Sweet and savoury, this Japanese sauce is simple to make and can easily become your go-to sauce for stir fries, marinades or dipping sauce.

Teriyaki sauce is super simple to make, requiring only 4 ingredients (and you could get away with 3 in a pinch!). You'll never use store bought teriyaki sauce again - it takes only minutes to make - and is so much better.

What is Teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is a sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin that is both sweet and savoury. It can be used as a dipping sauce, such as with tempura, or it can be thickened and used as the base of a stir fry sauce.

How to use Teriyaki sauce?

  • Marinade your protein of choice by placing the protein and teriyaki sauce in a glass container or snap lock bag and marinade for at least an hour or preferably overnight.
  • Dipping sauce - use as a dipping sauce for tempura, spring rolls, sushi, etc.
  • Grilled meats - brush onto meats while cooking (i.e. yakitori).
  • Stir fries - thickened teriyaki is great with stir fried vegetables and meat.

Teriyaki sauce ingredients

  • Soy sauce - Make sure to use a Japanese soy sauce, because the flavour is different to other types. If you need gluten free, use tamari, but try and find a Japanese one.
  • Sake and Mirin are both wines made from rice. Sake is savoury and mirin is sweet. You can use cooking sake from most supermarkets (or Asian grocers) - there's no need to go and buy an expensive drinking sake.
  • Sugar is used to sweeten the sauce and balance the saltiness and savouriness.

Optionally, you can add:

  • Cornflour/cornstarch to thicken the sauce, for example if you're going to use it as part of a stir fry.
  • Garlic and ginger can add a pleasant background taste to the sauce and are commonly used with it.

How to make Teriyaki sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot, except cornflour/cornstarch (if using). Bring to the boil and reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Don't take your eyes off the pot, because it can boil over easily!

  2. If using cornflour/cornstarch, add it and then stir to combine. Continue to stir while increasing the heat until the sauce thickens.

  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool.

Can I use other sweeteners?

I've tried recipes using alternative sweeteners, such as agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, etc. These are fine, but not traditional. Do what works for you!

How can I store Teriyaki sauce?

Store in a sterilised container in the fridge for up to a week.

How can I use the Teriyaki sauce as a marinade?

Firstly, don't thicken the sauce. Add your protein of choice to a glass container or snap lock bag and then add enough sauce to over the protein. Marinade for at least an hour up to overnight and then grill to your liking.

Teriyaki sauce

Prep Total
5 mins 5 mins
Makes 1 cup
Sweet and savoury, teriyaki sauce is the perfect Japanese sauce for dipping, marinading and glazing. Made from soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar, it takes minutes to make and tastes much better than anything store bought!
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 3 tbsp sugar I like the taste of brown sugar, use white if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, to thicken optional - depends on how you'll use; see note 1
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced optional, see note 2
  • 1 tsp grated ginger optional, see note 2
  1. Add all ingredients except the cornflour/starch (if using) to a pot and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Add cornflour - if using cornflour/starch, add it while stirring. Increase the heat, while continuing to stir, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool before storing in a sterilised glass jar in the fridge or using as needed.
  1. Cornflour is used to thicken the sauce. This is a great option if you want the sauce to cling to your food, for example, when making a stir fry. If you want a dipping sauce or marinade, don't add it.
  2. Ginger and garlic are used to flavour the sauce and complements the sweet and savoury profile well. Feel free to omit if you don't want those flavours in your dish.
  3. Storage - the sauce will keep in a sterilised glass jar in the fridge for a week.

Hey, I'm Sam! Welcome to The Aproneer.

I created The Aproneer to share the recipes that my family and friends love to eat.

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