Teriyaki Sauce Recipe Time – Craft Your Sauce In Minutes!

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe is the key to elevating many dishes. Typically, it combines sweet and savory flavors. If you decide to enhance your meals, this sauce can be a great way to do it. Remember, it’s a blend of soy, ginger, and a touch of sugar. My advice: use it to ensure your dishes have that extra flair. This may help transform an ordinary meal into something special.

Have you ever wondered what gives certain dishes that unforgettable flavor? While traveling through Middle-Eastern and European countries, I stumbled upon a sauce that stood out: Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

While enjoying a meal at a bustling local restaurant in Istanbul, the rich blend of sweet and savory hit my palate, reminding me of a similar sensation when a friend from Japan treated me to a homemade meal. 

The sauce was the key. So, what if you’ve tried countless sauces and still can’t find the one that encapsulates the perfect balance? My experience suggests looking towards Teriyaki Sauce. 

This may help. Its mix of soy, ginger, and a hint of sugar is a great way to ensure your dishes have that much-needed zest. 

Whether it’s to appease a kid’s request for something flavorful or to reminisce about a European vacation, Teriyaki Sauce recipe might be your answer.

What Is Teriyaki Sauce? 

Teriyaki sauce recipe is a traditional Japanese condiment, typically made from soy sauce, sake or mirin, ginger, and sugar. This mixture gives it a unique, sweet, and savory profile. 

When applied to meat or vegetables and then cooked, the sauce caramelizes, creating a glossy finish and enhancing the dish’s flavors. If you decide to enrich your meals, this sauce can be great. 

History Of Teriyaki Sauce 

Teriyaki sauce originates from Japan. The name “teriyaki” combines two Japanese words: “teri,” meaning shine or luster, and “yaki,” meaning to grill or broil. 

Traditionally, this sauce was used to marinate fish, which was then grilled, giving it a glossy appearance. 

Over time, the use of Teriyaki expanded, including other proteins like chicken and beef. While it’s hard to pinpoint a single inventor, the creation of Teriyaki sauce is a testament to Japan’s culinary tradition. 

As I traveled through Europe, I found many chefs incorporating their versions of Teriyaki, indicating its influence has traveled far beyond its Japanese roots.

Interesting Facts About Teriyaki Sauce Recipe 

  • Origins: Teriyaki sauce, though globally famous now, has deep roots in traditional Japanese cuisine.
  • Word Meaning: The term “teriyaki” is derived from “Teri,” meaning shine, and “yaki,” signifying grill or broil.
  • Traditional Protein: Initially, fish was the primary protein marinated in Teriyaki sauce in Japan.
  • Modern Adaptations: Today, this sauce is not confined to just Japan; chefs worldwide use it, resulting in various regional adaptations.
  • Homemade Variations: If you decide to make a Teriyaki sauce recipe at home, many recipes allow added ingredients like pineapple juice or garlic for a unique twist.
  • Caramelization: One key to its appeal is how it caramelizes during cooking, which can impart a delightful glossy finish to dishes.
  • Health Benefits: Teriyaki sauce may contain beneficial compounds from ginger and soy, which have potential health properties.
Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

Teriyaki sauce, with its deep Japanese roots, has seen various regional adaptations as it spread globally:

  • Hawaii: Pineapple juice is often added, giving it a tropical twist and a hint of tanginess.
  • Korea: Their variation might include ingredients like garlic and sesame oil, creating a richer flavor.
  • Indonesia: Their sauce may contain a spicy kick, with added chili or local spices.
  • USA: American versions can be thicker, often used as a glaze or dip, with added brown sugar or honey for sweetness.
  • Middle-Eastern countries: I found versions with pomegranate molasses, adding a sweet-sour dimension during my travels.

What Will Make You Love This Teriyaki Sauce? 

  • Flavor Fusion: Its unique blend of sweet and savory offers a symphony of tastes, making every bite memorable.
  • Versatility: This sauce can elevate everything, from grilled meats to stir-fries and salads.
  • Texture Appeal: When cooked, Teriyaki sauce caramelizes, making dishes glossy and delicious.
  • Health Perks: Ingredients like ginger and soy add flavor and bring potential health benefits.
  • Culinary Adventure: My travels in Middle-Eastern and European countries showed how Teriyaki has been adapted, hinting at its universal charm.
  • Easy Preparation: Making your version is typically simple, allowing customization.
Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List

Dark Soy Sauce1/4 cup
Sake1/4 cup
Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)2 tbsp
White Sugar1 tbsp

Ingredient Tips 

  • Soy Sauce Selection: Opt for a high-quality dark soy sauce. It typically offers a richer, more robust flavor than its lighter counterparts.
  • Sake Substitute: You can substitute with dry sherry or Chinese rice wine if you can’t find sake.
  • Mirin Matters: Ensure your mirin is authentic. Avoid “mirin-like” condiments, which may have additives.
  • Sugar Alternatives: To eliminate refined sugar, honey or maple syrup can be great ways to add sweetness.
  • Freshness First: Always check the expiration dates, especially on sake and mirin, to ensure your sauce tastes its best.
  • Taste and Adjust: As you mix, remember to taste. This may help in adjusting ingredients to suit your preference.

