Homemade sauces and condiments always taste better than store bought, and this delicious Honey Teriyaki Sauce is no exception. And you won't believe how easy it is to make!
What is Teriyaki Sauce?
Teriyaki Sauce, as opposed to teriyaki marinade, is meant to be a glaze or grilling sauce. A teriyaki marinade is made with the same ingredients as teriyaki sauce, but it is not cooked or thickened before marinating. We can also use this Honey Teriyaki recipe as a marinade by skipping the cooking step, which thickens the sauce.
Teriyaki is a combination of two words. Teri, which in Japanese means "gloss", or "shine" and Yaki which means "grill". So, although we in North America think of teriyaki as a sauce or marinade, in Japan it's a cooking method.
What's to Love About This Recipe
- This sauce is thick and glossy, without cornstarch or any thickeners.
- It's super easy to make. Whisk everything together and cook for 5 minutes. That's it!
- Only 5 ingredients. No unpronounceable additives or preservatives.
- No refined sugar. Just honey, so it's not an overly sweet sauce.
- Takes just 5 minutes! Okay, 6 if you count the measuring of ingredients.
- Goes on everything. Chicken, salmon, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, noodles, rice, vegetables, you name it! Teriyaki sauce is one of the best all-around sauces there are, so it's worth making it yourself.
- Crazy delicious. So much better than anything on a store shelf.
Here's What You Need
- Honey. You can make this recipe vegan by replacing the honey with agave or corn syrup. Although maple syrup might work, I haven't tried it so I can't vouch. If you try it with maple syrup, please let me know how it went!
- Mirin. Mirin is a fermented rice wine that is a common ingredient in Japanese cooking. It's tart, rich, a bit syrupy, and slightly sweet. You can find it in the Asian section of your grocery store or on the link at the beginning of this paragraph and it's definitely worth looking for. If you haven't used mirin before, when you do, you will realize what's been missing when you cook Japanese recipes. However, if you absolutely can't find it, and don't want to buy it online, substitute rice vinegar and an extra tablespoon of honey.
- Soy Sauce. There's quite a lot of soy sauce in the recipe, so it can be very salty unless you use a low or reduced-sodium version. I use reduced-sodium tamari, which is gluten free. You can also find reduced-sodium gluten-free soy sauce in the grocery store.
- Garlic and Ginger. I love my little mini food chopper for making quick work of mincing both garlic and ginger.
How To Make It
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a small saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes before removing it from the heat and allowing the honey teriyaki sauce to cool.
- Use a non-reactive pan. Stainless steel works best.
- After bringing the sauce to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low or just to a simmer. Even then, it may bubble up, and you will need to watch it carefully and stir to prevent bubbling over.
- Brush teriyaki sauce on food at the end of cooking time. Because it is a sweet sauce, it can burn if brushed on the food too soon.
Yes, you can! Just skip the cooking step and marinate your protein or vegetables in the combined ingredients.
Your teriyaki sauce may seem thin when you remove it from the heat. But don't worry, it will thicken to the perfect consistency while it cools.
No cornstarch or any other thickening agent is required for this recipe! The sauce will thicken on its own while it simmers.
You can store homemade teriyaki sauce in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Regular soy sauce is made with wheat, so this recipe is only gluten-free if you use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce. As always, check labels carefully.
Yes, you can swap the honey for agave syrup or corn syrup to make this sauce vegan.
How To Use It
This honey teriyaki sauce is super versatile. Its delicious brushed on Grilled Asian Salmon Kebabs, or, instead of Chimichurri Sauce, on Grilled Pork Tenderloin. Use it on steaks, burgers, or stir-fries like Cabbage Stir-Fry or Steak & Asparagus Stir Fry. It's a perfect chicken wing sauce, and you can even use it as a dip for Air Fryer Asparagus Fries.
More Sauces To Try
Now that you've seen just how easy it is to make your own teriyaki sauce, you might also want to try these other simple sauces, too:
Honey Teriyaki Sauce
- 1.25 cup mirin
- 1.25 cup tamari or soy sauce reduced-sodium
- .25 cup honey
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk together all ingredients
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring down and bubbling for 4 minutes, or until the sauce has started to thicken.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely
- Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.