I’m going to go ahead and say it: This isn’t authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce. It’s the American version of teriyaki sauce, with loads of ginger and garlic. It tastes way better than the store-bought varieties, without the additives. It’s also naturally sweetened and easily made gluten free!
I came up with this recipe because I wanted a homemade alternative to store-bought teriyaki sauces. My husband made a great stir-fry with the jarred kind the other day. I set out to recreate it, starting with the teriyaki sauce. I’ll share the stir-fry later this week.
This homemade teriyaki sauce is sweet, salty and thick. It makes a great glaze for grilled or roasted ingredients, or a flavorful addition to a basic stir-fry. Stir or brush it on near the end of cooking, not the beginning, or it could burn.
I love this sauce with veggies and crispy baked tofu, over rice or noodles. It will also liven up your hodge-podge weeknight fried rice. When it comes to veggies, teriyaki sauce goes particularly well with cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, and snow peas.
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Americanized version of teriyaki sauce. I based the ingredients on the labels of store-bought teriyaki sauces, and you can find all of these ingredients in a regular grocery store. Keep in mind that traditional teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine) and Sake.
Reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
Most recipes call for regular, but I prefer to use reduced-sodium for more control over the salt content. Even then, this sauce is plenty salty. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away.
Tamari is a wheat-free Japanese variety of soy sauce, and you’ll find it by the soy sauce in well-stocked grocery stores. Use a certified gluten-free tamari if you want to make gluten-free teriyaki sauce (soy sauce typically contains gluten).
Honey or maple syrup
Typically, you’ll find a combination of honey and brown sugar in teriyaki recipes. I wanted this recipe to be entirely naturally sweetened, so I used all honey instead.
If you want teriyaki sauce without honey, simply use maple syrup. It’s great, too!
Add a splash of rice vinegar to liven up the flavor and cut the sweetness of the honey.
Fresh ginger and garlic
Fresh ginger and garlic make this sauce taste so bold. Fresh ginger and garlic are common in American teriyaki stir fries, so they taste “right” to me. Authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce is made without these ingredients, with the addition of sake or mirin.
Cornstarch or arrowroot starch
Starch helps thicken the sauce. Without it, the sauce would be quite watery. If you want to make your teriyaki sauce without cornstarch, arrowroot is the perfect substitute.
We’ll mix the starch with an equal amount of water to make a slurry. We make a slurry so we can liquify the starch and work out any lumps before pouring it into the simmering sauce.
How to Prep Your Fresh Ingredients
This sauce is very easy to make. Preparing the ginger and garlic is the only semi-tedious step.
To grate ginger: You don’t have to peel your ginger first if you’re using a fine grater (a Microplane is best). Here’s my favorite tool for the task (affiliate link).
To peel and mince garlic: You can use a garlic press or mince it by hand. I’m all for the garlic press.
Garlic and ginger shortcuts: Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any that work. I don’t ever recommend using store-bought minced garlic. It isn’t the same. I also tried this sauce with ginger and garlic powder instead of fresh (1 teaspoon ground ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground garlic), and it wasn’t nearly as good. In fact, it bordered on gross. Fresh is best!
Please let me know how your teriyaki sauce turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Craving more? Here are a few of my favorite recipes with Asian influences:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey-Sesame Glaze
- Peanut Slaw with Soba Noodles
- Extra Vegetable Fried Rice
- Mango “Burrito” Bowls with Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce
- Colorful Chopped Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
Bold Teriyaki Sauce
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 ¼ cups 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Japanese
Make delicious teriyaki sauce with this simple recipe! Unlike store-bought teriyaki sauce, this recipe is naturally sweetened and easily gluten free. Recipe yields about 1 ¼ cups 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 sauce)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, water, honey, vinegar, ginger and garlic. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overflow.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth (we’re creating a slurry, which will thicken the sauce). Set aside.
