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10 August 2020

This homemade teriyaki sauce recipe has just the right amount of sweet, with a touch of heat added in the form of chili flakes. Perfect for stir fry, chicken wings, grilled or broiled chicken or even meatballs.

I’ve been craving teriyaki sauce lately. As I continue to operate Chili Pepper Madness and cook with chili peppers of all types, I find myself moving all over the globe in terms of cuisine and recipe choices. The thing is, chili peppers are used worldwide, so if you’re into exploring food culture, all you need to do is follow the peppers of that region.

In the last few years, I’ve found myself more and more interested in Asian cuisine. That is a broad statement, I know. Just like “American Cuisine” has multiple influences and distinctive components, the continent of Asia is massive and one could spend a lifetime exploring its different cuisines and cultures.

If you can recommend a good book for me to help me along, send me links, please!

I’m still dipping my toe into some cuisines, so I’m starting with a simple yet incredibly popular one that you’ll want to keep in your recipe box – Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce.

Stirring Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is sweet and versatile and ideal for many popular dishes. I like to have it around for quick and easy weeknight meals, like Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Shrimp or even Teriyaki Salmon, one of my favorites. It’s a great sauce or glaze and adds a pop of flavor, and heat if you make it my way, to just about any meal.

What is Teriyaki?

The word “Teriyaki” refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling foods with a sweet glaze. It originates from Japan and the sauce itself is a sticky sweet sauce made primarily of soy sauce, mirin and sugar. You’ve most likely enjoyed it in a Japanese restaurant or Mongolian.

Teriyaki is also hugely popular in America, often made with more local ingredients, though the taste is one you’ll find rather addictive and something worth going back to over and over again.

Like me, lately. I want teriyaki! Let’s talk about how we make it homemade, shall we?

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce. Use ½ cup soy sauce for this recipe. Soy sauce is the base.
  • Sweet Element. I use 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon honey. I love the combination.
  • Fresh Ingredients. Use 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger. You can use powdered version, though I prefer fresh.
  • Liquids. Use 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 3 tablespoons mirin (or rice wine), and 1/2 cup water for thinning and simmering.
  • Thickening. If desired, use ¼ cup cold water mixed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Spice It Up. Use 1 tablespoon chili flakes, if you prefer a spicier version, like I do. You can skip it if you’d like.

Making Teriyaki Sauce in a pot

How to Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Whisk the Ingredients. In a nutshell, you’ll add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, chili flakes, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and mirin to a small pot.

Simmer the Sauce. Heat the pot to medium heat and simmer it for a few minutes until it thickens up and develops more flavor, stirring occasionally. 

Thicken the Sauce. Swirl in a bit of corn starch that has been whisked with water and bring the mixture to a quick boil. Stir until the sauce thickens. You can skip this step if you prefer a thinner teriyaki sauce.

Strain. You can strain your teriyaki sauce at this point to remove any of the solids, like the ginger or garlic, but I leave them in. Super tasty.

Cool and Serve. Let it cool and you’re free to use your teriyaki sauce however you like.

Boom! Easy enough, isn’t it? It’s a very easy recipe. I like to make a larger batch and store it in the refrigerator for using throughout the week.

Sweet and spicy Teriyaki Sauce dripping from a spoon

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is So Much Better

You can easily find teriyaki sauce at your local grocer, attesting to its large popularity here in the states, but once you learn how to make it at home, you’ll find no reason to purchase the store bought stuff again. Especially when you can spice it up like I do.

I do love the sweetness of a good teriyaki, but I like a spicier version even more so. I find a little bit of heat helps to balance out the sweetness, and it goes perfectly with many different stars of your dish.

It’s such a great recipe. I love mine with just a touch of heat.

Spicy Teriyaki Sauce on a spoon, in a bowl

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Heat Factor. You’ll get GREAT flavor with this sauce based on the ingredients combination alone, but the heat factor is adjustable by the inclusion of chili flakes. Use hotter peppers to really up that heat factor, or sprinkle in a spicy chili powder to your preference. You can lower the heat by skipping the chili flakes altogether.
  • Other Ingredients. You can vary up the recipe with other ingredients. Pineapple juice is a popular addition for sweetness. Swirl in some sesame seeds for texture, or sprinkle them onto your served foods. Try it with different brands and types of soy sauce as well for interesting results.
  • Serving Teriyaki Sauce. Try it out with grilled shrimp, chicken breast, chicken wings, meatballs, or even burgers. You know you want to try a Teriyaki Burger now, don’t you? Here are some great teriyaki recipes to try: Teriyaki Chicken, Spicy Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry, Teriyaki Salmon. Or try my Sweet and Spicy Teriyaki Marinade.

