My recipe for How to Make Teriyaki Sauce was first published on Sunday Supper Movement where I am a contributor.
Using just four simple ingredients, you can learn how to make Teriyaki sauce in LESS than 15 minutes! For additional flavor, simmer with onion, ginger, and garlic.
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What is Teriyaki Sauce?
Teriyaki is a versatile Japanese sweet and savory sauce, perfect for pairing with a variety of dishes from fish and vegetables to chicken, beef, and noodles.
It is especially delicious brushed over grilled or pan-fried meat and seafood to add a burst of flavor and shine.
The best part is that it comes together quickly, in less than 15 minutes, with as little as four ingredients!
What is in Teriyaki Sauce?
Traditionally, Teriyaki sauce is made with four core ingredients:
- Soy Sauce
- Mirin– Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking rice wine. I try to use hon-mirin (true mirin) when available. I have been able to locate it in Asian food markets and, more and more, in the international section of larger supermarkets. Many grocery stores have aji-mirin, but be sure to check the ingredient list for additives. If you are avoiding alcohol, substitute with 1/2 cup water and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar.
- Sake- Sake is an alcoholic beverage made with fermented rice. Brewed in a similar manner as beer, the rice starch is converted to sugar, then converted to alcohol with the help of yeast. I have been able to locate it in many larger grocery stores with a wine section, liquor stores, and Asian markets. If you absolutely cannot find sake, substitute with dry sherry or Chinese rice wine. If you are avoiding alcohol completely, use equal parts water.
While the above are the four main ingredients to make Teriyaki Sauce, I also like to add a few extra ingredients for additional flavor. The following are optional, but add so much flavor to your homemade Teriyaki sauce:
What is the best way to thicken Teriyaki Sauce?
I like to store Teriyaki Sauce on the thin side to use as an easy glaze. If you’d like to thicken the sauce further, you can simmer it longer on the stove to reduce the mixture, or stir in cornstarch or potato starch as a thickener.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or potato starch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Pour into the small saucepan with the strained 1 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce and cook over medium heat, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened.
Once you know how to make this sauce, thick or thin, you can fine-tune it to your liking for your favorite teriyaki recipes!
How to make Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce comes together so easily! I included the ratios to make about 1 1/2 cups, but you increase or decrease the amounts based on your needs- just be sure to use 2 parts soy sauce, 2 parts Mirin, 2 parts sake, and 1 part sugar.
- In a small to medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes- until all the sugar has dissolved. Continue to simmer for a few more minutes to reduce the sauce if desired.
- If you included the onion, ginger, and garlic, strain the mixture and discard the solids before using or refrigerating.
How long does Homemade Teriyaki Sauce keep?
This recipe will last refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
After you’ve learned how to make Teriyaki sauce, you won’t want to go back to store-bought!
Love Asian recipes? Give these a try:
- Asian Peach Glazed Chicken
- Asian Beef Stir Fry Recipe with Green Beans
- Katsu Sando (Japanese Pork Cutlet Sandwich)
- Dashi Simmered Rice with Vegetables from Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking
- Tuna Rice Bowl with Yum Yum Sauce (one of our favorites!)
Looking for recipes that feature Teriyaki sauce? Try these:
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1/2 cup Sake
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup yellow onion roughly chopped
- 2 inches ginger fresh peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 medium garlic cloves peeled and crushed
In a small saucepan, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and granulated sugar. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic if using.
Place the saucepan over high heat to bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, for 8 minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved. If desired, continue to cook for a few more minutes to reduce the sauce and thicken slightly.
If you added the onion, ginger, and garlic, strain the mixture and discard the solids.
If not using right away, allow the teriyaki sauce to cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.