A delicious homemade teriyaki sauce is guaranteed with our easy-to-follow recipe. Achieve the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors using only 6 simple ingredients – garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, and water! Perfect for marinades, stir-fries, glazing, dipping and so much more you’ll never go back to the store-bought variety.
Every time I’m in a mall food court, you can be sure that if I get hungry, I will get chicken teriyaki over rice! I just love the sweet, savory, and umami flavors in the teriyaki sauce that coats the chicken and gives it so much flavor! It is a big favorite of mine.
What is Teriyaki Sauce?
Teriyaki sauce is a flavorful and versatile Japanese condiment that’s known for its distinct sweet and savory taste. It’s commonly used to marinade and glaze meats, seafood, and vegetables, as well as to add flavor to stir-fries and other dishes. The sauce is made from a blend of key ingredients, typically including soy sauce, sugar, and additional seasonings.
The word “teriyaki” is derived from the Japanese terms “teri,” which means shiny or glossy, and “yaki,” which means grilled or broiled. This reflects the sauce’s characteristic sheen and its traditional use in grilling and broiling. Teriyaki sauce is known for its ability to create a caramelized, flavorful coating on foods, giving them an appealing appearance and enhancing their taste.
Why would you love this homemade recipe for teriyaki sauce.
- Customizable Flavor: Making your own teriyaki sauce allows you to adjust the ingredients to match your preferred taste. You can tweak the levels of sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness to create a sauce that perfectly suits your palate.
- Fresh Ingredients: Using fresh garlic and ginger provides a vibrant and authentic flavor profile.
- Balanced Sweet-Savory Combination: The combination of sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger results in a beautifully balanced sauce with the ideal blend of sweetness and umami. This harmony of flavors is what makes teriyaki sauce so beloved.
- Versatile Applications: This teriyaki sauce isn’t limited to a single type of dish. It can be used as a marinade, glaze, stir-fry sauce, or dipping sauce, making it incredibly versatile and suitable for a wide range of culinary creations.
- Control over Ingredients: When you make your own teriyaki sauce, you have control over the quality and source of the ingredients. This can be especially important for those who prefer organic, non-GMO, or low-sodium options.
- Longer Shelf Life: By making a larger batch, you can store the teriyaki sauce in the refrigerator for several weeks, ensuring that you always have a delicious flavor enhancer on hand.
- Cost-Effective: Creating your own teriyaki sauce can be more cost-effective in the long run, especially if you cook with it frequently. Buying individual bottles of pre-made sauce can add up over time.
What are the ingredients for this homemade teriyaki sauce?
- Water: Water is the base of the teriyaki sauce. It provides the liquid needed to dissolve and combine the other ingredients. Water helps create the right consistency for the sauce and allows the flavors of the other ingredients to meld together.
- Sugar: Sugar is responsible for adding the sweet element to teriyaki sauce. The sweetness counterbalances the saltiness of the soy sauce and enhances the overall depth of the sauce.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a key component of teriyaki sauce, providing the umami-rich and savory flavor that characterizes the sauce. It also contributes saltiness, which combines with the sweetness of the sugar to create the signature sweet-savory profile of teriyaki sauce.
- Garlic, minced: Garlic is a pungent and aromatic ingredient that adds depth and complexity to the sauce. When minced and incorporated into the sauce, it infuses a distinct garlic flavor that harmonizes with the other components. Garlic contributes a savory note that complements the sweet and salty elements.
- Ginger, minced or freshly grated: Ginger adds a bright and zesty dimension to the teriyaki sauce. Freshly minced or grated ginger brings a slightly spicy and citrusy undertone, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
- Ground black pepper: Ground black pepper introduces a subtle touch of spiciness and warmth to the teriyaki sauce. The pepper complements the other flavors and helps cut through the sweetness, preventing the sauce from becoming overly cloying. It adds complexity without overpowering the overall taste.
When combined, these ingredients create a homemade teriyaki sauce with a well-rounded flavor profile. The sweet sugar, savory soy sauce, aromatic garlic and ginger, and the gentle heat from the black pepper come together to form a versatile condiment that can be used to enhance a wide variety of dishes. The careful balance of these elements is what makes teriyaki sauce a beloved and adaptable flavor enhancer in both traditional and modern cuisines.
How do you make this homemade teriyaki sauce?
Combine and mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let it sit for 1 hour before using it as a marinade.
Once your ingredients are mixed and you prefer a thicker sauce that you can use as glaze or dipping, let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat. Allow it to gently bubble for about 15-20 minutes. This simmering process not only melds the flavors but also reduces the sauce, resulting in a thicker consistency that clings beautifully to your dishes.