I hope you enjoy it! Let me know how it turns out for you.

Try Some of My Other Delicious Recipes

Teriyaki Sauce on a spoon

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

This homemade teriyaki sauce recipe has just the right amount of sweet, with a touch of heat added in the form of chili flakes. Perfect for stir fry, chicken wings, grilled or broiled chicken or even meatballs.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: asian, sauce, Teriyaki
Servings: 8
Calories: 62kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes omit if you don't want spicy
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • To a small pot, add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, chili flakes, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and mirin.
  • In a small bowl, swirl together cold water and cornstarch until you have a thin slurry. Pour into the pot and stir to incorporate.
  • Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes to thicken and allow the flavors to develop.
  • Remove from heat, cool, and store in the fridge. Strain, if desired. Keeps a week or so.

Notes

Makes about 2 cups.
You'll get GREAT flavor with this sauce based on the ingredients combination alone, but the heat factor is adjustable by the inclusion of chili flakes. Use hotter peppers to really up that heat factor, or sprinkle in a spicy chili powder to your preference.
You can lower the heat by skipping the chili flakes altogether.

Nutrition

Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 59mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.6mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 8/10/20 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 7/24/17.

20 comments

  1. 5 stars
    This Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is so delicious and flavorful. I used a low-sodium soy sauce as an alternative and I really love its lighter side. Glad I got to get all my needed ingredients in Karman Foods. Will definitely be cooking again this weekend.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this to go with some special eggs I made for my family and they are sure to love. I have been experimenting with cooking lately and found a really good recipe for eggs that my whole family seems to love and this teriyaki sauce pairs well with it. Thank you from some random teen in the world.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Micah! Glad they enjoyed it! Happy Cooking!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Mike, this sounds like exactly what I have been hunting for. Can I ask it it would be shelf stable. I would like to make a bunch and send it around the country to friends and family who I know will love it.
    Love your site and have made many of your recipes- all excellent.
    Thanks Mike

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Noel. This isn’t very shelf stable as is. You would probably need to add in an acid to lower the pH, such as vinegar or citrus. Shoot for a pH of 3.5 or lower for home cooking in order to preserve with a water bath method. I would also use dried ingredients, like garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. You can also look into a pressure canner. I hope this helps!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this over the weekend and it was fantastic! It took like 10 minutes to make and the flavor was perfect! Will be making this all the time.

  5. Deborah Byrd

    5 stars
    Your recipe is fantastic. I was born in Hawaii over 70 years ago and my Mother had a recipe so similar to yours. It was never written down and I just figured lost forever. The minute I read this recipe, I knew it was exactly the one I wanted. My Mother used a teriyaki sauce on top round steak, cut into individual portion size. She put the ingredients in a bowl, added the steak, peeled and cut up a papaya (it tenderizes) and put it in the refrigerator overnight. We could hardly wait until the next day to eat! Now, I’ve tried yours and it brings back all those memories of outdoor grilling. Thank you so much!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Outstanding! This is so great to hear, Deborah! Super happy you have found this, and very pleased to help you bring back pleasant memories. =)

  6. Love it, git to try, had a recipe , a long time ago. That used pineapple juice, it was very good. Lost the recipe, can’t find it anymore. Would you happen to know it?
    Can’t wait to try this one, sounds pretty good to me. Thank you so much , very appreciative.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I hope you enjoy it, Almyra. I don’t know of that recipe, but I think you can easily incorporate some pineapple juice or puree into this one for an extra touch of sweetness. Enjoy!

  7. Molly Halman

    5 stars
    Hello Michael,

    My husband and I love your teriyaki chicken recipe, we were wondering if you had a good general Tso chicken recipe that you like to use? We would be thrilled if you could help us out with that!

    Kind regards,
    ~M

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Molly, I have a recipe that I’m actually working on and it’s on my list to publish soon. Gotta give it my Chili Pepper Madness spin! I appreciate it!

      1. Molly Halman

        Can’t wait! We look forward to trying your chili pepper madness twist

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Mohdrafat, you can use rice vinegar instead. Let me know how it turns out for you! Enjoy.

  8. Mary Swetka Yu

    5 stars
    Thanks for this quick and easy teriyaki sauce. It had plenty of spice with the dried peppers that people use on pizza. I substituted walnut oil for the sesame since my husband is allergic. I couldn’t find Mirin at the first store I went to, but used rice vinegar with a bit of sugar. My only mistake was not dividing the sauce before I marinated my chicken it.

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