What Are The Variations Of Teriyaki Sauce Recipe? 

  • Tropical Twist: Add pineapple or orange juice for a fruity, tangy edge.
  • Spicy Kick: Infuse red chili flakes or sriracha to elevate the heat.
  • Garlicky Touch: Incorporate minced garlic for a deeper, aromatic flavor.
  • Ginger Boost: Increase the amount of ginger if you love its zesty punch.
  • Honeyed Version: Substitute white sugar with honey for a naturally sweet and thicker consistency.
  • Sesame Surprise: Sprinkle in toasted sesame seeds or drizzle sesame oil for an added nutty profile.
  • Vegan Delight: Use agave or maple syrup instead of honey, and ensure your soy sauce is vegan-friendly.

Recipe Directions 

  • Combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on medium heat.
  • Stir the mixture continuously, ensuring the sugar completely dissolves.
  • Remove from heat once the sugar dissolves and the sauce slightly thickens. The consistency should be slightly syrupy.
  • Allow the sauce to cool if not used immediately. As it cools, it will thicken a bit more.
  • Storage & Ferment Method (Optional for those wanting a deeper flavor):
  • Transfer the cooled sauce to a clean, airtight glass jar.
  • Let it sit in a cool, dark place for 3-5 days, allowing it to ferment.
  • After fermenting, refrigerate to halt the fermentation process and preserve freshness. 
  • Remember, fermentation can deepen flavors and create a more robust profile.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe, such as the Teriyaki sauce, is key to ensuring consistency in flavor and texture. Here’s how:

Scaling Up

  • Double or triple ingredients for larger servings. If making sauce for a party, simply multiply each ingredient proportionally.

Scaling Down

  • Halve the ingredients for smaller batches. This may help when cooking for one or two people.
  • Reduce cooking time to ensure the sauce doesn’t over-thicken.
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

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


It can permeate meats, tofu, or vegetables, ensuring they’re flavorful and tender. If you’re deciding on a marinade for grilling or baking, Teriyaki sauce is a great choice.

Dipping Sauce

Its rich consistency and balanced flavor make it an excellent companion for sushi, spring rolls, or grilled items. My advice is to serve it alongside appetizers for an enhanced experience.

Dressing for Salads

Teriyaki sauce recipe can transform into a delightful dressing when mixed with oil. Its sweet and savory notes can elevate a simple green salad or noodle dish.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Teriyaki Sauce? 

  • Grilled Proteins: Chicken, salmon, beef, or tofu skewers benefit from a Teriyaki glaze.
  • Stir-Fries: Combine vegetables and your choice of protein, then toss with Teriyaki sauce for a delectable dish.
  • Rice Bowls: Drizzle over rice, topped with sautéed vegetables and meats, ensuring a flavorful meal.
  • Noodle Dishes: Works wonderfully with cold soba noodles and hot udon dishes.
  • Sushi Rolls: A dipping sauce for sushi, particularly for rolls with avocado or grilled eel.
  • Dumplings: Perfect as a dipping option for gyoza or potstickers.
  • Salads: Especially good with Asian-inspired salads, adding a sweet and tangy touch.
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Teriyaki Sauce? 

  • Teriyaki Chicken: Grilled or pan-fried chicken glazed with Teriyaki sauce.
  • Teriyaki Salmon: Salmon fillets are marinated and then cooked to perfection with a glossy finish.
  • Beef Teriyaki: Thin slices of beef, often skewered, grilled, and brushed with the sauce.
  • Teriyaki Tofu: Tofu steaks marinated and pan-seared, catering to vegetarians.
  • Teriyaki Burger: A fusion dish with a patty seasoned or glazed with Teriyaki sauce.
  • Teriyaki Stir-fry: A mix of vegetables and protein stir-fried and coated in Teriyaki sauce.

