Teriyaki Sauce

This Teriyaki sauce is incredibly quick and simple to make. The recipe is reminiscent of Seattle-Style Teriyaki, where I was born and raised. Immigrant and restauranteur Toshihiro Kasahara is credited with creating his own unique spin on this dish in Seattle in the 1970’s, which really spurred what many restaurants across the US now serve as teriyaki- do a deep dive on that and you’ll find an interesting story of food history! This teriyaki sauce only requires a handful of pantry ingredients, that many people have constantly on hand, including soy sauce, sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic, powdered ginger, and black pepper. A cornstarch slurry creates a thick and saucy consistency that’s perfect for glazing over grilled chicken or steak. It also works well as a dipping sauce or condiment over rice bowls. I’ve included three methods to make this sauce, one for use as a marinade, one for use as a glaze for meats, and the last for dipping or use as a condiment.

Platter of teryaki grilled chicken

Ingredient and Equipment List

Teriyaki Sauce ingredients sitting on a counter
  • Soy Sauce – You’ll want to use a soy sauce that you like the flavor of, since it’s the main flavor component. If possible, I also recommend a low-sodium variety since the concentrated flavor can sometimes concentrate the saltiness as well.
  • Sugar– White granulated sugar gives this teriyaki sauce its signature sweet flavor and consistency.
  • Vinegar – I suggest a high quality apple cider vinegar with the “mother”, like Braggs. I also make this recipe with rice vinegar and it’s delicious. Avoid all other types of vinegar.
  • Garlic – You’ll use a clove of fresh garlic here. You could substitute garlic powder if you need to, but I do like the flavor and little pieces of the fresh garlic, so if I have it, I use it.
  • Ginger – Unlike the preferred fresh garlic, either fresh or powdered ginger works just fine. I actually prefer powdered, since it distributes well and tastes great.
  • Black Pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper gives flavor and a little bite.

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce

This is a simple walk-through to show you what is involved in making this recipe. Keep scrolling if you’d like to print off the full recipe card.

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. While sauce is heating, combine cornstarch and cold water. When sauce comes to a full boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Use immediately or store it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Teriyaki Sauce in a jar with a platter of chicken and bowl of green onions
grilled chicken being glazed with Teriyaki Sauce
Can I thicken teriyaki sauce with something other than cornstarch?

Cornstarch is the preferred thickening agent for this recipe because it keeps the sauce glossy and smooth and doesn’t impart a flavor into the finished sauce.

Why is my Teriyaki Sauce so salty?

Over the years I’ve had a batch or two of this sauce turn out overly salty and I’ve realized that some soy sauces that are naturally high in salt result in the sauce turning out too salty. I suggest using a soy sauce that you are familiar with and already know you like, and perhaps a low-sodium one. Make sure you don’t boil your sauce for an extended period of time, either. That will cause it to reduce, and intensify.

Can this be used as a marinade?

Yes, this sauce can be used to marinate cuts of meat, or as a finishing glaze. When making this for a marinade, I like to leave out the cornstarch. While the meat is marinading, I’ll make another batch with cornstarch to use for glazing.

I have a wheat allergy, can this be made with liquid aminos?

Yes! Readers have reported success with making this teriyaki sauce recipe using liquid aminos.

Can I make this sauce sugar free?

I have experimented with using sugar substitutes in this recipe and I personally have not enjoyed the results. However you can certainly experiment with your favorite sugar alternatives and see if you like it!

Serving Suggestions

  • Try this sauce in these Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
  • Use it in this Teriyaki Chicken Alfredo Pasta (one of my favorite recipes!)
  • My favorite use for this sauce is to glaze grilled chicken thighs. I take boneless skinless thighs and season with onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and just a tiny sprinkle of salt. Grill until just about to temperature (165°) and then turn down the heat and baste in teriyaki sauce, flipping each side once. You can also roast the thighs in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 425°, basting with sauce and flipping occasionally throughout cooking.
  • Try serving Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with with this Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice.
  • Try glazing teriyaki sauce over grilled flank steak and serve with rice and Grilled Honey-Sesame Bok Choy.
  • For a Hawaiian style meal, make Teriyaki Chicken Thighs and serve with rice and Macaroni Salad.
Teriyaki Sauce in a serving glass jar

Teriyaki Sauce

5 from 3 votes
This quick and easy teriyaki sauce recipe and glaze uses a handful of pantry ingredients to make a delicious and versatile Teriyaki sauce, great for glazing grilled meats or using as a condiment. Makes just under 1 cup of sauce as written. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings1 -2 cups


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce low sodium if possible
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar I like Braggs
  • 1 clove garlic pressed or very finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/2 tablespoons fresh
  • 2-3 cracks freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Optional: additional cornstarch and water- see note!


  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • While sauce is heating, combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl.
  • When sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and add cornstarch mixture.  Stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat use immediately, or store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.