What can I use teriyaki sauce for?
The homemade teriyaki sauce you’ve prepared using the provided recipe can be used in a multitude of ways to enhance a wide range of dishes. Here are some of the many uses for your homemade teriyaki sauce:
- Marinade: The teriyaki sauce works wonderfully as a marinade for various proteins, such as chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu. Allow your protein to soak in the sauce for a few hours before cooking, and then grill, pan-fry, or bake it for a flavorful and caramelized finish.
- Stir-Fries: Use the teriyaki sauce as a stir-fry sauce by adding it to your sautéed vegetables and protein. The sauce will coat the ingredients, infusing them with its rich flavor and creating a glossy glaze.
- Grilling: Brush the teriyaki sauce onto meats, seafood, or vegetables as they grill. The sauce’s sugars will caramelize over the heat, creating a deliciously charred and glazed exterior.
- Rice and Noodle Bowls: Drizzle the teriyaki sauce over rice bowls, noodle dishes, or grain-based salads to add depth and complexity to these simple yet satisfying meals.
- Glaze: Use the teriyaki sauce as a glaze for roasted or baked dishes. It can be brushed onto meats, like chicken wings or ribs, during the cooking process to create a flavorful and sticky glaze.
- Dipping Sauce: Serve the teriyaki sauce as a dipping condiment alongside appetizers such as spring rolls, dumplings, potstickers, or tempura. Its balanced flavors can complement a wide range of finger foods.
- Sandwiches and Wraps: Incorporate the teriyaki sauce into sandwiches, wraps, or sliders for an unexpected burst of flavor. It works particularly well with grilled chicken or beef.
- Salad Dressing: Create a unique salad dressing by combining the teriyaki sauce with some oil, vinegar, and additional seasonings. This can add an Asian-inspired twist to your salads.
- Sushi and Sashimi: Use the teriyaki sauce as a dipping sauce for sushi rolls, sashimi, or nigiri. Its savory-sweet profile can complement the freshness of the seafood.
- Tofu and Vegetable Dishes: Add the teriyaki sauce to pan-seared or roasted tofu and vegetables for a delightful glaze that enhances their natural flavors.
- Burgers: Elevate your burger game by using the teriyaki sauce as a topping. It can provide a unique and flavorful alternative to traditional condiments.
- Meal Prep: Incorporate the teriyaki sauce into your meal prep routine. Marinate protein in advance, cook it and pair it with grains and vegetables for quick and delicious meals throughout the week.
- Snacks: Use the teriyaki sauce to create flavorful snacks like teriyaki jerky, roasted nuts, or crispy chickpeas.
Remember that the key to using teriyaki sauce is moderation; its flavors are potent, so a little goes a long way. As you experiment with the different uses, you’ll discover the versatility and transformative power of this homemade teriyaki sauce in your cooking repertoire.
How long does this homemade teriyaki sauce keep?
When properly stored, homemade teriyaki sauce can typically last for several weeks in the refrigerator. The exact shelf life can vary based on factors such as the freshness of the ingredients used, the cleanliness of the preparation process, and the conditions of storage. However, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- Refrigerator Storage: Store the homemade teriyaki sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This helps prevent contamination and maintains its quality. It’s best to use a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Duration: On average, homemade teriyaki sauce can last in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 weeks. The sauce’s high salt and sugar content acts as a natural preservative, helping to extend its shelf life.
- Visual and Smell Check: Before using the teriyaki sauce, inspect it visually. If you notice any signs of mold, unusual color changes, or an off-putting odor, it’s best to discard it.
- Texture and Consistency: Over time, the sauce might thicken as it continues to cool and settle in the refrigerator. If it becomes too thick, you can gently warm it to return it to a pourable consistency.
- Freezing: If you’d like to extend the storage life, you can freeze homemade teriyaki sauce. Pour it into an airtight freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes. Frozen teriyaki sauce can last for several months.
Remember that these are general guidelines, and the freshness and safety of the sauce depend on various factors. Always trust your senses – if the sauce smells or looks off, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it.
RECIPES THAT USE THIS HOMEMADE TERIYAKI SAUCE
Korean Short Ribs Barbecue – the marinade in this recipe may be replaced by teriyaki sauce.
Delicious Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced or freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine and mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let it sit for 1 hour before using it as a marinade.
- Once your ingredients are mixed and you prefer a thicker sauce that you can use as glaze or dipping, let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat. Allow it to gently bubble for about 15-20 minutes or until thick to your liking. This simmering process not only melds the flavors but also reduces the sauce, resulting in a thicker consistency that clings beautifully to your dishes.