The best teriyaki marinade recipe is both sweet and just a touch spicy, perfect for adding next level flavor to chicken, pork, shrimp or fish! This is my favorite!
Now that grilling season is closing in on us, it's time to start thinking about the flavor building technique that can elevate just about any protein from "bland" to "grand" with hardly any effort.
We're talking MARINADES, and today, we're making Homemade Teriyaki Marinade, a huge flavor builder.
A good marinade can impart a huge amount of flavor to your recipe, and in most cases, it is extremely easy to whip together. Most are made with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry or refrigerator, and, crucially, they can be ready at a moment's notice.
The Benefits of Marinating
Marinating is an important component of building flavor. A good marinade, like this wonderful teriyaki marinade, will add flavor to any type of protein. It also helps to add moisture as well as tenderize tough cuts of meat.
Most cooks like to marinate meats - think thin cuts of steak, pork (pork chops, pork loin), chicken (chicken breast, chicken thighs, legs and wings), and many seafood items like shrimp or fish fillets. You don’t need to limit yourself to marinating only meats, however. Vegetables can also benefit from a flavorful marinade.
Try marinating asparagus, then tossing them on the grill. Outstanding flavor.
Let's talk about how to make teriyaki marinade, shall we?
This is better than any store bought recipe.
Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients
- Soy Sauce.
- Brown Sugar.
- Green Onion.
- Garlic. I prefer fresh garlic.
- Ginger. I prefer fresh ginger, though powdered ginger is good, too.
- Sesame Oil.
- White Vinegar.
- For a Spicy Version
- Jalapeno Pepper.
- Chili Flakes.
How to Make Teriyaki Marinade - the Recipe Method
Whisk the Marinade Ingredients. First, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl - including soy sauce, water, brown sugar, peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, honey, sesame oil and vinegar. Whisk them together to combine.
Marinate Your Protein or Vegetables. For marinating, submerge your protein or vegetables completely in the marinade, or seal them with the marinade in a plastic bag.
Here I'm marinating some chopped chicken breasts in a glass bowl.
Marinate in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
BOOM! Easy enough, right? Teriyaki marinade is so easy to make, and brings huge flavor to whatever you're cooking.
Recipe Tips and Notes
How Long Should I Marinate Meats?
Denser meats like chicken and pork should marinate for 2-3 hours, though you can marinate them 12 hours to 24 hours for more flavor penetration. Delicate proteins, like fish and shrimp, should only be marinated for 30 minutes or so. Do not marinate fish for too long, as it can ruin the texture of the protein.
Can I Use This as a Teriyaki Sauce?
You can use these exact recipe ingredients to make a Sweet and Spicy Teriyaki Sauce Recipe, but only make this fresh. Do not make the sauce from used marinade. Here are the steps.
- Swirl 2 teaspoons of cornstarch together with ¼ cup of water.
- Next, whisk all of the ingredients together, then heat the marinade in a small pot. Add in the cornstarch mixture.
- Stir, simmering, 3-4 minutes or until the marinade thickens into a sauce.
- Use the sauce to drizzle over your grilled chicken, grilled pork chops, grilled shrimp, whatever you're making, or as a great dipping sauce. It's also great to use with stir fry.
Delicious! Try it on my Sweet & Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe!
I use a bit of water to thin out my teriyaki marinade, though you can use other liquids, like pineapple juice, which will add even more flavor. Don't use too much, though, as it is quite acidic and can wind up cooking your proteins in the marinade.
Smoother Teriyaki Marinade
You'll notice the marinade is quite chunky from all the bits of onion, peppers, garlic and ginger. I wind up straining those out if I'm going to make a sauce, but keep them in for the marinade. They add a lot of flavor.
The Heat/Spicy Factor
For the spicy element, I've included jalapeno peppers and spicy chili flakes. If you're concerned about too much heat, core out the jalapeno peppers, or omit them. You can dial back on the chili flakes as well.
If you'd like a spicier marinade, go with hotter peppers, like the serrano pepper, habanero pepper, or even a ghost pepper or two. Go crazy, my chilihead friends!
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your teriyaki marinade! It's nice and sweet and spicy and just what you need! Time to get grilling! Let me know how it turns out for you.
Try Some of My Other Popular Marinade & Sauce Recipes
These are perfect for the grilling season!
- Jerk Marinade
- Jamaican Jerk Sauce
- BBQ Chicken Marinade
- Steak Marinade
- London Broil Marinade
- Salmon Marinade
- Carne Asada Marinade
- Zingy Pork Chop Marinade
- Pork Tenderloin Marinade
- Peri Peri Sauce
- Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce
- Chipotle-Bacon-Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Easy Hoisin Sauce
If you make this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! -- Mike H.
Teriyaki Marinade Recipe (Sweet and Spicy!)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
- 1-2 green onions chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes omit if you don't want extra spicy
- 1 tablespoon honey optional for extra sweet
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- For marinating, submerge your protein or vegetables completely in the marinade, or seal them with the marinade in a plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
This is a great marinade! I used serrano peppers since they are more consistent heat wise than jalapenos and the spice level was perfect. I used this recipe to marinate large shell on shrimp, grilled them up and everyone was happy!
Mike Hultquist says
Glad you enjoyed it, Severina! I love this with shrimp. Having some tonight!
ChiliHead In Mexico says
I usually use my marinade to make it into a sauce after, I just add some more water, blend then cook down. As long as it comes up to food safe temps. I don't see any health hazards here. Even if starting with raw chicken.
Mike Hultquist says
Yep, many recipes are done this way.
Made it, loved it, making it again!
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says