Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

This Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is the perfect marinade or sauce for chicken, beef, fish and vegetables. So versatile! And there’s no corn starch in it!

Teriyaki Sauce in blue ceramic dish with spoon

I’ve never been a huge fan of teriyaki sauces because they always seem very salty and strong to me (they hurt my mouth); and I want to taste my food, not just salt. But, we were getting ready to host our Beach Blanket Barbecue and I was looking for chicken skewer ideas. Teriyaki kept coming up so I figured, “why not make my own?” And I’m glad I did. It’s easy! This has so much more smooth flavor than any commercial sauce I’ve tasted. (Maybe because I use low-sodium soy sauce.)

teriyaki sauce drizzling out of a spoon

How to make Teriyaki Sauce without corn starch

Many recipes for this sauce call for a corn starch slurry. I imagine this is because the cooks want to get it done fast. This sauce is not as fast, but it is easy.

You simply mix the 5 ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. You can then let it remain at a low simmer until it is reduced by about one-third… or until it’s as thick as you want. Just stir occasionally during the simmer. It takes about 20 minutes, but exact timing will depend on your pan, your stove, etc.

The mirin is the ingredient that contributes to the smooth, sweet tanginess of this homemade sauce. If you’re wondering what mirin is and/or what is a good substitute, Bon Appetit has all the info.

overhead shot of teriyaki sauce

How long will my homemade sauce last?

This homemade sauce will last about 3 weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. But if you have time and make a large batch, why not freeze some? Freeze in ice cube trays, OR go ahead and put your meat in a freezer safe sealable bag with some sauce to marinate and freeze it that way. All ready to cook!

How should I use my Teriyaki Sauce?

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Easy Teriyaki Sauce

This smooth, tangy sauce can be used on chicken, beef, fish or vegetables.
You can double this recipe or halve it. Just know that the timing will be different depending on the volume of liquid you have in your pan.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: Teriyaki Sauce
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Anna


  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (about a teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


  • Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Set heat so the sauce is at a simmer and cook until sauce is reduced by about 1/3. This should take about 20 minutes. I use a toothpick when I first put the sauce on then mark the line where the liquid stops. It is easy to then re-use the toothpick and see much the sauce has reduced.


Gr8 Make Ahead Tips:
  • The sauce can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 
  • Or FREEZE it!
    • In ice cube trays
    • Or put your meat in a resealable freezer safe plastic bag with the sauce and freeze. Ready to go when you are!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!

About The Author


  1. Anna | 4th Aug 19

    I know, right!?!? Easy peasy and so good! And you’re welcome, we love a good wing recipe!

  2. Ellen | 4th Aug 19

    I never knew how easy making homemade teriyaki sauce was. I definitely need try it. Thank you also for including my Polynesian Chicken Wings.

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