Savory and versatile, Teriyaki sauce has becoming the mainstay seasoning outside of Japan. Learn how to make delicious and easy homemade teriyaki sauce in this recipe.
I’ve received many requests from readers over the years who wanted to make their own homemade teriyaki sauce. It’s actually really easy. If you aren’t aware, Teriyaki (照り焼き) in Japanese actually describes a cooking method. In Japanese, “teri” (照り) means luster and “yaki” (焼き) means grilled/broiled/pan-fried. It’s not the sauce we refer to, but rather how the food is prepared (the shiny food being grilled/broiled/pan-fried).
Fun Fact: Grocery stores in Japan don’t carry bottled Teriyaki Sauce (unless they are imported).
When the food is prepared in “teriyaki” style, we use soy sauce, sake, mirin (and sometimes sugar) to season. Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine) gives the food a nice luster and it’s an important ingredient for teriyaki style cooking. Since the meaning of ‘teriyaki’ has been deviated by simply referring to a Japanese sauce outside of Japan, I’d just refer it as a sauce in this post.
How to Make Authentic Teriyaki Sauce
To make my basic homemade teriyaki sauce, you just need to remember the main 4 components: combine equal parts of soy sauce, sake, mirin and then add sugar to your liking.
2 Tbsp soy sauce : 2 Tbsp sake : 2 Tbsp mirin : 1 Tbsp sugar
Each time you make the sauce, the teriyaki flavor could be a little different depending on the ingredients you are using. For example, you might add grated/minced ginger or garlic to the sauce to produce a slightly different flavor.
How to Thicken Teriyaki Sauce:
- Thicken the sauce by cooking the sauce for extra long time. This allows the sauce to become a bit thicker consistency. I rarely use corn starch mixture to thicken the sauce unless I need to coat the food well with the sauce.
- You can thicken it with corn starch mixture (2 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp corn or potato starch).
Remember, there is no “perfect” teriyaki sauce that fits to all kinds of food. That means you can make it differently each time you make a teriyaki recipe. Homemade teriyaki sauce is healthier than store bought ones since it does not contain any additive.
From teriyaki chicken, teriyaki salmon to beef teriyaki, teriyaki sauce is versatile and can be used as a marinade, seasoning or a glaze over a dish. Once you start experiment with your own teriyaki sauce, you will have fun dishing out different delicious recipes with this all-purpose seasoning.
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- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 4 Tbsp mirin
- 4 Tbsp sake
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Gather all the ingredients.
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium low heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thicken. When you mix the sauce or tilt the saucepan and you see small bubbles rise, the sauce is ready.
Pour the sauce to a sterilized jar and keep the jar open until cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Substitute for 4 Tbsp Sake:
- If you can take alcohol: Use 4 Tbsp dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
- If you can't take alcohol: Use 4 Tbsp water
Substitute for 4 Tbsp Mirin:
- If you have sake: 2 Tbsp sake + 2 Tbsp water + 1½ tsp sugar
- If you don't have sake: 4 Tbsp water + 1½ tsp sugar
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.