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

  • Sweetness: Originating from sugar or honey, it offers a pleasant counterpoint to savory elements.
  • Savory (Umami): The soy sauce brings out the deep, meaty essence, which is a key to Teriyaki’s distinctive taste.
  • Slight Tang: Mirin, a sweet rice wine, introduces a subtle acidity, balancing the sauce’s richness.
  • Mild Bitterness: Dark soy sauce can have a trace of bitterness, adding depth.
  • Warmth: Ginger introduces a warming, slightly spicy note.
  • Richness: Sake or rice wine rounds out the flavor, providing body and complexity.
Jar and Spoon

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

Teriyaki sauce can be stored for future use. Once prepared, allow it to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container or glass jar and seal tightly. 

When stored in the refrigerator, homemade Teriyaki sauce typically has a shelf life of up to two weeks. 

If you notice any off odors or mold growth, it’s best to discard the sauce. For extended preservation, some individuals freeze the sauce in portioned containers. 

Upon freezing, the sauce can last for several months. However, I advise using it within a month for optimal flavor. Always use a clean utensil when accessing the sauce to ensure its longevity.

What Are The Substitutes For Teriyaki Sauce? 

  • Soy Sauce & Brown Sugar: Combine equal parts, adding a dash of vinegar for acidity.
  • Hoisin Sauce: A sweeter sauce with Chinese origins. It can serve as a base, with a splash of soy to balance the sweetness.
  • Oyster Sauce & Soy Sauce: Mix in a 1:1 ratio for a savory, sweet blend.
  • Worcestershire Sauce & Sugar: Though a distinct taste, it can mimic the sweet-savory balance.
  • Ponzu Sauce: A citrusy Japanese sauce that can act as a base. Add some sweetener to approximate Teriyaki.
  • BBQ Sauce & Soy Sauce: Blend for a richer, tangy substitute.
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce? 


If the sauce is too thin, you can simmer it on low heat, allowing it to reduce. Alternatively, make a slurry by mixing cornstarch with cold water (1:1 ratio) and add it to the sauce, cooking until it thickens.


If the sauce is too thick, add some water, broth, or more sake and stir until the desired consistency is achieved.


Remember, the sauce typically thickens as it cools, so account for that when adjusting.

Balancing Flavors

If you’re adjusting consistency significantly, taste and modify the other ingredients as needed.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

  • Marinade: Cold or at room temperature is typical, allowing proteins to absorb the flavors before cooking.
  • Dipping Sauce: Both cold and warm versions can work. For sushi or cold appetizers, a chilled sauce might be preferable. For hot dishes like dumplings, a hot sauce complements well.
  • Glaze or Sauce: Warm is ideal. Heating helps it adhere to dishes like grilled meats or stir-fries.
  • Salad Dressing: Usually cold, ensuring your salad remains crisp.
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values 

Teriyaki sauce recipe is rich in sodium from soy sauce and contains sugars, contributing to its caloric content. It also offers trace minerals and potential health benefits from ingredients like ginger.

What Are The Total Calories In Teriyaki Sauce? 

The total calories in Teriyaki sauce can vary based on its specific ingredients and their quantities. 

Typically, for a traditional recipe with soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar, a tablespoon might range between 15 to 25 calories. The bulk of these calories come from the sugar and mirin. 

However, always check the nutritional label if you’re using a store-bought sauce or adjust calculations based on your specific homemade recipe. Remember, moderation is key to enjoying its flavor without overconsumption.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten: Traditional soy sauce contains wheat, making it unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.
  • Alcohol: Sake and mirin are alcoholic ingredients. While most alcohol burns off during cooking, traces may remain.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Authentic Teriyaki sauce is vegan and vegetarian-friendly. However, always ensure no fish-derived products are added.
  • Sugar: Diabetics should be cautious due to the sugar content.
  • Sodium: High salt content from soy sauce can be a concern for those monitoring sodium intake.
  • Allergies: Some people may be allergic to ingredients like soy.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-reducing: Cooking the sauce too long can make it overly thick and overly concentrated in flavor.
  • Excess Sugar: Too much sugar can overpower the savory notes and make the sauce cloyingly sweet.
  • Overpowering Ginger: While ginger adds zest, too much can dominate the other flavors.
  • Not Tasting As You Go: Flavors can develop and change as the sauce simmers. Regular tasting helps in adjusting ingredients as needed.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: Inferior soy sauce or overly processed mirin can compromise the sauce’s authenticity and taste.
  • Skipping Simmering: Simply mixing ingredients without simmering can lead to an unbalanced flavor profile.
  • Not Letting It Cool: If stored while hot, the sauce can become too thick upon cooling.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Pizza Glaze: Use as a base for Asian-inspired pizzas with toppings like grilled chicken or veggies.
  • Pasta Toss: Mix with noodles, veggies, and proteins for a quick stir-fry.
  • Sandwich Spread: Enhance sandwiches or wraps with a Teriyaki touch.
  • Rice Flavoring: Drizzle over plain rice or mix into fried rice.
  • Soup Seasoning: Add to broths for depth and sweetness.
  • Popcorn Drizzle: For a sweet and savory snack twist.
  • Meatloaf Glaze: Brush over meatloaf before baking.
  • Omelette Enhancer: Stir into egg mixtures for a flavor-packed breakfast.
Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