DIPPING SAUCE OR CONDIMENT: This sauce is intentionally strong and seasoned as written.  This works well for glazing meats where the flavor is dispersed.  If I use this sauce as a condiment for dipping things, or to drizzle over food and I want a less intense sauce, I just add 1 cup of water to the mixture in step 1, and increase the cornstarch slurry to 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoon water. This method yields just under 2 cups of a more mild of sauce. 
MARINADE: When making this sauce for a marinade, I like leave out the cornstarch slurry and mix all ingredients cold until the sugar is dissolved.  Use this to marinate chicken thighs. I will whip up a second batch with cornstarch to use as the glaze after, or another option is, after your chicken is done marinating, you can then transfer the leftover liquid to a pan and cook fully on the stove top, thickening with the cornstarch at that point.  You'll want to bring to a full boil and continue to simmer to fully cook, since it contains raw chicken juices. 
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: teriyaki sauce
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. My favorite teriyaki is Yoshidas, but I can’t find it in Arkansas! So I turned to your blog and I really love this teriyaki too. I also discovered that by adding 1/4 t of curry powder it taste almost exactly like my favorite sauce. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. made this sauce last night and I have to say it was the BEST!!! Mmmmmmmm, soooo yummy! 🙂

  3. Hello. I am a beginner in cooking. I saw from the comments that adding sake would be awesome. I was just wondering how much should I add of sake or mirin? Thank you. Hope to hear from you soon. (:

    1. Sorry Yuna, we won’t be much help. We don’t drink alcohol so we’ve never added either of those things!

  4. Wonderful recipe! I tried it for tonight’s dinner and my husband couldn’t resist a second serving of my chicken teriyaki bowl! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. I’ve made the teriyaki sauce at least 3times already, everyone loves it. I’ve tried it with beef and chicken and the sauce is amazing. It tastes way better than from the bottle. Thanks so, much for making my parties a success.

  6. This is a serious success!!! I just made this sauce and pork/beef skewers. They were a HIT! thank you very much for sharing!!

  7. Your blog is the ultimate cooking blog! Thank you very much for all your tips and delicious recipes, even an amateur like me can make them work. Keep it up!

  8. If I use frozen chicken tenders, would this work in the oven? If so, how long would I cook them do you think? Should I marinate them first in the sauce? Thank you. I just love this blog!!!

  9. Oh my deliciousness! Just had it with some chicken breasts and I CANNOT tell you how in love with it I am! Thank you!

  10. This sauce is converted to gluten-free by simply choosing gluten free soy sauce like La Choy.

  11. Hi Kate and Sara! I enjoy perusing your website. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. I just wondered–how long will this recipe keep? I am just looking for a fun recipe for a bunch of 8-9 year old girls to make for an activity on June 14 to give for Father’s Day . . . will this still be good for Father’s Day on June 19? Do you have any other ideas/recipes from your site that I could use for this activity. I was also looking at Sara’s marinade for fajitas, but had the same question . . . how long will that marinade keep? Maybe I should stick with just a cookie mix in a jar and call it good. THANK YOU! You are both amazing!

  12. So I just discovered your page today and CANNOT wait to try lots of your recipes! This sounds to good and easy to be try. Love being able to control the sodium and cost co,pared to store bought teriyaki sauce! Seems yummy for kabobs and am gonna use it later this week for your Hawaiian turkey burgers! Thanks for sharing!

  13. My FAVORITE recipe using ALOHA SOY SAUCE requires 4 simple ingredients and 3 hours to deliciousness..

    Equal parts Aloha Soy Sauce, Water, and Sugar.

    Bring those ingredients to a boil and add however many frozen, (yes, I said frozen) boneless skinless chicken thighs to the pot, WATCH CLOSELY as you bring it back up to a boil, once it boils, turn it down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 3 hours. Serve over rice. my emsil is [email protected] if you have any questions. Feel free to post it to your blog.

  14. wonderful. I have never tasted anything that comes close to being this good. At the end of cooking mine I added some Weber Chicago seasoning and it kicked up the spice which is how I like it.

  15. You are amazing!!!! I am so excited to be able to make a gluten free teriyaki for my family. This will come in extremely handy for so many different things thanks so much.

  16. I love teriyaki sauce and I recently found out that I have celiac disease…. which means that I can't have store-bought teriyaki sauce.

    Thank you for providing me with a recipe that I can use (with GF soy sauce substitute) to make gluten-free with a flavor that I LOVE. You're recipes are the BEST!!

    Merry Christmas 🙂

  17. This was great – my family loved it (and that included a very picky 4 year old boy!) I will never buy teriyaki sauce again. Thanks for another great recipe!

  18. I made this the other day for my family. They loved it, but sadly, I found I don’t care that much for teriyaki. 🙁

  19. I made a double batch of this last night and it is so good! I baked a chicken breast in the oven and marinated it with this sauce and then stirfried it with a bunch of veggies and put it over rice. YUM!

  20. Kate, next time I see you I’m going to give you a big fat kiss! I did have all these ingredients on hand, and it was so easy to make! It is REALLY rare that what I attempt to cook actually turns out, and even rarer if it takes good – and this hit it out of the park! Shane and I are SO grateful for you posting this recipe. It was absolutely divine. Next time I’m at the store, I’m stocking up on soy sauce!

  21. Yeah, definitely add some Saki. That gives it JUST the zing you need. I have made this sauce and it’s YUM. Makes me feel so Asian…

  22. I agree-your website is wonderful! Try adding a little Saki wine to your sauce and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  23. I agree-your website is wonderful! Try adding a little Saki wine to your sauce and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  24. I agree-your website is wonderful! Try adding a little Saki wine to your sauce and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  25. You’re blog is the best! Simply put it inspires my style of cooking, thanks for doing such a great job!

  26. I made this once to use with Kate’s recipe for teryaki bacon wrapped chicken skewers (which I’m SURE she’ll share with us one of these days, they’re delish) and I thought it was really great. I used fresh ginger in mine and I loved the flavor.