It’s surprisingly quick and easy to make your own Teriyaki Sauce at home with this healthy recipe. Simply combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and garlic, along with a few other ingredients, on the stove and then thicken with a slurry for the best marinade. This sauce is delicious in stir-fries or to flavor chicken, beef, shrimp, or veggies.

Sweetened with honey, this homemade teriyaki sauce in a bowl is a sweet and sticky marinade.

Sticky Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Whether you need a stir-fry sauce or want a sticky marinade for chicken, this homemade teriyaki sauce recipe does it all!

It has a wonderfully savory umami flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness from the sugar and honey.

Plus, if you add in a bit of Sriracha sauce it will even have a nice spicy kick!

Teriyaki Sauce is thick, rich, sweet, and savory. It is traditionally found in Asian cuisine. Soy sauce makes up the bulk of the recipe with garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and a bit of honey or sugar.

It is typically used in chicken stir-fries, beef or salmon teriyaki recipes. However, it also tastes incredible on fish, shrimp, and even vegetables! You can also use it as a marinade to help tenderize meats and infuse them with a ton of flavor.

Making your own healthier version at home is actually so simple to do, too.

You’ll only need a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes to cook it up. So next time, skip the store-bought teriyaki sauce and make your own.

If you love this homemade sauce recipe, then you’ve got to try this Thai Peanut Sauce next!

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Recipe with Honey | Thick & Sticky Asian Sauce | Gluten-Free & Vegan

Ingredients

The basic ingredients you need to make this homemade teriyaki sauce are mostly pantry staples. They include:

  • Soy sauce. This salty condiment makes up a large majority of the flavor profile. Since soy sauce is typically made from soybeans and wheat, most teriyaki sauces are not gluten-free. For a gluten-free teriyaki sauce, substitute the soy sauce for a gluten-free kind, Tamari, or even coconut liquid aminos. You can opt for low-sodium soy sauce if needed.
  • Sugar. Brown sugar or coconut sugar can be used interchangeably in this recipe. If needed, you can sub in white sugar, but it won’t have the best flavor.
  • Honey. A little bit of honey gives a wonderful floral undertone to the sauce. If you’re vegan you can also sweeten the sauce with pure maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves that have been finely minced is key. Garlic powder is not recommended.
  • Ginger. Much like garlic, it’s best if you use fresh instead of ground. Ginger paste is a quick way to add fresh ginger to this sauce without peeling and mincing an entire ginger root.
  • Vinegar. Rice vinegar, not rice wine vinegar, adds a hint of acidity that helps balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients. If you have trouble finding rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or even lime juice are alternative options.
  • Sesame Oil. It may seem like this ingredient wouldn’t matter very much, but it definitely does! Even just a teaspoon of this flavorful oil will give a lovely rich note to the sauce. Make sure you choose a toasted sesame oil.
  • Sriracha. This spicy addition is optional and can be left out if you prefer less heat and more sweet.
  • Starch Slurry. A combination of water and cornstarch or tapioca starch that is whisked together. You can use arrowroot powder, as well. This gives the sauce a silky consistency.

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce

The basic steps for making this easy homemade teriyaki sauce recipe are simple to follow:

Combine Ingredients and Bring to a Boil

Mix soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a medium-sized saucepan over high or medium heat.

Heat the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar begins to dissolve.

Add the Cornstarch and Whisk Until Thickened

Make a starch slurry by whisking together corn starch and warm water in a small bowl until smooth. Arrowroot or tapioca starch may also be used. Add in the slurry to the saucepan; this will thicken the sauce.

Stir the sauce for 2-3 minutes over low heat until it is thickened to your desired consistency. Note that the sauce will thicken even more once it cools.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep-ahead: This recipe yields 1 cup of teriyaki sauce, perfect to make in advance and use throughout the week. Two tablespoons equals one serving size.
  • How to store: This sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks in an airtight container, like a Mason jar.
  • How to freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this sauce.
  • How to reheat: Return to a saucepan over low heat, or pop in the microwave until heated through.

What is the difference between teriyaki sauce and soy sauce?

The main difference between these two sauces is the ingredients. Soy sauce is actually the base of teriyaki sauce, along with many other Asian sauces. Soy sauce is salty and comes from the soybean. Teriyaki sauce has soy sauce along with garlic, honey, ginger, and other ingredients.

