Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

by Sarah Condiments, RecipesComments: 50

homemade teriyaki sauceI go through a lot of homemade teriyaki sauce.  I use it primarily for marinating chicken although it is very useful for making homemade barbeque sauce as well.

Bottled teriyaki sauce from the grocery store has so many additives that it is downright frightening to read the label and the brands at the healthfood store are disappointingly not a whole lot better.

I used to use San-J brand of teriyaki sauce but recently noticed that it now has canola oil in it, so this has recently become an unacceptable product in my home.

Canola oil is a good source of omega 3 fats and is thought by many in the health community to be a quality oil.

Nearly all restaurants cook with an olive oil/canola oil blend (25/75).   Even when nonGMO, organic and cold pressed, canola oil should still be avoided.

Canola oil goes rancid very easily requiring manufacturers to deodorize it to hide the off smell.  The deodorizing process forms a dangerous form of transfat in the canola oil which is not labeled! 

And worse, if it’s not organic canola oil, it is more than likely from genetically modified canola to boot!

For this reason, skip any bottled sauces or dressings that contain this very misunderstood and unhealthy oil!

Once you have abandoned the teriyaki sauces from the store with frightening ingredients and resolved to make your own truly healthy, homemade teriyaki sauce alternative, you will be shocked at how easy and fast it is to whip together.

The homemade teriyaki sauce recipe below recommends optional liquid whey to add additional enzymes and probiotics to the final blend.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups


1-3 tsp organic, freshly grated ginger (sources)

3-4 organic garlic cloves

2 TBL toasted sesame oil (sources)

2 TBL rice vinegar (sources)

2 TBL raw honey (sources)

1 TBL liquid whey – optional (do not use powdered whey)

1 cup unpasteurized, naturally fermented soy sauce (sources)


Mince and mash the garlic gloves.   Mix with the freshly grated ginger and whisk in the remaining ingredients.  Pour into a one pint glass mason jar.  Stir in optional liquid whey, affix the lid and leave the homemade teriyaki sauce on the counter overnight before refrigerating.

Homemade teriyaki sauce will keep for a month or two if liquid whey is added and a couple of weeks if not used.

Here is a delicious teriyaki chicken stir fry to use your homemade teriyaki sauce!

*Please see my video on how to make many other healthy, homemade sauces and dressings by clicking here.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

Picture Credit

Comments (50)

  • Christy

    I’m so glad you posted this! My daughter LOVES teriyaki and I hadn’t found a bottled brand I could trust. Do you know if coconut aminos can be used in place of the soy? I have to order my natural soy sauce online.

    July 31st, 2011 8:37 am Reply
  • Kristina Chastain (@KristinaPC) (@KristinaPC)

    Thank you! Been so disappointed w store bought as well. RT @realfoodmedia: Homemade Teriyaki Sauce http://bit.ly/octXKI

    July 31st, 2011 9:46 am Reply
  • Heather

    Thanks for the recipe. I used to love Teriyaki chicken but haven’t eaten it since staring to eat real food. I’ll be making this for my family soon.

    July 31st, 2011 10:09 am Reply
  • Natural Remedies (@nrworld) (@nrworld)

    Homemade Teriyaki Sauce – The Healthy Home Economist: http://t.co/mFW9gBC

    July 31st, 2011 10:10 am Reply
  • Judy

    Mmm, thanks, looking forward to trying this.

    July 31st, 2011 10:10 am Reply
  • Lisa

    Sound sooo good!!!!!
    I wanted to try this but I can’t find the raw soy sauce anywhere. Not even on your site. Is there another brand you recommend?

    July 31st, 2011 11:07 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Lisa, I’ve updated the links for the unpasteurized naturally fermented soy sauce and tamari sauce .. they are both available in my Amazon store if you can’t get locally.

      July 31st, 2011 12:40 pm Reply
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  • Amy Love@Real Food Whole Health

    Now this sounds fantastic! Ginger, garlic, sesame oil, honey and tamari…delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe- I’ve not used teriyaki sauce in a long, long time- because it’s always so processed- and I honestly never thought about making some. Great idea :)

    July 31st, 2011 12:03 pm Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Teriyaki chicken is one of my family’s absolute fav dishes. I would have a serious revolt on my hands if I couldn’t make it with a healthy version! :)

    July 31st, 2011 12:13 pm Reply
  • susan v.

    how about using coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce for those avoiding soy?

    July 31st, 2011 12:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I’ve not ever tried coconut aminos but be careful with them as I know Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is loaded with MSG.

