Wow, yum! This is what we hope you’ll say when you taste this delicious sauce. We’ve been wanting to create a teriyaki sauce for a while now and finally stuck the landing on one that’s easy, gluten-free, naturally sweetened, and optionally soy-free, too!
Not only is this sauce incredibly quick to make (20 minutes), but it’s also made with just 6 pantry staple ingredients! This salty, sweet, tangy delight is super versatile, pairing beautifully with tofu, chicken, bowls, and beyond. Let’s get saucy!
Origin of Teriyaki Sauce
The word “teriyaki” refers to a cooking technique developed by Japanese chefs in the 1700s. It involves broiling or grilling foods in a glaze made from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar (source).
When Japanese immigrants settled in Hawaii, a new but similar sauce was born, and it featured a local ingredient: pineapple! Along the way, a sweet, savory, thick sauce resembling the teriyaki sauce evolved into what’s found in grocery stores and restaurants in the U.S. today.
The following is our inspired, gluten-free (and naturally vegan) version, which has a similarly thick texture and sweet and savory flavor balance.
Is Teriyaki Sauce Gluten-Free?
Traditionally, teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, which is not gluten-free because it contains wheat.
To replace soy sauce in this recipe, we used its cousin: tamari. Tamari and soy sauce are both made from fermented soybeans, but tamari doesn’t usually contain wheat. Some brands of tamari include a small amount of wheat, so if you’re making it for gluten-free eaters, you’ll want to double check the ingredients!
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
We start this recipe by blending up a handful of pantry staples: tamari for the salty, savory element, maple syrup for natural sweetness, rice vinegar for balance, ginger and garlic for zing, water to make it saucy, and cornstarch to thicken.
After blending, it becomes a foamy mixture. That’s totally normal and there’s no need to worry, friends!
After transferring the foamy mixture to a saucepan and bringing it to a boil, the cornstarch starts thickening the liquid and the foam disappears.
Then cook for just 5-10 minutes more and you’ve got teriyaki sauce!
We hope you LOVE this teriyaki sauce! It’s:
& SO versatile!
Try it on tofu, chicken, vegetables, rice, or in our Rainbow Vegetable Edamame Bowls or in place of the sauce in our Tofu Noodle Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables or Crispy Tofu Lettuce Wraps.
More DIY Sauce Recipes
- Easy Homemade Sriracha (15 Minutes!)
- Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce
- Easy Green Goddess Dressing (Plant-Based!)
- Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce (Gluten-Free)
- 1/4 cup tamari (ensure gluten-free as needed // if soy-free, sub coconut aminos)
- 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 ½ tsp ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (~1 ½ inch piece or 6 g)
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Add all ingredients (tamari or coconut aminos, maple syrup, rice vinegar, water, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch) to a high-speed blender. Blend on medium-low speed until no large chunks of ginger or garlic remain and the mixture is well combined — about 30 seconds. It will look pale and foamy — this is normal!
- Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan (large enough for the mixture to boil) and turn to medium heat. Let the sauce come to a boil and keep an eye on it — it should begin to bubble vigorously and start going up the sides of the pan. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
- Once boiling and bubbly, reduce the heat to low and whisk for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. We like whisking for 5 minutes and leaving the sauce on the thinner side, as it will thicken even more as it cools. If you like your teriyaki sauce thicker, whisk for up to 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a heat-proof container like a glass jar or storage container and let cool. Enjoy it in our Rainbow Vegetable Edamame Bowls, or in place of the tahini sauce or peanut sauce in our Tofu Noodle Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables or Crispy Tofu Lettuce Wraps.
- Leftover sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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