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Homemade teriyaki sauce whips up in a flash for a tasty better-than-takeout meal at home! It’s perfect for saucing your favorite protein.

Use this teriyaki sauce to cook up some chicken, and serve it with our favorite Cream Cheese Wontons or Rangoons for the perfect weeknight dinner!

Teriyaki sauce coating chicken in a sauce pan.

What is Teriyaki Sauce?

I read that teriyaki sauce is originally from Japan but made its way to America when Japanese immigrants moved to Hawaii. As a result, many teriyaki recipes often include pineapple.

This recipe is for a classic homemade teriyaki sauce using soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and more. If you’re new to Asian cooking, you may not have these pantry staples. Once you do, you can use them to make many different savory Asian dishes.

We love takeout for dinner, and it’s FABULOUS when we can whip up our favorites at home whenever the craving strikes. Serve this up with some delicious vegetables and a side of white rice.

Teriyaki sauce in a mason jar ready for making chicken.

5 Minute Sauce!

This delicious teriyaki sauce recipe comes together in a flash!! There is only one step, that’s how simple it is.

MIX. Combine water, soy sauce, honey, pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk cornstarch and water together to make a slurry and mix until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the sauce.

COOK. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more water to thin it out.

Make teriyaki chicken. To make with chicken, add sauce to the skillet with the cooked chicken and cook for about 5 minutes to thoroughly coat chicken. Serve with rice, noodles, and/or steamed veggies.

Make it a marinade

Homemade teriyaki sauce is thicker than a marinade, but this recipe can easily be adjusted so you can marinate your favorite cuts of meat.

To turn this sauce into marinade:

  • Omit the cornstarch and the ½ cup of water.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir, add meat, and let it marinate in the fridge.
Homemade teriyaki sauce in a mason jar.

recipe tips

This best teriyaki sauce can be adjusted with any of the following suggestions.

Salty sauce. If the taste of the sauce turns out too salty – add a bit of brown sugar, and honey. The sweetness will counteract the salty flavor. Slowly add a little more water and cornstarch. You can also use low-sodium soy sauce instead of regular to combat the salt flavor.

Oil substitute. Sesame oil can be substituted with peanut oil.

Vinegar. Rice wine vinegar can be substituted with apple cider vinegar.

Thicken the sauce. To thicken the chicken teriyaki sauce recipe, make a cornstarch slurry: add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to a separate small bowl and 1 teaspoon of cold water. Once it is smooth pour it into the sauce and simmer. 

Thin out the sauce. If your homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is too thick, whisk in more water.

Gluten-free. This sauce can be gluten-free, just double-check the labels on each of the separate ingredients.

Add some citrus. Add a citrus element with pineapple juice or orange juice.

Teriyaki chicken in a white bowl served with rice and broccoli.

Serving + Storing

This easy teriyaki sauce is great to use in stir-fries or as a glaze when baking or grilling. Use it on beef, poultry, pork, salmon, and other fish.

Use this recipe for teriyaki sauce in any of the following recipes:

STORE. I store simple teriyaki sauce in a mason jar or other airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

FREEZE. Store this best teriyaki sauce recipe in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in a small saucepan.

Cooking chicken in sauce in a skillet.

Recipe FAQ

Is teriyaki sauce the same as teriyaki marinade?

While the base flavors and ingredients are very similar there are some differences. Teriyaki sauce is often thicker and is used as a glaze for cooked meats. Whereas teriyaki marinade is usually thinner and poured into a container along with the uncooked meat to help tenderize and flavor the meat.

Can I make teriyaki sauce without cornstarch?

You can replace the cornstarch with an equal amount of all-purpose flour or arrowroot powder. You will still want to combine it with water before pouring it into the sauce. Repeat if necessary.

For More Favorite Asian Recipes, Try:

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5 from 16 votes

Best Teriyaki Sauce

By: Lil’ Luna
This best teriyaki sauce whips up in a flash for a tasty better-than-takeout meal at home. Use it as a sauce or marinade!
Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, or tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice, optional
  • cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cup cold water
Save This Recipe!
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Instructions 

  • Combine water, soy sauce, honey, pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk cornstarch and water together to make a slurry and mix until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the sauce.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more water to thin it out.

Make Teriyaki Chicken

  • Add sauce to the skillet with the cooked chicken and cook for about 5 minutes to thoroughly coat. Serve with rice, noodles, and/or steamed veggies.

Video

Notes

STORE simple teriyaki sauce in a mason jar or other airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
FREEZE this best teriyaki sauce recipe in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in a small saucepan. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 129kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 0.1g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 583mg, Potassium: 96mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 0.3IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dressing
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. sue says:

    5 stars
    I usually just buy a sauce the grocery store for grilled chicken, but making homemade sauce is way better and easy.

  2. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    I love this Teriyaki sauce. It’s so delicious and can be used to turn many recipes into yummy. Happy I found it on your site!

  3. Jen says:

    5 stars
    Sooo good!! & so much better than store bought! Loved it!

  4. Joy says:

    5 stars
    This sauce is amazing!! It’s creamy & delicious!! One of the best teriyaki sauces ever!! Couldn’t believe how easy it was to make!

  5. Journa Liz Ramirez says:

    5 stars
    This is a hit! This teriyaki sauce is so easy to make and turned out to be flavorful. This is a must-try recipe, thanks Kristyn for this wonderful recipe!

  6. Kristen says:

    5 stars
    We had chicken and rice last night and with this Teriyaki Sauce, everything had so much flavor.