      July 31st, 2011 12:41 pm Reply
      • Magda Velecky

        Coconut aminos do not have MSG AFAIK. It’s only concentrated coconut sap. It’s delicious and works great instead of soy sauce.

        August 1st, 2011 9:16 am Reply
  • Nikki @ Project: Family Cookbook

    OH I am sooooo excited to make this recipe. I have everything I need! Sarah, question….what are your views on Braggs Liquid Aminos? There is some question about how it gets salty since there is no sign of any salty ingredients so it must be a chemical reaction? This was thought to be a healthy alternative but now I am not so sure? I just bought a big bottle! Eek. But I will gladly toss if there is any other word about it.

    July 31st, 2011 12:20 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is loaded with msg last time I checked.

      July 31st, 2011 12:42 pm Reply
      • Nikki @ Project: Family Cookbook

        How do you know there is MSG in it if it says nothing of the sort on the label?

        July 31st, 2011 12:44 pm Reply
        • Lisa

          Does the ingredients list mention anything “Hydrolyzed” or “Hydrolyzed vegetable proteins”? It’s most likely soy. That is the process by which MSG is made. I haven’t seen the back of the bottle, so I’m not sure if it has MSG or not.

          July 31st, 2011 1:25 pm Reply
        • Mya

          Braggs is made from soybeans, but does not have any MSG added, some naturally occurring MSG is created when you ferment soy but its not the nasty additive you get in hydrolyzed foods. Just FYI! Check out their website for more info.

          June 16th, 2014 7:55 pm Reply
  • Liz Vennum via Facebook

    Wow! Thanks so much, Sarah! I was just thinking last night how I wish I had a better alternative to store-bought Teriyaki.

    July 31st, 2011 12:21 pm Reply
  • nancy@skinnykitchen.com

    Yum…I love teriyaki sauce. This rcipe sounds like a must try!

    July 31st, 2011 12:24 pm Reply
  • Nikki Hughes (@ProjectFam)

    So making this teriyaki sauce! http://fb.me/y0oR4VxD

    July 31st, 2011 12:45 pm Reply
  • Karen Hanshaw Dinsmore via Facebook

    I love teriyaki, but have never made it myself…will give this a try.

    July 31st, 2011 12:47 pm Reply
  • Lynne

    I didn’t know about the deodorizing of the oil so I’m glad to know it. But I was already avoiding canola for another reason. Pretty much all canola grown in the U.S. is already GMO. It’s even growing wild in some places like Oregon so it’s escaped to the wild and it’s only a matter of time before there is no canola that doesn’t have the GMO pollen. Japan doesn’t allow GMO plants to be grown there but they import GMO canola from Canada for processing. They now have GMO canola growing wild in Japan. Heirloom corn growers are facing the same thing in America. They are finding that heirloom corn is turning up with GMO pollen even when grown in remote places. Baker’s Creek heirloom seed tests their seed and they’ve had this warning in their catalog for the corn for at least the last two years. Grow your heirloom corn in a high tunnel green house or something to help protect your seed. Pandora’s box…but I bet you already knew all of this, Sarah. LOL!

    July 31st, 2011 12:58 pm Reply
  • Kay

    Sarah, what’s the difference between the tamari sauce you linked to and, for instance, the San-J brand?


    I usually buy the latter in bulk through a buying club to save money.

    July 31st, 2011 1:52 pm Reply
  • K Louise Ford via Facebook

    Great timing I was thinking the same thing, wondering how hard it would be to make home made teriyaki. Thanks, great recipe.

    July 31st, 2011 2:32 pm Reply
  • Ginger Jilek via Facebook

    Thanks. I love the simple recipe too!

    July 31st, 2011 2:33 pm Reply
  • Nikki @ Project: Family Cookbook

    Sarah how do you make your chicken teriyaki?

    July 31st, 2011 4:00 pm Reply
    • teresa white

      I would like to know also, Sarah, Is the San J Ok? Mine has alcohol in it.

      July 31st, 2011 4:01 pm Reply
      • teresa white

        Not canola oil…OOps I forgot the rest of my reply?

        July 31st, 2011 4:24 pm Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          I doubt it. I haven’t found an acceptable bottle of teriyaki sauce!!! They are all full of junky additives and cheap oil that I’ve seen.

          July 31st, 2011 7:20 pm Reply
          • Janice

            Coconut Secret makes Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce, available on Amazon. Maybe it wasn’t available when you posted. The ingredients are: organic coconut sap, sea salt, organic ginger, organic onion, organic garlic, organic cayenne pepper. Sounds pretty healthy to me. :-)

            October 10th, 2014 11:31 am
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            Awesome .. this is definitely new. Haven’t seen this before.

