Delicious Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe – Ready In 5 Minutes

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Indulge in the tropical flavors of Hawaii with our Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe . This tantalizing blend of sweet pineapple, savory soy sauce, and exotic spices will transport your taste buds to a paradise of deliciousness. Whether marinating succulent grilled meats or glazing stir-fried veggies, this sauce is your ticket to a mouthwatering luau in every bite. Aloha, flavor!

My palate forever sought that elusive flavor—a sauce that could transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, embarking on a culinary journey across Middle Eastern spice bazaars and European gourmet havens

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

The answer came unexpectedly during a serene Hawaiian getaway, where I encountered a Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe that stood out in its ability to marry diverse culinary traditions on a single plate.

In a quaint seaside restaurant, as the sunset painted the sky in hues of fire, my taste buds were taken hostage by a glaze with a harmonious dance of sweet and savory

It was an immediate call to my senses, compelling me to return this experience home. The struggle was real—how could I replicate this sauce that so effortlessly enthralled my friends at dinner and had my kids eagerly hovering around the grill? 

The pursuit began, stirring, tasting, and perfecting until the essence of those island flavors graced my kitchen.

What Is Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce?

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce is a unique variant of the classic teriyaki, incorporating the tropical essence of Hawaii. 

It blends soy sauce, the foundation of traditional teriyaki, with brown sugar, infusing a caramelized sweetness. 

Pineapple juice, the key to its island twist, tenderizes the meat while adding a fruity zest. Crushed garlic and grated ginger root inject a warm spice. 

This sauce is a versatile condiment or marinade, perfect for enhancing chicken, beef, or vegetables. 

History Of Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

The history of Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce is a tale of culinary fusion. Teriyaki sauce originated in Japan, with “Teri” referring to the shine from the sugar glaze and “yaki” meaning grilled. It found its way to Hawaii with Japanese immigrants. 

In the mid-20th century, local Hawaiians adapted the recipe, adding indigenous ingredients like pineapple juice and brown sugar to the traditional mix of soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

This adaptation suited their palate and available ingredients, giving birth to the Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce. While no single individual lays claim to its invention, it’s a product of the island’s melting pot culture.

Interesting Facts About Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce is a tropical twist on the traditional Japanese teriyaki, infused with the sweetness of pineapple and a hint of ginger. This sauce is renowned for its ability to tenderize and flavor meats, making it a beloved marinade and glaze in Hawaiian-inspired dishes.

Cultural Melting Pot

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce represents Hawaii’s melting pot of cultures, combining Japanese techniques with local Hawaiian flavors.

Pineapple Power

Pineapple juice isn’t just for flavor—it contains bromelain, an enzyme that naturally tenderizes meat.

Soy Sauce Base

The sauce uses soy sauce, which was likely first introduced to Hawaii by Japanese immigrants in the late 19th century.

Sweetness Twist

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce typically adds brown sugar, a departure from the mirin used in traditional Japanese teriyaki, creating a deeper, richer sweetness.


It’s a multipurpose sauce, equally at home as a marinade, a glaze, or a dipping sauce.

Global Influence

Despite its island origins, Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce has influenced global cuisine, with varied dishes worldwide.

Homemade Popularity

It’s one of the most popular homemade sauce recipes in Hawaii due to its simplicity and the availability of its ingredients.

Tourist Favorite

Many tourists in Hawaii seek out authentic Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce, making it a must-try experience for visitors.

Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Japanese Teriyaki: In Japan, the sauce remains a simpler mix of soy sauce, sake, and mirin, with a subtle sweetness and thinner consistency.
  • American BBQ Teriyaki: The U.S. mainland often adds a smoky flavor to its teriyaki for barbecue dishes, sometimes incorporating local honey or maple syrup.
  • Korean Fusion: In Korea, teriyaki gets a spicy twist with the addition of gochujang or Korean chili paste.
  • Tropical Variants: Other tropical regions infuse teriyaki with local fruits like mango or guava for a distinct, sweet-and-sour profile.
  • Vegetarian Options: Some adaptations replace traditional soy sauce with coconut aminos, catering to a vegetarian or soy-free diet while maintaining a similar flavor profile.

What Will Make You Love This Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe?