- Once the sauce is simmering, whisk the slurry once more and pour it all into the sauce. Continue cooking, while stirring continuously, until the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and use as desired. To store for later, let it cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. Teriyaki sauce tastes best when it’s fresh, but will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.
*Make it gluten free: Standard soy sauces contain gluten, so choose certified gluten-free tamari instead (I used San-J brand).
Make it vegan: Choose maple syrup instead of honey.
Serving suggestions: Use up leftover teriyaki sauce on a simple veggie stir-fry. Just cook up your leftover vegetables with some olive oil or avocado oil. Once they’re tender and caramelized on the edges, pour in some teriyaki sauce, stir a few times, and remove the skillet from the heat.
Love your recipes and always look forward to your latest creation.
This is just to comment on how Tyson ads for their chicken products is showing up on this particular post. I haven’t noticed it on any other posts. It’s kind of annoying/funny since your target audience is for vegetarians. Sorry Tyson, you wasted your advertising $ on these eyes.
Hi Paula! Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately, the ads work based on user search history and relevance. Sometimes they miss the mark, but I can only control so much of the ad placements (inappropriate content, etc). I will, however, provide this feedback to my provider.
Fresh is best and simple comes in at a close second! Thank you, this sounds delicious!
It looks good. I am having trouble getting the nutritional information to actually show up when I click on the link. I see space where the information should be but the actual text is missing.
I’m sorry to hear that! Do you allow cookies in your browser?
Wow! I can’t wait to try this with crispy baked tofu and veg, looking forward to seeing your stir fry dish later this week too. Thank you for sharing so many great recipes.
I’m excited to share it!
All your recipes are fantastic but I like the simple ones the best because I am not a very good cook. This one I made with ease. So much better than store bought.
I’m glad you loved it, Liz! Thanks for your review.
Have you experimented with less honey/maple syrup? That seems like a lot and perhaps too sweet?
I LOVE your recipes and cookbook!! I have gifted your cookbook to several friends, who are always very grateful :) It’s personally my go to cookbook – thank you!!
Hi Alison! I did a lot of experimenting with lots of different variations of sweetener, garlic, ginger, etc. This seemed to hit it on the mark to get all the right flavors. Feel free to adjust as you see fit!
Thanks Kate. I used 1Tablespoon of honey with great success for our tastes (we enjoy less sweet flavor profiles.) I marinated a piece of salmon and chicken for about an hour before grilling each and then served over teriyaki soba noodles loaded with stir-fried veggies. It was a fantastic meal! And great leftovers. Thank you for all your amazing recipes :)
Thank you for your review!
Great recipe… have you got any plans for a 2nd cookery book? I love your book. Greetings from the UK x
Thank you, Nina! I’m glad you love the cookbook so much. I don’t have plans currently :)
Greetings once again from the UK. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time out to answer my question re a 2nd cookbook. I appreciate the enormity it must entail writing a cookbook to your exacting standards..Your little dog ‘cookie’ reminds me so much of a rescue puppy I had many years ago (over 50yrs ago) we name him Jasper… this end… we are having a difficult time right now with my husband, who is not well and undergoing treatment. I am very much hoping we will get through the tunnel next year and perhaps have a rescue ‘fur ball’ in our home at some point. Thanks again for answering my question…
Error, please correct “My husband made a great stir-fry with the jarred kind the other day. I set out to recreate it, starting with the teriyaki sauce.”
I use Melases in my Teriyaki sauce and it is great, no honey, no Maple syrup.
Jay Taggart: I don’t see an error in Kate’s statement. Her husband used bottled teriyaki sauce and presumably veggies and noodles. She set out to recreate his dish. First, she is creating (starting with) a new teriyaki sauce. That’s this recipe. Then she will recreate the stir fry part, which she’s sharing separately.
Hi Jay, I’m not sure the concern. I’m glad you have found a version that has worked for you!
Dear Kate, you are so graceful. Way to deescalate! #respect.
