Basic Teriyaki Sauce

5/5 (2)
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
1.25 cups (6 servings)
Teriyaki Sauce



  • Small pot
  • Spatula
  • Small bowl

Quick Directions

  1. Boil soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar in a small pot for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small cup.
  3. Add the cornstarch to the pot and stir until sauce thickens.

The Story

While we tend to think of teriyaki as a flavor, in Japan, teriyaki actually refers to the way of cooking the dish. “Teri” means luster, and “yaki” means grilled. So it’s not necessarily the sauce they refer to, but the shiny luster that comes from it being fried in the pan that makes a good teriyaki dish. Of course, you still need a teriyaki sauce to make such a dish, so here’s a basic recipe to get you started!

Fun fact: in Japan, buying bottles of teriyaki sauce to cook with is rather uncommon. Since it only uses a few basic ingredients, people can easily make it in their kitchens from scratch with very little effort. All you need to make a really good teriyaki sauce is mix equal parts soy sauce, sake and mirin, then add sugar. Of course, this leaves a lot of room for modification, so with a little experimentation, you can find the right combination of ingredients for your perfect dish!

The recipe below is great start for a basic teriyaki sauce. To modify it, try mixing in ginger or garlic to see what happens. Or use all mirin or all sake, or a different ratio of the two! Use dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, or a combination of both. Sweeten it with some honey or agave, or even corn syrup! If you don’t want to thicken it, leave the cornstarch out. As you can see, there are many possibilities, but the recipe below is my go to for a great sauce!

Recipe – Teriyaki Sauce:

– Add the soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
Teriyaki Sauce

– While the sauce is simmering, combine the cornstarch and water in a small cup and mix well.
Teriyaki Sauce

– Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened.

Teriyaki Sauce

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