Use this easy gluten-free teriyaki sauce recipe to make a marinade, a glaze, a stir-fry sauce, or a dipping sauce. Simple to make and budget-friendly, this sweet and savoury recipe uses common ingredients and does not need mirin. Homemade teriyaki sauce adds bursts of Asian flavour to chicken, shrimp, salmon, beef, or vegetables.
Adding teriyaki sauce to your everyday chicken or fish is a great way to elevate a weeknight meal!
Homemade teriyaki sauce can intensify the flavour of foods you combine it with. It's made with tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and a sweetener.
Whether you're looking to add a burst of flavor to your grilled chicken or want to marinate some tofu for a flavorful stir-fry, this gluten-free teriyaki sauce has you covered. Take your taste buds on a trip to the East!
- ❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- 👍🏼Teriyaki Two Ways--a Marinade and a Sauce
- 📝 A note about authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce
- 🛒 Ingredients for teriyaki sauce without mirin
- 🔪 Instructions
- 🔁 Possible Variations
- ❓Reader's Questions
- 🍽 Serving Suggestions
- ⏰ Storage Instructions
- 🗒 More recipes for seasonings and sauces
- 📖 Recipe
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Flavour: Teriyaki sauce has a rich umami flavour, perfect for a variety of recipes. It's a sweet, savoury sauce that enhances the flavour of chicken, fish, shrimp, tofu, and vegetables.
- Common ingredients: This easy teriyaki marinade and sauce recipe uses ingredients you probably have on hand. Using tamari instead of soy sauce makes this recipe gluten-free.
- Quick to make: Simply combine the ingredients in a jar or bowl and whisk together.
- Versatile: Use this recipe to make a marinade for meat, poultry, or seafood, or thicken it to make a teriyaki sauce to brush on grilled meats or to add to a stir-fry dish.
- You control the ingredients: Making it yourself lets you avoid additives and make just the amount you need. No need to have a large bottle sitting in your refrigerator for months!
- Free from gluten, it's suitable for those with dietary restrictions or allergies.
👍🏼Teriyaki Two Ways--a Marinade and a Sauce
This recipe includes two ways to make teriyaki sauce: as a marinade and as a glaze.
Teriyaki marinade has a thinner consistency and is ideal for flavouring chicken, fish, beef or tofu before cooking.
Teriyaki glaze or sauce, on the other hand, is a rich and glossy sauce that has been reduced by cooking. It is thickened with either cornstarch or arrowroot. It's perfect for brushing on baked or grilled meats or vegetables. It makes finger-licking good Teriyaki Chicken Wings!
It also brings everything together in this Japanese Chicken Stir-Fry with Broccoli.
📝 A note about authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce
Authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce is made with mirin, which is a sweet rice wine. It gives teriyaki sauce a rich umami flavour. I use it in my recipe for Easy Japanese Chicken Yakitori Skewers and Japanese Chicken Stir Fry.
Because it's not an ingredient I always have in my pantry (and because it contains a lot of sugar) I've designed this easy teriyaki sauce recipe without it. I honestly can't tell the difference!
🛒 Ingredients for teriyaki sauce without mirin
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. But before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about some of the key ingredients.
- tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce alternative. It has a rich texture and deep flavour. Most brands are gluten-free, but it's always important to check the label to be sure.
- rice wine vinegar
- toasted sesame oil: you can substitute regular sesame oil.
- garlic cloves (or ½ teaspoon powdered garlic)
- fresh ginger: peeled and finely grated
- brown sugar: or substitute coconut sugar if you'd like
- cornstarch and water: to make a slurry to thicken the marinade to make a sauce or glaze.
1. Teriyaki marinade
To make a thin teriyaki marinade, whisk all ingredients except the cornstarch slurry together. Add meat or chicken and the marinade in a resealable bag and refrigerate. If you don't plan to use the marinade right away, store it in a glass jar in the fridge.
