Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Incredibly versatile and appropriate as a sauce, marinade, or even a dip, teriyaki sauce is a mainstay of any Asian food lover's kitchen.

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Incredibly versatile and appropriate as a sauce, marinade, or even a dip, teriyaki sauce is a mainstay of any Asian food lover’s kitchen. Why not throw away the pre-mixed stuff and make some yourself?

Why not use this recipe to make a tasty Grilled Teriyaki Chicken or some Teriyaki Rice? Or learn how to make an Easy Homemade Asian Salad Dressing instead?

Homemade Teriyaki sauce in a white bowl

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is one of those things that seems like it appears on almost every restaurant menu with an Asian theme. Whether it is Chinese or Japanese cuisine, there will undoubtedly be something with teriyaki sauce on it.

This is because, alongside having a gorgeous, deep black color, it is also a flavorful and versatile sauce, capable of marinating meat, providing the depth of flavor for a stew, or even just being a dipping sauce.

Made from simple ingredients and requiring little prep, teriyaki sauce is something that every aspiring home cook should know how to make.                                                                                                


Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

• Water

• Soy sauce

• Brown sugar

• Sesame oil

• Ground ginger

• Onion powder

• Minced garlic

• Cornstarch

• Cold water

Homemade teriyaki sauce in pot

How To Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

• Over medium heat in a saucepan, combine 1 cup of water, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ground ginger, onion powder, and minced garlic

• Cook this mixture until heated through for about 1 minute

• In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the ¼ cup of water until dissolved

• Add the cornstarch mix to the saucepan, whisking it carefully to ensure it doesn’t lump

• Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes

• If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of water to help thin it out and then serve it as a sauce 

Homemade teriyaki sauce in bowl on cutting board

How To Get The Right Consistency In Your Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is not just useful to utterly drench over some meat and grill – it also has a wide range of applications, from marinade to wonton dipping sauce, and the key thing that differentiates its use is its consistency.

A marinade might require a little bit more of a watery consistency, whereas a dipping sauce needs to be just that little bit thicker to cling to whatever you dip into it.

To help create the perfect consistency, make sure that you are carefully modulating the amount of cornstarch you use.

While it might seem like a bit of a kitchen hack, the truth is that cornstarch and a little bit of water have been used to help thicken sauces since the discovery of corn.

If you want to make your teriyaki sauce a bit thicker, add just a little bit more cornstarch, or cut it back if you are looking for a more watery consistency.

Just make sure that you do not add the cornstarch directly to the liquid – if you tried that, you would just end up with little clumps of cornstarch in your sauce.

Instead, dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of water beforehand, allowing all of the cornstarch particles to hydrate, before attempting to try and fully add it to the sauce.

Homemade teriyaki sauce in a white bowl with a spoon in it

How To Deepen The Flavor Of Your Teriyaki Sauce

This recipe will make a simple and delicious teriyaki sauce that is sweet, salty, and savory, perfect for all kinds of different applications.

However, if you are interested in a deeper, more intense flavor profile, there are a few easy changes you can make.

For example, for a more complex sweetness, try swapping out a little bit of the brown sugar for some mirin or even sake. Mirin is essentially a very sweet wine used to help deepen the flavor of many Asian sauces and dips, and it can work really well in a homemade teriyaki.

You can also try playing around with the type of soy sauce you use.

While the standard choice of light or dark soy sauce is perfectly fine, there are actually a variety of really interesting soy sauces available, each with an interesting and unique flavor profile. Some are saltier, others sweeter, and still others have a sort of fermented flavor profile when you use them.

Try playing around with your teriyaki sauce and see what kind of thing you like!

Looking for more delicious Sauce recipes? Try these out:

Garlic Butter Sauce

Garlic Alfredo

Tartar Sauce Recipe

Happy Cooking



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Incredibly versatile and appropriate as a sauce, marinade, or even a dip, teriyaki sauce is a mainstay of any Asian food lover's kitchen.

Homemade Teriyaki sauce

Incredibly versatile and appropriate as a sauce, marinade, or even a dip, teriyaki sauce is a mainstay of any Asian food lover's kitchen.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
1.5 cups
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  • Over medium heat in a saucepan combine 1 cup water, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ground ginger, onion powder and minced garlic. Cook until heated through about 1-2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with the 1/4 cup water until dissolved.
  • Add the cornstarch mix to the saucepan whisking so it doesn't lump. Cook until the sauce has thickened about 5-7 minutes.
  • If the sauce is too thick add a tablespoon or two of water to thin it out.

Recipe Notes

After adding sauce to your main dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 3268mg, Potassium: 214mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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