  • Saucepan: Ideally, of medium size for simmering and reducing the sauce.
  • Whisk: Helps in blending ingredients smoothly, especially when dissolving sugar.
  • Heatproof Silicone Spatula: Useful for stirring and ensuring the sauce doesn’t stick or burn.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: For accurate proportions of ingredients.
  • Strainer: If using fresh ginger or garlic, a strainer helps achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Glass Jar with Lid: For storing the sauce, ensure it remains fresh.
  • Thermometer: To monitor the sauce temperature, ensuring it doesn’t overheat.
  • Mixing Bowl: Useful if combining ingredients before transferring to the saucepan.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Is Teriyaki Sauce Gluten-Free?

Traditional Teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce, which often includes wheat. However, gluten-free soy sauce can be used to make a gluten-free version of Teriyaki sauce.

Can I Use Rice Wine Vinegar Instead Of Sake Or Mirin?

While rice wine vinegar can add acidity, it doesn’t provide the same depth of flavor as sake or mirin. Using rice wine vinegar might result in a slightly different taste profile.

How Long Can I Store Homemade Teriyaki Sauce?

Homemade Teriyaki sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For extended preservation, consider freezing it in airtight containers for several months.

Can I Make Teriyaki Sauce Without Sugar?

Sugar is a key component of Teriyaki sauce, contributing to its signature sweet-savory balance. However, you can use alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to reduce refined sugar.

Is Teriyaki Sauce Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Teriyaki sauce is typically vegetarian and vegan-friendly as it doesn’t contain animal products. However, check the ingredients to ensure no fish-derived additives, especially in store-bought versions.

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe Time – Craft Your Sauce In Minutes!

5 from 8 votes
Course: Hot Sauces


Prep Time


Cooking Time




Rest Time



The Teriyaki Sauce Recipe is a harmonious blend of soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. This traditional Japanese condiment offers a delightful interplay of sweet and savory flavors. It achieves a glossy texture when simmered, making it perfect for glazing, dipping, or marinating. Elevate your dishes with this versatile, flavor-packed sauce.


  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Dark Soy Sauce

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Sake

  • 2 tbsp 2 Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)

  • 1 tbsp 1 White Sugar

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather all ingredients and have them measured out. This ensures a smooth cooking process.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sake, dark soy sauce, mirin, and white sugar.
  • Simmer: Place the saucepan on medium heat. Stir continuously to ensure the sugar dissolves completely. As the sauce heats, it will start to bubble slightly.
  • Monitor Consistency: Continue to simmer the mixture for 7-10 minutes. The sauce should thicken slightly and take on a glossy appearance.
  • Taste And Adjust: Give the sauce a taste once off the heat. If you desire a sweeter flavor, you can add a touch more sugar. Add a splash of water or sake if it’s too thick for your liking.
  • Cool And Store: Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, it can be transferred to a glass jar or an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator.

Recipe Video


  • Ingredient Variations: Experiment with different types of soy sauce, such as low-sodium or tamari, for varied flavors. You can also use honey instead of white sugar for a different sweetness profile.
  • Consistency Control: Keep a close eye on the sauce as it simmers. It can become too syrupy if it thickens too much, so adjust as needed.
  • Storing: Ensure the sauce is completely cooled before storing it in a glass jar or airtight container. Refrigerate promptly to maintain freshness.
  • Flavor Development: The sauce’s flavor can deepen over time, so a day or two in the refrigerator can enhance its taste.
  • Versatility: Teriyaki sauce is highly adaptable; customize it with your preferred ingredients or use it as a base for other sauces and glazes.
  • Use In Moderation: Due to its salt and sugar content, use Teriyaki sauce in moderation, especially if following a low-sodium or low-sugar diet.

5 thoughts on “Teriyaki Sauce Recipe Time – Craft Your Sauce In Minutes!”

Leave a Comment

Author picture


Welcome, fellow flavor enthusiasts to the world of Sauce Chick, where every flavor tells a tale of creativity, passion, and the harmonious fusion of spices and sauces.

More About Me