I love your recipes! One of them was brought to me the night before my son was born. It’s in the permanent family memory now! Artichoke enchiladas. Delicious!
Another winner Kate! Made this with baked crispy tofu, veggies and brown basmati rice. Super yum! Hoping your next cookbook comes out soon because I just love your recipes!
Best wishes from Canada
I’m glad you made it already, and loved it! I appreciate your review, Suzanne.
I have a CKD (cronic kidney disease) and cannot consume more than 2 g of sodium a day. Since I became a vegetarian and have controled my sodium and potassium intake, I have been healthy (YAy!) My dietician told me to replace soy sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos (natural soy sauce alternative with a fraction of the sodium content). Have u ever tried to substitute sousafone with that? I’m going to make it, but I won’t be able to tell the difference so I was wondering if you have tried. Thanks!
Hi! I haven’t tried it for this version, but I would be interested to see how it turns out for you.
Just found your recipes, and due to chemo and radiation, have lost all sense of taste. But when it does come back (here’s hoping) , I am going to make everyone of your recipes.
I’m sorry to hear that, but I wish you well!
Hi Kate. I’ve made a lot of your recipes, but have never commented here. I have your cookbook, and I adore it because everything is gourmet, but simple and so delicious.
This teriyaki stir-fry was a stroke of genius, and got a huge thumbs up at my house! Your sauce was simple and delicious, and I loved the large amount of vegetables in the dish. I used rice vermicelli, and would recommend them. The texture of the tiny little noodles with the vegetables was really yummy. I grilled some chicken to go with it, and poured the rest of the teriyaki sauce over the chicken.
Thank you for many wonderful meals! I hope you are planning on a second book!
Thank you for letting me know how much you loved it, Harmony! I will make sure to tell my husband. :)
Delicious and very easy. You’re right – it is so much better than store-bought. Thank you.
I’m glad you think so too, Barbara! Thanks for your review.
I absolutely Love your recipes…many are favorites for three generations of vegetarians…
Do you know how long I can keep the teriyaki sauce in the fridge??
Thanx so much from All of us!!
Teriyaki sauce tastes best when it’s fresh, but will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Wow! Very tasty and quick and easy to make. So much better than the bottled stuff. Delicious as is but I added a squirt of sriracha to suit our personal taste. Made it for the vegetable stir fry with noodles which is also a winner. Thank you so much for the continued inspiration to keep our meals varied and tasty.
I’m glad you liked it, Debbi!
You are my inspiration to cook! Thank you.
Thank you, Lorrie!
Made this to go with the veggie teriyaki stir fry and this sauce is packed full of flavor.
Made the recipe as-is and it was perfect!! I’ve been looking for an easy homemade recipe so that I no longer have to buy the store bought stuff with all the additives & high fructose. This one is the winner. Thank you for another great recipe!!
How is this with storing the leftover sauce?
You can store the leftover sauce in a sealed container for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
The “shortcut” for ginger and garlic is buying those ingredients in paste form.
I haven’t tried it, but sounds interesting!
This recipe looks great, and I’d love to try it – but my son doesn’t eat honey, maple syrup, molasses, sugar or any sugar substitute. I’m wondering if it’s going to be worth trying to make without any sweetener at all? Thank you!
You really need the sweetener in this to get the true flavor. But, you could try it without it. It will be different, for sure.
First time on your site & first time making homemade teriyaki sauce. Love your recipe! Thanks
Thank you for your review!
Perfect! I’m fussy about teriyaki and this one hit the nail on the head. Not too sweet or salty! Thanks, Kate.
This sauce came out great! My boyfriend absolutely loved it! We will be adding this to our stir fry sauce rotation!
That’s great! Thanks for commenting, Elena.
Hi Kate! This sauce is wonderful and I loved it with your stir fry! I was wondering if the remaining sauce can be frozen for later? Thanks!
I haven’t tired freezing it. Let me know if you do!
