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This Teriyaki Sauce is the sticky, sweet and savory sauce that’s authentically Japanese and totally addictive. Use it for a variety of dishes including teriyaki shrimp, teriyaki chicken and more. It’s easy to make and tastes so much better than bottled, store-bought sauce. Plus video tutorial! I have to share my favorite teriyaki sauce and you will agree it’s the best recipe out there! I learned to perfect teriyaki recipes while living in Tokyo. There are a few secret ingredients and small tricks that set it apart from all the rest. I recently made Teriyaki Chicken for a dinner party and it was a huge hit!
This teriyaki sauce (照り焼きのたれ) is thick and sticky and the flavor is out of this world. It uses only 4 ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make at home with restaurant quality! It has the balanced combination between sweet and savory accents, and I use this versatile recipe on almost everything: chicken, salmon, shrimp, beef, tofu, meatballs, salad and even appetizers. My family and friends always rave about this teriyaki sauce whenever I make it!
Delicious, versatile, quick and easy! You cannot beat it!
How to make Teriyaki Sauce
- So easy! Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for a few minutes, until thickened and syrupy.
Want more easy recipes? Of course you do!
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- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced (can sub powdered)
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger can sub powdered
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbs cornstarch blended with 2water
- Cooked chicken
- Sesame seeds optional
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 2-3 mins until thickened.
- Drizzle over cooked chicken and rice.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
There are only 2 easy steps and 4 simple ingredients to make Teriyaki Sauce. It is made of soy sauce, sake (or white wine), Mirin and sugar. First combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, then bring it to a simmer in a saucepan. You are done!
Simply use 1-1-1 ratio rules for the first 3 ingredients: soy sauce, mirin and sake (or white wine). For example, if you add ½ cup soy sauce, then you will need ½ cup mirin and ½ cup sake or white wine. Then you add in sugar to taste. That’s it! Easy to remember too!
Ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes are optional.
After you add the mixture to a sauce pan, first bring to boil over medium high heat. Then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently.
The sauce will start to thicken as it simmers. If you want the sauce to coat your food, it will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes, whereas some people prefer a more liquid sauce that only takes 5 minutes. Remember NOT to over-thicken it as the sauce will become thicker as it cools.
Remove from heat, and you can use immediately or refrigerate it and use it later.
Note: It’s important to stir constantly while the sauce is simmering to prevent your teriyaki sauce from burning.
If you are in a rush and need the sauce to be ready right away, simply mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp COLD water and then add to your sauce. Stir it in and allow to boil for 30-60 seconds and it will have thickened.
Here is a process demo and you will see how easy it is to make this recipe.
Teriyaki sauce is easy to make ahead, and you can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Simply double or triple the recipe, and use a larger saucepan for quick boiling.
Tips and Secrets for Making the Best Teriyaki Sauce
- Use high-quality soy sauce. It is the magic for the best teriyaki sauce. You can choose low-sodium soy sauce if you want to lower your salt intake.
- After you bring the mixed liquid to a boil, you need to reduce the heat to medium-low and stir constantly to prevent the sauce from burning. DO NOT leave it unattended.
- Ginger and garlic are optional for Teriyaki Sauce. If you choose to add them, slice them into big pieces, and strain the sauce to remove them before you use the sauce.
- To achieve the best results, it’s better to let the sauce to boil down and you will get that sticky and shinny look. Adding cornstarch and water mixture will make your sauce cloudy.
- Don’t boil down the sauce too much as it will thicken when cools down.
What is mirin?
Mirin (味醂 or みりん in Japanese) is a Japanese cooking rice wine with subtle sweet accents that gives the food a nice luster. It’s a common ingredient in Japanese cooking, and you can find it in most grocery stores or online. If you are in a crunch, you can easily substitute Mirin with dry white wine and sugar.
Mirin and Sake Substitutes
When you don’t have mirin or sake on hand, here is an alternative way to make delicious Teriyaki Sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vinegar apple cider
- ¼ cup sugar or honey,
- ½ tsp minced ginger
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Salt and pepper to taste
This recipe makes enough for 1-1½ pound of meat or fish.
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- 1 lb chicken thighs deboned, skin-on
- White sesame seeds for garnishing
- Lightly season both sides of the chicken thighs with a little salt. Combine all the ingredients of the Teriyaki Sauce in a sauce pan. On medium heat, reduce it to a thicker consistency about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat up a non-stick skillet on high heat. Pan-fry the chicken thighs (skin-side down first) until both sides are nicely browned and cooked through. The skin should be pan-fried to a crackly crispy texture. Turn off the heat, transfer the chicken out. Let cool. Slice the chicken thighs into pieces and drizzle the teriyaki sauce over the chicken and garnish with some sesame seeds. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
You may use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs but the best is skin-on, boneless chicken thighs. Click to learn how to debone chicken thighs (picture guide and video).
Calories 435 Calories from Fat 130 Total Carbohydrates 17.3g 6%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.