What is teriyaki sauce made of?

This easy teriyaki sauce recipe is made with a base of soy sauce and rice vinegar, then seasoned with sugar, garlic, ginger paste, and sesame oil.

Is teriyaki sauce Japanese or Hawaiian?

Originally, teriyaki sauce is from Japanese cuisine. In Hawaii, there is a similar version that has been adapted with local flavors, particularly pineapple juice. Both have simple ingredients that are delicious and perfect in your favorite recipes.

How can I thicken teriyaki sauce?

If your homemade teriyaki sauce is not as thick as you’d like, there are a few things you can do. Add a little more sugar. Make sure you do this over heat so the sugar can easily dissolve! Or, simmer it over medium-low heat. This helps to cook off some of the extra liquid. Finally, you can whisk in more starch slurry. Add in no more than 1 tablespoon of starch and 1 tablespoon of water at a time.

Is teriyaki sauce gluten-free? Is it vegan?

The key offender in teriyaki sauce that makes it unsafe for Celiacs is the soy sauce. For a gluten-free teriyaki sauce use either a gluten-free soy sauce, Tamari sauce, or coconut liquid aminos. You can substitute these alternatives in a one-to-one ratio.

Most teriyaki sauce recipes are vegan, but some will contain honey which is technically an animal product. To make a vegan sauce, substitute honey with equal amounts of pure maple syrup, agave nectar, or sugar.

Use this quick and easy recipe as a teriyaki marinade for all your meats.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t skip the sugar. The brown sugar and honey will crystallize with the other ingredients and helps the sauce to thicken up.
  • Take the time to reduce. Simmering ingredients evaporates additional water, thus thickening the liquid (much like when making a balsamic reduction).
  • Slurry the starch. A mixture of cornstarch and water is whisked together and THEN added into the sauce. Do not try and add the starch directly into the sauce without first mixing it together with water. If you do this you’ll end up with clumps of starch throughout the sauce.
  • Cool off. Once the sauce is completely cooked and looks to be CLOSE to your desired thickness, let it cool to room temperature. This allows it to naturally thicken up as the sugar crystalizes and solidifies in the sauce.
  • Get creative. This recipe can be used in so many ways, either as a sauce or a teriyaki marinade. Try it on veggies or your favorite protein, like salmon or chicken breasts, or even in stir-fry recipes. You can even use it as a dipping sauce.
Gluten-free teriyaki sauce being stored in an airtight glass mason jar.

Recipes that Use Teriyaki Sauce

Once you’ve made the best teriyaki sauce at home, there are so many different recipes you can use it in! These are a few of my favorites.

Both Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry and Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry are so simple and tasty.

Baked Teriyaki Salmon is healthy and delicious.

You have to try these Beef Teriyaki Foil Packets, as well.

Tap stars to rate!

4.75 from 4 votes

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

It's surprisingly quick and easy to make your own Teriyaki Sauce at home with this healthy recipe. Simply combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and garlic, along with a few other ingredients, on the stove and then thicken with a slurry for the best marinade.
Yield 8 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • cup soy sauce regular, gluten-free, or Tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste or minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil toasted
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce optional
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp. water divided

Instructions 

  • Add all of the ingredients except for the starch and 2 tablespoons of water to a medium-sized saucepan over high heat.
  • Bring sauce to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until sugar begins to dissolve.
  • Make a starch slurry by whisking together starch and water in a small bowl until smooth. Add starch slurry to the saucepan.
  • Whisk sauce for 2-3 minutes over low heat until it is thickened to your desired consistency. (Sauce will thicken even more once it cools.)
  • Use teriyaki sauce on chicken, salmon, or in some beef teriyaki foil packets.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

4.75 from 4 votes

Video

Notes

  • This recipe yields 1 cup of teriyaki sauce.
  • Two tablespoons equals one serving size.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep-ahead: This recipe yields 1 cup of teriyaki sauce, perfect to make in advance and use throughout the week. Two tablespoons equals one serving size.
  • How to store: This sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks in an airtight container.
  • How to freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this sauce.
  • How to reheat: Return to a saucepan over low heat, or pop in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 53kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 557mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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