This recipe for teriyaki marinade is great for tenderizing meat and poultry, but I’ll also show you how to use it for a delicious dipping sauce or glaze. Tastier than store bought. Make some to use in your favorite Asian recipes!
Although it’s made with just four simple ingredients, you’ll be amazed at how it adds a big punch of flavor to your dishes.
Teriyaki marinade vs. sauce
While both are used to flavor meat, the process of using marinades and sauces is different.
These are meant to be slowly absorbed by meat, to infuse flavor throughout. Marinades are also useful for tenderizing tough cuts of meat.
A marinade covers the meat for anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the type of protein.
After using a marinade, it is discarded and the meat is cooked on its own.
To prevent any risk of foodborne illness, never use teriyaki marinade as a sauce without first reducing it.
These are used to add instant flavor. Sauces are usually added to the food while it is cooking, like for a beef stir fry, or used as a baste or glaze during grilling like when we add bbq sauce to baby back ribs.
You can also pour a sauce like this one over food before serving. Or, use it as a dipping sauce for Asian appetizers for an extra dose of flavor.
Teriyaki marinade video
Follow the steps below to make the marinade from scratch – it takes less than 10 minutes! Or, scroll down to the recipe card and watch the video to see the process step by step!
- Soy sauce – use tamari to make this gluten-free
- Mirin – similar to sake, but has less alcohol and more sugar
- Sake – can substitute with Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
To make the marinade:
- Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, then use the teriyaki marinade immediately, or refrigerate in a mason jar.
For teriyaki sauce
To make a sauce from the marinade, simply leave it on the heat to simmer and reduce until it thickens! If you’re using a saucepan, it usually takes about 8 minutes to thicken. If you use a skillet instead, the liquid will reduce more quickly.
You can make any size batch or marinade or sauce you’d like! Each batch will last about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator, so you’ll have it on hand to use for marinating, as a grilling sauce, stir fry sauce, or a tasty dipping sauce.
- If you want to make the sauce spicier, add some fresh grated ginger or ginger paste when making the sauce. Use up to 1 tablespoon, depending on your preferences.
- To make it alcohol-free, omit both the sake and mirin. Instead, use ½ cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar, plus 4 teaspoons of sugar.
- If you have gluten allergies or sensitivities, know that some brands of sake and mirin have ingredients that contain gluten. Be sure to read the labels, and use dry sherry in place of the sake to be sure that it’s gluten-free.
- To thicken teriyaki sauce that may be too runny, mix together 1 tablespoon each of cornstarch and water, then stir into the warm sauce after it simmers.
Teriyaki Marinade or Sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sake (See Note 1)
- 1/4 cup mirin
- In a medium saucepan or skillet, mix together all the teriyaki marinade ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to use as is for a teriyaki marinade for beef, poultry or seafood.
- To make teriyaki sauce, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook until reduced and thickened. It turns into a glossy, syrupy sauce (See Note 2).
- Allow to cool to room temperature before using. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 weeks.
- Substitute sake with Chinese cooking wine or a dry sherry.
- Simmer for about 8 minutes if using a saucepan or 5-6 minutes if using a skillet.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.