I often freeze a bag of marinated chicken so I have a meal ready to go. Gently press out as much of the air as you can. If you have a vacuum sealer machine like a FoodSaver, you'll be able to remove even more air and be able to store your food in the freezer for longer.
2. Teriyaki sauce for meat, poultry seafood or stir-fry
To make teriyaki sauce to brush on meat, poultry or seafood or to use as a stir-fry sauce, add cornstarch mixed with water to the marinade ingredients to make a beautiful thick, rich and glossy sauce.
Gradually bring the mixture to a boil in a small saucepan. It will thicken and turn glossy in a few minutes, making a perfect glaze for chicken, salmon or shrimp.
🔁 Possible Variations
If you'd like to add a bit of heat to your teriyaki sauce, sprinkle in half a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes. You could also add a small amount of sriracha sauce to spice it up.
The marinade has a thinner consistency and is ideal for infusing flavour into meat, fish or tofu. Teriyaki sauce has been thickened with cornstarch or arrowroot and makes a thick, glossy glaze to brush on meat or fish before serving. It also makes a delicious dip for chicken wings.
Homemade teriyaki sauce is suitable for a vegan diet. It is sweetened with sugar, not honey. Serve it on crispy tofu, or use it as a sauce for stir-fried vegetables.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
1. How to make teriyaki chicken
Marinate chicken thighs or breasts in half of the marinade for 30 minutes to 4 hours, then either broil, bake or grill.
- Broil on a foil-lined pan for 12 minutes (6 minutes per side).
- Bake in a baking dish for 30 minutes or until the chicken has reached at least 165°F.
- Grill on a greased outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. An instant-read meat thermometer is helpful to make sure your chicken has reached a safe temperature.
For all three cooking methods, thicken the remaining marinade by combining it with ½ tablespoon cornstarch mixed with ½ tablespoon water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until thick and glossy.
Brush with this thickened teriyaki glaze before serving.
2. Salmon Teriyaki
Follow the same recommendations for chicken teriyaki, above, reserving half the marinade. Marinate salmon fillets for no longer than 30 minutes, bake or grill, then brush with thickened teriyaki glaze before serving.
3. Teriyaki Shrimp
Follow the same recommendations for chicken teriyaki, above, reserving half the marinade. Marinate large shrimp or prawns for no longer than 10 minutes, grill, then brush with thickened glaze before serving.
⏰ Storage Instructions
To store: You can store teriyaki marinade in a glass jar in the fridge for a week or more.
To freeze: Allow the sauce to cool completely, then store it in a resealable freezer bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer to save space. When you're ready to use it, thaw overnight in the fridge.
If you like to make freezer meals, combine chicken thighs or breasts in a resealable bag with the marinade for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then cook the chicken according to your recipe. See the section on Serving Suggestions above.
🗒 More recipes for seasonings and sauces
- Spiced Cranberry Orange Sauce with Triple Sec25 Minutes
- Greek Lemon Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki1 Hours 15 Minutes
- Is Dijon Mustard Gluten-Free?5 Minutes
- Easiest Hot Honey Recipe with Crushed Red Pepper Flakes5 Minutes
When you make this recipe for teriyaki sauce without mirin, please leave a comment and a star rating below. I love hearing from you! Thanks in advance. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade
- ½ cup tamari, (gluten-free soy sauce)
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, optional
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water to make a slurry to thicken the sauce. or arrowroot powder
- In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients (except the cornstarch slurry) together until well blended.
- If not using right away, store the marinade in a jar with a lid in the fridge for up 7 days. To use, add meat or poultry with the marinade to a resealable bag or marinating container.
Teriyaki Sauce (thick and glossy)
- In a small saucepan, combine tamari, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, ginger, and brown sugar. In a small bowl, combine water and cornstarch, then gradually whisk in this slurry to the saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat to cool, or brush on your food before serving.If you're making stir fry, you don't need to cook this sauce first. Add the teriyaki sauce mixture (with the cornstarch slurry) to the stir fry pan once the vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally as it thickens and becomes glossy. It will cook in the pan with the vegetables.