Made this with maple syrup for a vegan version and it was so good I was eating it out of the saucepan!
I’m glad you loved it, Hannah!
My go-to sauce – Thankyou!:-)
Thank you for the recipe. I used agave syrup instead of honey. Turned out fantastic!
This was great. I doubled the recipe, the kids like a lot of extra sauce. Great flavors. Quick and easy.
Thank you for your review, Charly!
Is this recipe okay to use on wings
Hi Dennis, I’m not sure as I’m a vegetarian. But, you could try it?
This was so delicious!
I’m happy you liked it, Isabelle!
I’ve made this twice. My husband really loves it and got a little sad when we ran out the first time. Thank you for creating it!
Thanks for the recipe I made it with Apple cider vinegar instead of the white wine vinegar taste great.
Made this last night and it came out perfectly – will use again. Thank you!
Yum! My first time making teriyaki sauce and we loved it. Next time I may use a bit less honey, just personal preference but the recipe was a hit. We cleaned out the fridge with veggies, made rice, threw in some peanuts and tossed it all together with the sauce for a delicious stir fry dinner. Thanks, Kate!
I’m so glad to hear it! Thank you, Paige. :)
Really like the bold ginger and garlicbin this. I buy a ginger paste in a squueeze tube or bottle that makes it fast and easy to have fresh garlic in a recipe. It’s a nice texture for storing into sauces.
This is a great sauce! Having tried several I have to say this is the best with least processed ingredients. I did add 1/2tsp of chilli flakes for a kick but followed the recipe otherwise. Thanks!!
Thank you for sharing, Shilpi! I’m happy you enjoyed it.
Hi! Just wondering if you’ve experimented using mirin or sake?
Hi Tracey! I haven’t, sorry.
Granted I did change several things but it was still superb! I didn’t have any fresh ginger or garlic so I used powdered. I swapped the honey for brown sugar and also added (after it thickened) some sesame seeds (to make it look fancy since I didn’t have the fresh aromatics chopped in there) and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. It was delish and my husband, who is more picky about Asian style food than me, even liked it. Will definitely make again (maybe next time will have fresh items on hand!).
Thank you for sharing how you were able to make it work for you, Deidre!
I just made this and it is INCREDIBLE. It hit my craving AND I don’t feel guilty eating it. Absolutely make this recipe!
Oh my gosh, this was delicious. So easy to make. Added it to a stir fry with wholewheat noodles. Bold and beautiful! Love your recipes, thank you so much from here in the UK!
I’m glad you loved it, Elaine! Thanks for taking the time to review.
I just made your quiche yesterday and now I’m back to make your Teriyaki Sauce. Loving your recipes <3 I’m going to use it with stir fried tofu, green beans, and carrots over rice. Mmmm.
I made this for our family (10 people) at the cottage and it was a huge hit! I was told I should bottle and sell it…I would except it’s not my recipe, lol!
I’m delighted it was that big of hit! Thank you for sharing.
Be careful! Make sure you use the reduced sodium soy sauce! I did not have the full quantity of the reduced sodium kind, and I had to dilute, add brown sugar and readjust. This may in fact be too salty even with the reduced sodium soy sauce. After the “adjusting”, it was delicious and I will certainly make this again. So much better than store bought sauce.
I made this recipe for a chicken stir fry and it came out great! Went amazingly well with a Japanese fried rice that my brother in law made. Quick question, can I use this as a marinade for salmon, or would there be any changes? I’d like to oven roast some teriyaki salmon but just wondering if there would be any changes to the recipe to use it as a marinade instead of a stir fry sauce. Thanks!
Hi! You could try it, although I’m not and expert on meat marinades since I’m a vegetarian. :)
I made this recipe today and after I had all the ingredients in the pot, I realized much to my dismay that I had inadvertently used sesame oil instead of soy sauce. So instead of dumping everything (my first inclination) I added about 1/4 cup of soy and decided to proceed full steam ahead. I’m delighted to say that the resulting sauce is delicious and am looking forward to using it for my stir fry this evening.
