Talk about finger-lickin’ good… this homemade sauce recipe is taking things up a notch.

Spoon dipping out of jar.

You know I’m over the top passionate about making sauce at home. For many reasons, too. Making a sauce homemade means you know EXACTLY what is in it, without any additives. Plus, you can adjust flavors to your preference. It’s cheaper. And overall, it’s the healthier option. You really cannot go wrong.

Once my teriyaki phase started, I knew homemade was the only option for lettuce wraps, stir fry, baked salmon…and so much more. And if you, too, love the combination of sweet, tangy, slightly spicy, and incredibly versatile, then you’re gonna love this…

What is Teriyaki Sauce?

First thing first, this version of teriyaki sauce is not the most authentic and is definitely Americanized.

For an authentic teriyaki sauce, check out Nami’s post. She explains that “teriyaki” actually translates to mean “luster” and “grilled”, referring to the cooking method, typically meaning grilled or pan-fried food with a shining glaze. Outside of Japan, the word teriyaki has strayed off to refer to the actual sauce, not the cooking process.

That being said, the sauce interpretation of Teriyaki sauce is salty, slightly sweet, and tangy. It has a soy sauce base, along with a bit of mirin, sake, and sugar. Most times it’s often referred to outside of Japan as a thick sauce, like a glaze, which can be achieved with corn starch or potato starch.

Many American interpretations of it now include ginger and garlic, and Nami also says that sometimes in Japan they are added too, for a variation.

This version of teriyaki sauce includes both, and a spicy kick to boot. While you won’t find it in Japan, this adaptation is one that adds added flavor and spice to recipes and I hope you enjoy it!

Now that we have the basics down, let’s get to it…

Ingredient Spotlight for DIY Teriyaki Sauce

mini bowls of ingredients for homemade teriyaki sauce

This variation of homemade teriyaki sauce uses these ingredients. Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for amounts and instructions.

  • Soy Sauce – the traditional base of teriyaki sauce. Use tamari for a gluten-free option, and low sodium if you’re watching your salt intake.
  • Brown Sugar – the hint of molasses adds a rich, sweet depth to the sauce.
  • Honey – added for a little extra sweetness and as a slight thickener; you can omit it if you’d like to reduce the amount of sugar or make this sauce vegan.
  • Grated ginger and garlic the best flavor ingredients!
  • Chili Garlic Paste- this is where the spice comes in. I love adding chili garlic paste to recipes for an added kick and of course a little more garlic. It gives a depth of flavor to the sauce that is oh-so-yummy. You could substitute with sriracha or red pepper flakes, too.
  • Sesame Oil – a touch goes a long way to add a nice rounded, slightly nutty flavor to the sauce.
  • Rice Vinegar – my substitution for mirin. Mirin is naturally sweeter than rice vinegar. You can use either!
  • Corn Starch – used in this recipe to make the more American-style teriyaki sauce, which is thicker in its consistency. You can always add more corn starch to make the sauce even thicker or omit it entirely for a more traditional, thin-sauce consistency.

So you have the ingredients, now what? This is the quick and easy part.

Reader review

4.97 (30 ratings)

This sauce is the BOMB DOT COM!!! SO SO Very yummilicious and will be made many more thousand times. So easy and quick. Thank you for simple recipes to follow! – Gloria

How to Make Spicy Teriyaki Sauce

Are you ready to see how easy this recipe is to make? First, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the corn starch and water, in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. As it does so, the sugar will dissolve and the sauce will reduce slightly.

Sauce pan with ingredients.

After a minute or two, it’s time to make the corn starch slurry. What’s a corn starch slurry? It’s when cold water is combined with corn starch, then added back into whatever item it is intended to thicken, in this case, the sauce.

Now, they say cold water is best for making a cornstarch slurry. However, truth be told, is that as pictured, I often remove 2 tablespoons of the sauce, whisk in the corn starch, and add it back to the sauce.

I haven’t had any clumping issues as many speak of when not using a cold liquid to make the slurry. I’ll leave that part up to you.

Once the slurry is added to the saucepan, whisk together to fully incorporate it, and bring it back to a simmer.

Let the sauce simmer for several minutes until it has thickened to your desired consistency, then remove from heat. Use immediately or let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

How to Use Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

The possibilities are basically endless when it comes to this delicious, sweet, spicy, sticky sauce! Here are a few of my favorite ways:

Gray plate with three lettuce wraps and lime wedges next to small bowl of scallions.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

Spicy Teriyaki Sauce in jar with spoon.
4.97 (30 ratings)

Get the Recipe 10-Minute Spicy Teriyaki Sauce

Spice up your next meal with homemade Spicy Teriyaki Sauce. This easy and quick 10-minute recipe is made with chili garlic sauce for an added kick of flavor and spice. It's excellent in stir fry, over chicken (or chicken wings), fish, vegetarian wraps, or in a salad dressing!



  • In a saucepan, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, ginger, garlic, chili paste, sesame oil, and rice vinegar (all ingredients except for the corn starch and water).
    1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 Tablespoon honey, 2 tsp fresh ginger, 1 fresh garlic clove, 2 tsp chili garlic paste, 3/4 tsp sesame oil, 2 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Bring it to a low boil over medium heat and let the sugar dissolve for approximately 1-2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch to make the cornstarch slurry. Once it's combined, pour it into the saucepan and whisk to incorporate it into the sauce. Bring back to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer the sauce for an additional 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens, continuing to stir occasionally. If it isn't thick enough at that point, you can simmer for up to 10 minutes.
    2 Tablespoon water, 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • Remove from heat and use immediately as desired or let cool slightly before transferring to a jar for storage. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


  • This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of teriyaki sauce.
  • Vegan: replace the honey with maple syrup or brown sugar.
  • Storage: in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Serving: 2tbsp, Calories: 70kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 814mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 3IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

By the Way…

This recipe is part of our collection of savory homemade sauce recipes. Check it out!