  • Exotic Fusion: Experience the harmonious marriage of sweet pineapple and savory soy sauce, creating a flavor symphony that’s impossible to resist.
  • Homemade Goodness: This sauce is a labor of love that elevates any dish crafted in your kitchen to gourmet status.
  • Versatility: It’s a marinade, glaze, or dipping sauce – this recipe does it all, transforming ordinary meals into Hawaiian feasts.
  • Authentic Aloha: Transport yourself to the tropical islands with every delectable drizzle and savor a taste of paradise.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Impress family and friends with a sauce that will beg them for seconds.
Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List

Low Sodium Soy Sauce1 cup
Brown Sugar1 cup
Mirin¼ cup
Finely Grated Ginger1 teaspoon
Large Garlic Clove (Minced or Grated)1

Ingredient Tips

  • Soy Sauce Selection: Choose low-sodium soy sauce to control the saltiness and adjust to taste.
  • Sugar Type: Opt for dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor.
  • Mirin Matters: Use authentic mirin for its subtle sweetness; avoid synthetic versions.
  • Fresh Ginger: Fresh ginger gives a zestier kick than powdered.
  • Garlic Tip: Freshly mince garlic rather than using pre-minced for a more potent flavor.
  • Balancing Sweetness: If the sauce is too sweet, a dash of rice vinegar can balance it.
  • Thickening Technique: Simmer the sauce to reduce and thicken it to the desired consistency.
  • Storage: Store in a glass bottle to preserve flavors.

What Are The Variations Of Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe?

  • Spicy Kick: Add sriracha or red pepper flakes for heat.
  • Gluten-Free: Use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Sweetener Swap: Substitute brown sugar with honey or agave for a different sweetness profile.
  • Vegan Friendly: Omit mirin (which may contain alcohol) and use a vegan sweetener.
  • Citrus Twist: Introduce orange or lemon zest for a citrusy note.
  • Herbal Notes: Infuse with lemongrass or cilantro for an aromatic flavor.
  • Smoky Depth: Incorporate liquid smoke or smoked paprika.
  • Fruity Flavors: Blend in peach or apricot preserves for a fruit-forward variant.
  • Sesame Infusion: Add toasted sesame oil or seeds for a nutty touch.
  • Creamy Fusion: Combine with coconut milk for a creamy teriyaki version.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of low-sodium soy sauce, 1 cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of mirin, 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger, and 1 minced large garlic clove.
  • Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • Let the sauce simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If a thicker sauce is desired, continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until it reaches your preferred consistency.
  • After simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat.

To Serve

  • Drizzle the hot sauce immediately over your choice of grilled or baked chicken for a flavorful finish.

To Store

  • Allow the sauce to cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer it to an airtight container or jar and refrigerate. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Embrace the aloha spirit in your cooking with Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce, where each taste is a wave of sweet, tangy, and savory bliss.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling the Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe is a breeze, whether feeding a crowd or looking for a smaller batch. 

To scale up for a larger gathering, multiply the ingredient quantities by your desired factor. 

Want to make a gallon of this tropical delight for a luau? Just multiply every ingredient by 8, and you’re ready to go. 

On the flip side, for a more intimate dinner, cut the quantities in half or even a quarter to maintain the perfect balance of flavors. 

This recipe is versatile and accommodating, ensuring you can enjoy its Hawaiian magic in any quantity you desire. 

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

  • Marinade: Infuse your choice of meats, poultry, seafood, or tofu with the exotic flavors of this sauce. Marinate for a few hours or overnight for a juicy and flavorful result.
  • Dipping Sauce: Perfect for accompanying spring rolls, dumplings, chicken nuggets, or finger food. Its sweet and savory notes enhance the taste of your favorite snacks.
  • Dressing for Salads: Drizzle the sauce over a fresh salad to add a delightful tropical twist. It pairs wonderfully with greens, fruits, and grilled vegetables, creating a unique and delicious salad experience.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe?

Grilled Chicken

The sauce caramelizes beautifully on the chicken, creating a delightful glaze.

Beef Skewers

Its sweet and tangy flavor complements the savoriness of beef.


Brush it on salmon before grilling for a touch of island flavor.

Stir-Fry Vegetables

It adds depth to any vegetable medley.

Fried Rice

Mix it into fried rice for an extra layer of flavor.


Marinate tofu for a tasty vegan option.

Pork Ribs

Baste ribs with sauce, infusing them with a sweet, tangy taste.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe?

  • Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken: Grilled chicken thighs basted in the sauce, often served with pineapple slices.
  • Teriyaki Beef Bowls: Thinly sliced beef marinated in the sauce, served over rice with steamed vegetables.
  • Loco Moco: A Hawaiian comfort food featuring a hamburger patty, rice, and fried egg, all drizzled with teriyaki sauce.
  • Teriyaki Pork Chops: Pork chops are marinated and glazed in the sauce, giving a sweet and savory flavor.
  • Teriyaki Fish: Salmon or mahi-mahi, brushed with sauce and baked or grilled.
  • Spam Musubi: A local snack of grilled Spam wrapped in nori and rice, often with a teriyaki glaze.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Sweetness: The brown sugar and mirin contribute a molasses-like sweetness.
  • Umami: Soy sauce provides deep umami, the savory taste of protein-rich foods.
  • Savoriness: Garlic and ginger infuse a pungent savoriness, with ginger adding a slightly spicy edge.
  • Complexity: Combining these ingredients creates a complex flavor profile that’s more than the sum of its parts.
  • Glossy Finish: The sauce’s consistency lends a visually appealing sheen to dishes.
  • Tanginess: Mirin introduces a subtle tang, balancing the sauce’s sweetness.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. To ensure optimal longevity, place the cooled sauce in an airtight container or glass jar and refrigerate it. Properly stored, the sauce can typically last up to two weeks. 

For an extended shelf life, you can freeze the sauce. Frozen in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag, it can maintain its best quality for about 3 months. 

Always label the container with the date to keep track of its age. Before using, thaw it in the refrigerator and give it a good stir to recombine any separated ingredients.

What Are The Substitutes For Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe?

  • Soy Sauce & Sugar: Mix soy sauce with a hint of brown sugar for a simple replacement.
  • Hoison Sauce: This is thicker but offers a similar sweet and tangy flavor profile.
  • Oyster Sauce: While not as sweet, it provides a savory umami taste.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce: Offers sweetness with a kick, though less savory.
  • General Tso’s Sauce: A bit spicier but similar in sweetness and tang.
  • Korean BBQ Sauce: It brings a different spice palette with a sweet and garlicky taste.
  • Plum Sauce: Sweet and tart, a good option for dipping but less complex.
  • Homemade Mix: Blend soy sauce, a sweetener like honey or agave, garlic, ginger, and a bit of vinegar for a quick DIY teriyaki.
Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

For A Thicker Sauce

  • Simmer the sauce longer to reduce it further, which thickens it as the water content evaporates.
  • Mix a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch to 2 teaspoons water) and whisk it into the sauce, then simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened.

For A Thinner Sauce

  • Add water or more soy sauce, a tablespoon until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Incorporate a bit of pineapple juice for added flavor and a thinner texture.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

  • As a Marinade: Use it cold. Coat the meat and let it sit to absorb the flavors.
  • As a Glaze: Warm it to enhance its adherence to food, making it ideal for basting.
  • As a Dipping Sauce: Serve it at room temperature or slightly chilled to maintain a dip-friendly consistency.
  • As a Dressing: Room temperature is best to ensure it mixes well with salads without wilting the greens.
Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

This Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce boasts a tantalizing combination of sweet pineapple and savory soy, creating a deliciously exotic culinary experience.

What Are The Total Calories In Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe?

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce is typically high in sodium and sugars, offering a blend of savory umami and sweetness with minimal fat and protein content. 