I’m glad it still was delicious, Anita! I appreciate your review.
This sauce is a KEEPER! I told my family we were having stir fry for dinner and they weren’t very excited. My oldest said he was going to skip dinner and eat later citing too much homework. My husband LOVED it, even asked for seconds. My oldest came out of his room and said man dinner smells so good. I made him a bowl and he walked away. Came back to tell me it was sooooo gooood! Thank you, I will be making this again and again!
I’m excited to hear that, Bianca! Thank you for taking the time to review.
Will this recipe still taste good if powdered ginger is used? Thanks.
Hi! I didn’t have much luck with it the same way. But I would be interested to hear what you think!
I am planning to make a rice noodle, vegetable, and egg stir fry with this sauce tomorrow. It looks like a wonderful recipe, but I was wondering about the yield. If I were to half this recipe, would I have enough sauce for a meal for two? I don’t think I would have much of a use for leftover sauce, unfortunately, and fridge space is lamentably limited.
Hi! It depends on the recipe, but this yields enough for myVeggie Teriyaki Stir-Fry with Noodles if that helps!
This is super simple and super yummy. Thank you so much for sharing!!!
You’re welcome, Christine. Thank you for your review!
Love it. Very tasty. Used recipe from the book which seems the same.
This bold teriyaki sauce is truly a must try! I think it really is a plus when you use a low-sodium soy sauce, the taste is much that I like, added with a great rich-flavor in it. So glad I got mine in Karman Foods. Recipes are always on point. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
We love your bold teriyaki sauce with the vegetable stir fry with noodles. Have you ever frozen the teriyaki sauce? I wonder if it would taste as great?
Hi Joy, I haven’t tried freezing the sauce yet. Sorry!
Kate I’m loving your cook book and reference this site often. Today I wanted to make a teriyaki stir fry with chicken but didn’t want to buy a bottle of marinade…made this and it was delicious AND also went down a treat with my four and six year olds!!!
Wonderful! I’m glad the six year olds loved it too.
Judy Lynn Williamson
This is a great recipe! I have made it several times and shared it with my daughter. Use it with sauteed veggies. I add a little chile/garlic sauce and extra cornstarch to make it thicker. Fresh is best!!
I’m glad you love this recipe, Judy!
Can I use coconut aminos instead?
I have a soy allergy.
Hi Priya, that should be ok! Let me know.
Perfect! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s so delicious!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Debi! I appreciate your review.
Loks wonderful! Can I freeze portions?
Hi Nicole, I’m not sure on this one as I haven’t tried it. I’m not sure how everything will hold-up. But let me know if you try it!
I love your recipes, but i am from Europe so it is a lot of time trying to find out how much an ounce or a cup is of everything.
Is it possible to also mention the ingredients in grams and/or ml? Would be so nice.
Hi Aida, Thank you for your feedback. At this time, I don’t have a reliable plug-in to provide metric measurements. I know a lot of readers use an online conversion table or have bough US measuring cups if they cook from my blog a lot. Sorry to disappoint!
Just wondering how this sauce would go if frozen?
Hi Mel, I haven’t tried freezing it so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, let me know what you think!
THANK YOU!! I JUST WENT THROUGH 20 MINUTES OF TRYING TO FIND A DECENT RECIPE FOR THIS! AMERICAN PROPORTIONS ARE INSANE! 1/4 REFINED SUGAR, 1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR, AND THEN SOME HONEY ON TOP OF IT ALL. YIKES! THANK YOU FOR NOT CONTRIBUTING TO A DIABETIC COMA THIS EVENING!
the teriyaki sauce is great. A little roasted sesame oil might be a nice touch and chopped scallion greens. A friend of mine sautées that slightly and uses it on top of fried rice with vegetables.
Thank you for sharing, Marg! I appreciate your review.