Teriyaki sauce is a Japanese soy-based sauce that can double as marinade or glaze.
This savory sauce that has a tad of sweetness became a worldwide sensation, and if you taste it, you’ll know why.
The balance of saltiness from soy sauce and sweetness from brown sugar is simply irresistible.
And thankfully, it’s insanely easy and quick to make it, and all you need is 3 ingredients.
If you are any bit health conscious, you definitely want to make your own rather than using a store-bought.
Many ready-made teriyaki marinade sauces rely on tons of sugar, corn syrup, and starches to extend their shelf life.
Not to mention, they are full of additives and unhealthy oils you don’t want.
This homemade teriyaki sauce comes to be far cheaper, healthier, and 100 x tastier.
You can use this teriyaki sauce as a marinade for chicken, beef, fish, tofu, and even vegetables.
In Japan, it’s a staple sauce for simmering meat and veggies like pumpkin, potatoes, and carrots.
It’s a versatile sauce I use at least a couple of times in my cooking.
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How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
The traditional and authentic teriyaki sauce you find in Japan is made with soy sauce, mirin, and sake. Sometimes a bit of brown sugar is added for another layer of sweetness.
The most basic formula is equal parts of each ingredient.
For example, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
If you don’t know, mirin is a Japanese rice wine with a subtle sweetness. It pairs extremely well with soy sauce and gives the extra shine ‘Teri’ to the teriyaki sauce.
While it’s a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine and everyday cooking in Japan, it can be hard to find in the U.S.
So this homemade teriyaki sauce uses brown sugar in place of mirin. It’s equally delicious and frankly, I’m always out of mirin, so this is actually my go-to teriyaki recipe at home.
To make this homemade teriyaki sauce, add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer. Remove from the heat when it reaches a thicker consistency.
More Americanized recipes often use honey or cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Please note, you don’t need a thickening agent. The sauce does get thicker as you simmer in a saucepan.
You also don’t need to add salt as soy sauce brings enough salty flavor.
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp sake
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbsp water
- In a small saucepan, add all the ingredients and stir.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a boil. Keep stirring until brown sugar is dissolved.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Pour the sauce into an air-tight container and keep it in the refrigerator. It lasts for 1-2 weeks.
This homemade teriyaki sauce is a perfectly versatile sauce you can use on anything. You can use it to marinade it with poultry, pork, or beef and grill it.
You can also use it to glaze salmon, mackerel, or chicken.
For more flavors, you can also add chopped garlic and ginger to the mixture. Looking for a vegetarian dish? I love to use this 3-ingredient teriyaki sauce to glaze eggplants and tofu.
Keep a jar of this homemade sauce in your fridge to make a quick 15-minute dinner any day of the week.