Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

This easy homemade teriyaki sauce recipe takes only 5 minutes to make and has no refined sugar or preservatives! You’ll never buy teriyaki sauce again.

Have you ever made homemade teriyaki sauce? Alex and I hadn’t until recently, and now our worlds are changed. Our homemade teriyaki sauce takes only 5 minutes to make, and is seriously good. It tastes better than store-bought teriyaki sauce, and has none of the added salt, sugar and preservatives. There’s also no refined sugar, instead relying on a natural sugar: in this case maple syrup. We distilled down teriyaki sauce to it’s major components, but the flavor is still so good with only a handful of ingredients. How do we make this magical sauce? Keep reading for our homemade teriyaki sauce recipe.

Homemade teriyaki sauce | Homemade teriyaki marinade

Where did teriyaki sauce originate?

Teriyaki originates from Japan, but in Japan it actually refers to a method of cooking: by grilling foods in a mix of soy, mirin and sugar. A dish like chicken teriyaki is actually more of an American food than a Japanese one! It is thought that teriyaki sauce comes from Japanese immigrants who settled in Hawaii. They created a marinade using local products like pineapple juice blended with soy sauce. This eventually turned into what we today call teriyaki sauce. So bottom line: teriyaki sauce has Japanese roots, but it’s more of an American creation than authentic Japanese.

How to make homemade teriyaki sauce

Making homemade teriyaki sauce is truly easy: and in this recipe we made it even simpler by distilling it down to its major components. Our recipe uses just soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and maple syrup. Using maple syrup means that it has no refine sugar and is naturally sweet, which is a bonus! The level of soy sauce is also perfect: it’s just salty enough but not too salty. The mixture is heated and then a slurry of cornstarch is mixed in, which makes it thick and glossy. Our homemade teriyaki sauce can be made in about 5 minutes, which is a complete no brainer. We’re never buying teriyaki sauce again! As noted in the recipe, as it cools the sauce gets very thick. You may find you need to mix in a very small amount of warm water to bring it to a slightly thinner consistency.

Homemade teriyaki sauce | Homemade teriyaki marinade

How to use homemade teriyaki sauce

There are so many uses for homemade teriyaki sauce! Our favorite way to use it are in our Teriyaki Vegetable Stir Fry and our Grilled Teriyaki Mango Skewers. Or, brush it on the outside of this Teriyaki Veggie Burger (in addition to the teriyaki flavoring inside). You can also use it as a homemade teriyaki marinade for meat: just marinade chicken or beef for about 30 minutes before grilling. Since our recipes are mostly vegetarian and vegan, you’ll see mainly plant based uses for teriyaki on this website. Let us know if you try it out, and what you think!

Homemade teriyaki sauce | Homemade teriyaki marinade

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This recipe is…

This easy homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, plant based, dairy free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.



This easy homemade teriyaki sauce recipe takes only 5 minutes to make and has no refined sugar or preservatives! You’ll never buy teriyaki sauce again.


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. For the homemade teriyaki sauce: Combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, and water in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1/2 cup water and whisk until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan.
  3. Heat the sauce for a few minutes, whisking constantly, until it becomes very thick, smooth and glossy. Remove the sauce to a bowl and cool the sauce while you make the remainder of the recipe. (You can also make the teriyaki in advance and refrigerate until serving.) If the sauce becomes too thick after cooling, add a very small amount of warm water a little at a time to return to the desired consistency.