil. Bring the heat up to medium and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, then stir in the sesame oil.
The entire process takes about 5 minutes, and you’ll be left with enough teriyaki sauce to coat four salmon filets or chicken breasts. You can easily double this recipe, but you’ll likely have to heat the sauce for longer to thicken it.
Teriyaki Sauce Uses
Teriyaki sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used on most meats and veggies. I particularly enjoy it on salmon, shrimp, chicken, and tofu. Once you’ve marinated your protein of choice in the homemade teriyaki and have cooked it, you can enjoy as is or serve atop rice, salads, noodles, and more.
Teriyaki sauce is also a useful condiment to have on hand when making stir-fries. Just throw whatever veggies you have into a skillet, drizzle on some teriyaki, and serve over rice for a filling, quick meal.
Tips for the Best Teriyaki Sauce
- Continually whisk the sauce while it cooks to prevent it from sticking to the saucepan.
- You’ll want to use regular soy sauce for this recipe, not low-sodium.
- Fresh ginger is best for this recipe, but if you don’t have any on hand feel free to use 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger instead.
More Sauces and Marinades:
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Place the cornstarch in a small saucepan and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce to create a slurry.
- Whisk in the remaining soy sauce, mirin, garlic, ginger, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
- Turn the heat up to medium. Continue whisking frequently until the sauce thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Whisk in the sesame oil and remove from the heat.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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