            October 10th, 2014 12:43 pm
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I’ll post the recipe later this week or early next week. I’ve got it half written up.

      July 31st, 2011 4:40 pm Reply
  • Amber L McClellan (@almcclellan)

    Homemade Teriyaki Sauce – The Healthy Home Economist http://t.co/hPpNCJF

    July 31st, 2011 4:07 pm Reply
  • Cara

    Teriyaki chicken is a tradition in my family. It is a “comfort food” and holds special memories of my mom who passed away in ’99. I love “her” recipe (it is Kikkoman based) but I definitely want to try yours Sarah. Thanks for the healthy option 😉
    PS ( The way we love our teriyaki chicken meals is with mashed potatoes, make a well in a dollup of taters and pour t. sauce in like gravy …. so yummy 😉 … OK, gotta make me some now! )

    July 31st, 2011 5:26 pm Reply
  • Cara

    Sarah, If whey is not used should you still keep on counter overnight? Should it be stored in refrigerator or on counter ? Is there a non-dairy sub for the whey that can be used instead?

    July 31st, 2011 5:36 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Cara, refrigerate right away if not adding the whey. You can add a bit of a probiotic capsule (BioKult is a good one) to the sauce and leave on the counter overnight instead .. I’ve not tried this but other folks have used this method with my other lactofermented recipes with success.

      July 31st, 2011 5:51 pm Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Just proves that there’s basically nothing you can’t have when eating real food…you just have to make it yourself. :) The other day I made my kids “lemonade” with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, water, and a little raw honey. They loved it. And my daughter just finished eating GAPS-friendly coffee cake. The point being…the (food) world is open!!

    July 31st, 2011 7:44 pm Reply
  • Mama Dobble

    I just pinned a link to your recipe on my Pinterest so that I can make this. I hope you don’t mind..

    March 14th, 2012 5:58 pm Reply
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  • Unkle Ben

    MSG is a natural flavor that is not good for anyone. Be aware that when you see natural flavor in the list of ingredients it may well be MSG.

    January 31st, 2013 5:43 pm Reply
  • Jackie Marie

    Hi Sarah, Just found your website and am looking forward to trying your teriyaki recipe. Unfortunately, I live in an area where I cannot get farm fresh milk so I will have to forgo the whey. I have one more possibility, but have never noticed if there is farm fresh milk in the health food section of our smallish grocery stores. It is surprising how many wonderful healthy things we do carry, so I am hoping. Any suggestion?. One other thing is I notice you still eat wheat products. My husband and I have eliminated wheat for almost 8 months now and it has made a huge difference in our over all well being. not only have we lost some weight, but have not had indigestion at all. We used to take an acid reducer, no more. Also, my husband had many symptoms of Celiac and those are completely gone. Okay, I subscribed to your news letter and am sure you will have lots of recipes I can use in our “Just eat real food lifestyle. One more thought, there is a lady here that has a couple of goats. Would goat milk make whey?

    November 14th, 2013 10:14 am Reply
  • Wintimiss

    I found this too salty for a teriyaki sauce. Had to add more sugar anyway although I really wanted just the honey to work on it’s own as a sweetener. Also added a bit of ginger powder as well, which gave it a deeper flavour.

    December 26th, 2013 3:06 pm Reply
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  • Nick Brady via Facebook

    Make our own all the time. SO easy!

    October 10th, 2014 10:54 am Reply
  • Yvonne Marie via Facebook

    I read this and I was like..I throw this together all the time and didn’t even realize it was ‘teriyaki sauce’ lol. It’s so good, easy and way more healthy. Even if you found a good one commercially it’ll save you money to just make this yourself. Generally I don’t even measure. Throw some of each of those in a bowl..whisk, taste, adjust..

    October 10th, 2014 11:57 am Reply
  • Kirsten Wise via Facebook

    so easy to make, it will become automatic, no recipe needed

    October 10th, 2014 1:18 pm Reply
  • Liz Brown via Facebook

    Perfect. Have been thinking I needed to find a healthy recipe. :-)

    October 11th, 2014 9:01 am Reply
  • Mandi Capo via Facebook

    My brother sent me an article on MSG being used in Asia for millennia and it being fine. I totally disagree and have read about this before, but cannot find it. Can someone help me to educate him?

    October 11th, 2014 8:58 pm Reply

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