Simple sauces are the key to transforming refrigerator leftovers or freezer finds into a legit meal. In this article, Apronese will share with you how to make homemade teriyaki sauce. This easy homemade sauce is so versatile and uses only a few ingredients.

How to Use Teriyaki Sauce

Here is how this honey mustard sauce can be used:

As a marinade

You can use this sauce to flavor your chicken, pork chops or tenderloins, tofu cubes, or even fish.

As a sauce

The thickened sauce can be brushed onto grilled or baked meat, chicken wings, or tofu.

Or you can use it as a stir-fry sauce by pouring the not-thickened sauce directly into your hot stir fry pant.

Here are some recipes that use variations of this honey mustard sauce and marinade:

  • Easy Teriyaki Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken
  • Sticky Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken
  • Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
  • Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayo

How to Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

This sauce takes only a few minutes and simple ingredients to make.

Prep Time: 5 mins / Cook Time: 5 mins / Total Time: 10 mins

Servings: 1 cup sauce (1/2 cup marinade)


To Make the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce ($0.24)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar ($0.12)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger ($0.10)
  • 1 tbsp water

To Make the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch ($0.03)
  • 1/2 cup water


  • To make the marinade, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, and water. Pour this mixture over your meat, tofu, or fish and marinate for 15-30 minutes, depending on the item.
  • To make the sauce, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, water, AND add an additional 1/2 cup water and 1 tbsp cornstarch. (Do not turn used marinade into a sauce. Rather, make separate batches to prevent cross contamination.) Bring this mixture up to a simmer in a small saucepot over medium heat, while whisking. Once it reaches a simmer, it will thicken into a shiny sauce. Pour or brush the sauce over your cooked meat, vegetables, or tofu.
  • To use as a stir-fry sauce, stir together all the ingredients in a bowl. Once your stir-fry meat or vegetables are cooked, pour the sauce mixture directly into your hot stir fry pan instead of simmering separately in a saucepot. The heat from the pan will simmer the sauce on contact and thicken the sauce (make sure the stir-fry pan is very hot). Stir to coat your cooked vegetables or meat.

Optional add-ins: 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp sesame seeds.


Serving: 1 serving ・ Calories: 205.5 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 47.9 g ・ Protein: 5.4 g ・ Fat: 0.4 g ・ Sodium: 3517.5 mg ・ Fiber: 0.7 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce – Step-by-step Photos

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

This recipe starts with these four ingredients, which can be kept on hand at all times.

Teriyaki Marinade finished

Step 1: To make the marinade, simply stir together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp water, 1 clove of garlic (minced), and about 1 tsp grated ginger. That only takes about 5 minutes.

Chicken Marinating in Teriyaki

Step 2: This mixture is very concentrated on flavor, so it will flavor whatever you soak in it deeply.

Meat or tofu can marinate for about 30 minutes, fish for 15 minutes. Then just cook your meat, seafood, or tofu using your favorite method.

Teriyaki Sauce Uncooked

Step 3: To make a teriyaki sauce, prepare the marinade as described above, but also add an additional 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbsp cornstarch. The cornstarch will make it look kind of milky.

Teriyaki Sauce Cooked and thickened

Step 4: Add the mixture to a saucepot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, while stirring.

Once it simmers, it will go from milky to clear and watery to thick.

Your sauce is now ready to pour over your cooked meat, vegetables, or tofu.

But if you want to use it as stir-fry sauce, you can just pour the un-thickened sauce directly into your hot stir fry pan and it will simmer and thicken on contact.

If you want both marinate meat and have a teriyaki sauce to add after cooking, it is best to make two batches rather than turning the used marinade into the sauce. It’s best to just keep the two separate.