Japanese Restaurant-Style Teriyaki Sauce

Japanese Restaurant-Style Teriyaki Sauce

The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
113 Calories
0g Fat
22g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 113
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1751mg 76%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 143mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Japanese-style teriyaki sauce recipe, similar to that which is often enjoyed at restaurants, can be easily made at home with just a few simple pantry ingredients in only 10 to 15 minutes.​​

Teriyaki sauce is made using a combination of soy sauce, mirin (a sweet cooking sake), and sugar. While it can be made with just soy sauce and sugar, the addition of mirin adds a beautiful luster to the sauce and mimics that restaurant quality feel. It's sweet, tangy, and a little sticky.

If you are looking to add to your repertoire of Asian cooking skills, this sauce is a great one to know how to make. Because it's easy and requires pantry staples, if you have some vegetables and a protein such as chicken or shrimp at home and the ingredients for teriyaki sauce, dinner can come together very quickly, even on a weeknight.

Traditional Japanese teriyaki sauce is thin in texture, in contrast to the typical bottled teriyaki sauce which tends to be very thick and sticky.

Westernized recipes for teriyaki sauce may include the addition of a slurry of cornstarch and water (1-to-1 ratio) to thicken the sauce, but the addition of a cornstarch slurry is entirely up to you.

"This recipe works great as a marinade and a sauce, for glazing and dipping. Be careful, as it will burn easily due to the sugar content. Add the optional garlic and ginger as it gives depth and complexity to the sauce. Because this sauce isn’t thickened like familiar versions of teriyaki, it freezes very well." —Rick Horiike

Japanese Restaurant-Style Teriyaki Sauce Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup mirin

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger root, optional

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Japanese Restaurant-Style Teriyaki Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Add more sugar, if desired.

    Soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a skillet for teriyaki sauce

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. If you are using the optional fresh gingerroot and/or garlic, slice or chop the ginger and garlic and add it to the other ingredients. Over medium-high, heat skillet while stirring the mixture well.

    Teriyaki sauce recipe in a skillet with garlic and ginger

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Lower heat to medium and bring sauce to a boil, then turn down the heat to low. Simmer sauce for a few minutes until it reduces slightly.

    Teriyaki sauce recipe reducing in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Remove pan from heat and allow teriyaki sauce to cool.

    Japanese Restaurant-Style Teriyaki Sauce in a skillet

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  6. If you added gingerroot or garlic to the sauce, strain the sauce to remove the ginger and garlic pieces using a strainer.

    Garlic and ginger strained out of teriyaki sauce over a measuring cup

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Tips

  • When making teriyaki sauce, the general rule for ingredients is a ratio of 1 to 1. For example, this recipe uses one part soy sauce (1/2 cup) to one part mirin (1/2 cup). Granulated white sugar is added to taste.
  • Another simple teriyaki sauce recipe is a ratio of 1 to 1 with equal parts of soy sauce and granulated white sugar. This recipe works great if you do not have mirin in your pantry or if the ingredient is not easily accessible to you. 
  • Adding ginger and garlic is optional, but if you do choose to use them, how you use them can impact the taste. If you want a mild flavor, slice them into big pieces. For a bolder flavor, chop them finely. You can vary the amount that you add to suit your taste as well.

How to Store Teriyaki Sauce

If you want to make this ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or make a double batch so you have some on hand, teriyaki sauce will keep in a tightly sealed container for a long period of time (a small plastic lidded one works well), but will taste best if you use it within a week.