Teriyaki Sauce From Scratch?

I’ve never made my own teriyaki sauce. My favorite store bought is Soy-Vay (which I like a lot).

Do you think I will noticeably up my recipes by making my own?

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Most commercial teriyaki sauces (most, not all) do not use mirin (which is a sweet tasting sake).

So if you make your own, I would try to incorporate mirin and see if it makes a different to you. If it doesn’t just stick to store-bought.


I’ve never used mirin. When recipes call for it I usually use rice vinegar and maybe a sweetener (and all have turned out fine).

I just searched for mirin at my local Safeway and only one item turned up… “Kikkoman Specialty Food Aji Mirin Southwest Rice Wine”. I like Kikkoman soy sauce, but after reading the ingredients to this I LOL (Glucose Syrup, Water, Alcohol Rice, Corn Syrup, Salt).

I’ve used various recipes from “Aaron and Claire” (youtube) and enjoyed all of them. I haven’t made his home made teriyaki sauce, but based on his other recipes I’m guessing its really good.
Jump to 1:05 into the attached video (he makes his own teriyaki sauce for this dish) and see if this looks like something you may want to try.

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I find Japanese teriyaki very different than most bottled North American teriyaki.
Just One Cookbook is my favourite Japanese recipe site.

For bottled, North American-style teriyaki with ginger added, I like Stonewall Kitchen’s version.


I’ll throw in another plug for Adam Liaw, who has this on his website:


250 ml soy sauce
200 ml mirin
200 ml sake
60g sugar.

combine. heat 'til sugar is dissolved.

optional: add a couple of cloves of smashed garlic and some ginger sliced in coins. Let sit over night in the fridge, then strain out.

Bottle, keep in fridge. Use as shortcut for ramen eggs (dilute 1:1 with water. allow 6 min peeled eggs to marinate for 48 hours in fridge). Use as base for chasu marinade or about a zillion other Japanese dishes.


I like making a small batch of my own as-needed, since it saves a special trip to buy bottled version(s). Here’s what I use for 24 oz cubed meat.

1/3 C. soy sauce
2 T. honey
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. Chinese Shoshxing rice wine (salted for cooking) or sherry or Mirin sake rice wine
4 T. warm water
Note – some recipes add 1 clove minced garlic, I usually omit.

Heat sauce about 1 minute in microwave, stirring twice during heating to dissolve honey. Pour sauce over
3 pieces sugared/dried ginger, finely chopped, about 3 T

Then combine with meat (and veggies of your choice - mine include a large onion, sliced into chunks)


I was just going to look for a recipe today! I have a hankering… lol

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The bottled sauce I mentioned above has onion, garlic, ginger, and sesame… which I think I’d prefer to just soy, mirin, and sake. Plus it is more dressing/marinade like as opposed to being a water thin sauce, which better supports my usage.

I guess if it ain’t broke… why try to fix?

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I’m going to add to the discussion that if you’re going to test homemade vs store bought, track down some hon mirin for the homemade version. Hon mirin, or true mirin, has a very different flavor profile from more commonly available aji mirin, which is not really mirin at all, but a mirin-like product. If the label on a bottle of mirin shows salt, sugar, or corn syrup as additives, it’s aji mirin, not hon.

So what do I use? I’m a hypocrite with standards. I refuse to use aji mirin (because I consider it an imposter), but I’m too cheap to use hon mirin in most applications (because hon mirin can be fairly expensive). So most of the time I use sherry. I’m a joke.


Thanks. Unfortunately the only thing available here is the aji mirin… so I’m just gonna skip making my own as I like the SoyVay very much.

The soy/mirin/sake is a base. You can add aromatics or sesame when preparing your dish, or you add them in advance if you know that you want it that way all the time. The advantage to making your own: customize to your liking!

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I always thought teriyaki sauce was just: soy sauce + sugar

and garlic, ginger, wine/mirin were optional.

I was always hesitant about mirin when marinating meat in teriyaki overnight because of raw meat sitting in wine is supposed to degrade it in some way??? (not sure how)

Thomas Keller, michelin star chef, always recommended boiling the wine in the stove to clear out the alcohol before overnight marination

Come to think of it, teriyaki sauces that use wine/mirin will have you boil it with the standard soy sauce + sugar (maybe for the same reason as Keller)

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I’ve found where it’s sold. Next trip out in the Batmobile …

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Next time you trundle down the hill, try Oto’s for hon mirin. Last time I checked, they had a couple of different brands. Or the Gekkeikan brewery in Folsom might make/sell it, but I’m not sure.

When I make my teriyaki, I boil the soy/sake/mirin mix enough to flambe it for a second (because it’s fun) and then I know it’s warm enough the sugar will easily dissolve and it’ll more easily suck up the flavors and aromas of any aromatics I’ve added (garlic/ginger/star anise/etc)

You can also boil it for a bit to reduce if you want it thicker/stickier.

I have never heard of needing to boil booze used in a marinade for meat. I DO know that one must be careful using fresh pineapple. Enzymes in it WILL break down meat and if left too long, turn it into unappetizing mush…


You got good technique. I never had the balls big enough to flambe unless I needed to.

My memory about Thomas Keller seems clear and certain.

I asked the question on ChatGPT, and it says the wine’s acid will denature and turn the protein mushy (in the way vinegar does for ceviche) and that’s why you want to boil out the alcohol first

But maybe they already take out the alcohol in store bought mirin already?

This is what I use. It def. has booze in it. It’s considered ‘mirin’ as opposed to hon mirin. But it’s better than ‘aji-mirin’

More info here:


Yeah, we used to use that stuff by the gallon when I worked in a Japanese restaurant! The oba-san who made the sauces would pour about half a jug at a time with little or no measuring. We also used two different brands of shoyu as well: Yamasa in the kitchen, Kikkoman on the tables.

I think Takara would be considered a hon mirin, even though it has added sugar. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.

I’ve made my own when I didn’t have any to hand. I’ve used recipes very similar to what @Lectroid mentioned, but none of the optional stuff (steeping in ginger and garlic, because I was in a hurry).

I can’t say it upped my game any. It didn’t taste any different, really, than the commercial stuff. At least, as used in the recipe. I have not tried home-made and commercial by the spoon in a 1:1 taste test.

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