Each tablespoon serving contains approximately 15-20 calories, depending on the specific recipe variations.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce: a harmonious blend of tropical pineapple sweetness and savory soy, creating an island-inspired culinary delight.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
  • Vegan: Ensure that the sugar is vegan-certified (not processed with bone char) and that the mirin doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients.
  • Low-Sodium: Opt for a low-sodium soy sauce, or reduce the soy sauce amount and increase the mirin or water.
  • Soy Allergy: Use coconut aminos as a substitute for soy sauce.
  • Diabetic-Friendly: Replace brown sugar with a sugar substitute like stevia or use less sugar.
  • Alcohol-Free: Choose a non-alcoholic mirin substitute or mix sugar and water.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-sweetening: Adding too much sugar can overpower the savory elements.
  • Burning the Garlic: Garlic can burn easily, imparting a bitter taste.
  • Not Reducing Enough: Failing to simmer the sauce long enough may produce a thin, watery consistency.
  • Over-Reducing: Conversely, simmering too long can make the sauce too thick and overly concentrated.
  • Ignoring Quality of Soy Sauce: Low-quality soy sauce can produce a less appealing flavor profile.
  • Rushing the Process: Not allowing the flavors to meld together by cooking them too quickly.
  • Not Adjusting to Taste: Forgetting to taste and adjust the seasonings can lead to a lackluster sauce.
  • Using Powdered Ginger: Fresh ginger offers a zestier flavor than powdered, which can be too mild.
  • Skipping the Rest Time: Not letting the sauce cool slightly before using it as a marinade can start cooking the meat prematurely.
  • Neglecting Sanitation: Using the same sauce for marinating and as a dipping sauce without proper cooking can pose a health risk.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Teriyaki Stir-Fry: Toss with vegetables and your choice of protein.
  • Pizza Base: Spread on pizza dough for a teriyaki-flavored pizza.
  • Salad Dressing: Mix olive oil and vinegar for a zesty salad dressing.
  • Sandwich Glaze: Brush on burgers or sandwiches for added moisture and flavor.
  • Rice Flavoring: Stir into cooked rice or quinoa for a savory twist.
  • Noodle Sauce: Combine with noodles for a quick teriyaki noodle dish.
  • Dip for Appetizers: Use as a dipping sauce for dumplings or spring rolls.
  • Marinade: Marinate tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian-friendly option.
  • Meatloaf Moistener: Mix into meatloaf or meatball recipes for a tangy touch.
  • Breakfast Boost: Glaze over bacon or sausage for a sweet and savory breakfast treat.
Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan: A medium-sized saucepan for combining and cooking the ingredients.
  • Whisk: To stir the ingredients smoothly and prevent lumps.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurement of ingredients.
  • Grater or Microplane: For finely grating the ginger.
  • Garlic Press: To mince the garlic clove efficiently.
  • Wooden Spoon: For stirring the sauce as it simmers.
  • Stove: To cook and reduce the sauce.
  • Jar or Bottle: For storing the leftover sauce.
  • Strainer: Optional for straining the sauce if a smoother consistency is desired.
  • Funnel: To transfer the sauce into storage bottles without spilling.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Without Mirin?

Yes, you can substitute mirin with a sweet rice wine, a mix of white wine and sugar, or even apple cider vinegar mixed with sugar to mimic its sweet-tangy flavor.

Is This Sauce Gluten-Free?

It’s not as written because most soy sauces contain wheat. To make it gluten-free, use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

How Can I Make This Sauce Less Sweet?

Reduce the brown sugar and balance the sweetness with more soy sauce or a splash of rice vinegar for added tanginess.

What’s The Best Way To Thicken Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce?

Simmer it longer to reduce and thicken it naturally, or add a cornstarch slurry (combine cornstarch and water) to the sauce while simmering.

Can Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Be Used As A Stir-Fry Sauce?

Absolutely. Its consistency and flavor profile make it an excellent choice for stir-frying vegetables and proteins. Just add it towards the end of cooking to coat the ingredients evenly.

Delicious Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe – Ready In 5 Minutes

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Course: Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time



15 – 20

Ferment/Rest Time



This Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce Recipe is a sweet and savory blend, perfect for giving dishes a tropical flair. Infused with pineapple’s brightness, it’s versatile for marinating, glazing, or dipping, effortlessly elevating any meal with the essence of the islands. Simple to make, it’s a homemade delight for varied cuisines.


  • 1 cup 1 Low Sodium Soy Sauce

  • 1 cup 1 Brown Sugar

  • ¼ cup ¼ Mirin

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Finely Grated Ginger

  • 1 1 Large Garlic Clove (Minced or Grated)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Gather Ingredients: Assemble 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce, 1 cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of mirin, 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, and 1 minced large garlic clove.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, grated ginger, and minced garlic.
  • Heat Mixture: Place the saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture continuously to dissolve the sugar.
  • Bring To Boil: Keep stirring until the mixture reaches a boil. This process should take around 5 minutes.
  • Reduce Heat: Once boiling, boil the heat to a low simmer. This will prevent burning and allow the flavors to meld.
  • Simmer: Allow the sauce to simmer gently for 10 minutes. If you prefer a thicker sauce, continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes, watching closely to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Cool Down: After simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the sauce cool for a few minutes; it will thicken as it cools.
  • Store Or Serve: You can now use the sauce immediately or store it. For storage, transfer the sauce to a jar or bottle using a funnel and let it cool completely before sealing and refrigerating.

Recipe Video


  • Ingredient Quality: For the best flavor, use high-quality, naturally brewed soy sauce and pure mirin.
  • Sauce Thickness: The sauce will thicken as it cools, so remove it from heat slightly before it reaches your desired final thickness.
  • Adjusting Sweetness: If the sauce is too sweet, balance it with a few drops of lemon juice or rice vinegar.
  • Storage: The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For extended storage, freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer cubes to a freezer bag.
  • Allergens: If serving to guests, be aware of potential allergies to soy and wheat (found in some soy sauces).
  • Flavor Development: The flavors meld and intensify over time, so consider making the sauce a day ahead.

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