This homemade Vegan Teriyaki Sauce is so easy to make at home! It’s done in under 10 minutes and is the perfect amount of sweet, spicy, tangy, and salty.
Skip the store-bought version and make this one instead!
This vegan spicy teriyaki sauce recipe has just the right amount of sweetness from maple syrup or agave syrup with a touch of red chili flakes for heat.
The tangy flavor comes from the rice vinegar and the soy sauce or tamari brings the saltiness.
Freshly grated ginger and garlic are added to bring even more flavor and freshness to this sauce!
What is Teriyaki Sauce?
The word teriyaki is actually a cooking method used in Japanese cuisine.
This term refers to foods that are broiled or grilled and then glazed in sugar, soy sauce, and mirin.
Teriyaki is thought to have originated when Japanese immigrants settled in Hawaii and would combine pineapple juice and soy sauce together. Eventually, the sauce that everyone recognizes as teriyaki was born.
Traditional teriyaki sauce is made by mixing together soy sauce, sugar, and mirin but over time has evolved and now some common ingredients like ginger, garlic, cornstarch, chili flakes, and vinegar are added.
Is teriyaki sauce vegan?
Most of the time teriyaki sauce is vegan but it can vary based on the recipe or brand. Some recipes call for honey and certain types of sugar aren’t vegan-friendly. But this teriyaki recipe is vegan!
Is teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Soy sauce isn’t naturally gluten-free so you’ll want to use tamari which is a gluten-free soy sauce.
I recommend low sodium.
This easy homemade vegan teriyaki sauce recipe is made from pantry staples that you most likely have on hand already!
This delicious sauce is full of flavor and makes a great dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry sauce.
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: I recommend low-sodium or you could risk it being too salty. If you want gluten-free teriyaki sauce, you can use tamari.
Ginger & Garlic: You can’t make this sauce without fresh ginger and garlic! They both bring so much flavor to this sauce.
Orange Juice: For sweetness and flavor but without adding more sugar!
Agave or Maple Syrup: I use pure maple syrup instead of regular sugar.
Rice Vinegar & Mirin: Rice vinegar for acidity and mirin for umami.
Red Pepper Flakes: The spice level is up to you!
Corn Starch: Used to thicken the sauce.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of teriyaki sauce. I recommend storing leftovers in a jar with a lid.
How to Make This Recipe
This truly is the best vegan teriyaki sauce recipe EVER! You’ll never get store-bought again.
Mince the garlic and ginger. Add a small splash of oil to a small saucepan on medium heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant, being careful not to burn.
Whisk together the soy sauce, orange juice, water, maple syrup, rice vinegar, mirin, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Whisk until the cornstarch has dissolved.
Pour the sauce into the pan with the garlic and ginger and whisk together. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has thickened. This will only take a few minutes.
Take the sauce off the heat and use it immediately or allow it to cool and store it in an airtight jar.
Optional add-ins that taste great include green onions, sesame seeds, and toasted sesame oil.
Making your own homemade teriyaki sauce is incredibly simple and can be used in various dishes!
As a marinade: Use as a marinade for tofu or tempeh. Leave out the cornstarch if used as a marinade.
In a stir fry: This sauce is great when used as a sauce for stir-fries with tofu, tempeh, seitan, or veggies. Pairs well with noodles or over rice!
As a dipping sauce: It's the perfect dip for spring rolls or dumplings.
Substitutions & Additions
This recipe for vegan teriyaki sauce is simple, healthy, vegan, and can be made gluten-free!
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce for this recipe. If you use regular soy sauce, it will be too salty.
Make it gluten-free by using tamari instead of soy sauce. I recommend low sodium.
Make it soy-free by using coconut aminos.
Water: I used water but you could use vegetable broth if you want more flavor. But I highly recommend using one with no salt added.
Orange Juice: The orange juice in this recipe adds sweetness and can be substituted with pineapple juice or water.
Ginger & Garlic: I wouldn't recommend leaving these fresh ingredients out but if you're in a pinch and can't make it to the grocery store, use ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon ground ginger.
Corn Starch: Arrowroot starch or potato starch should work here as well.
Maple Syrup or Agave: These liquid sweeteners can be substituted with brown sugar or coconut sugar.
Tips & Tricks
Whisk in the cornstarch before heating the sauce. Cornstarch will clump up when added to hot liquids- you could make a cornstarch slurry or you can whisk it into the sauce before putting it on the stovetop.
If the sauce is too thick, add an extra splash of water to thin it out.
If the sauce is too thin, create a cornstarch slurry by whisking 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of water and adding it to the sauce, and allow to thicken.
Storage & Reheating
Storage: This homemade teriyaki sauce can be cooled and stored in an airtight container or airtight jar for 1 week.
Reheat: Simply reheat on the stovetop until warmed through.
Freeze: This sauce is freezer friendly! I recommend portioning it into an ice cube tray that way you can remove a cube or two when needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
The spice is up to you! I like to eyeball the measurements and taste and adjust. I usually add ½ to 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes but you use how much you desire or none at all.
Usually, yes but this one doesn’t! This recipe only contains 6 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup for 1 cup.
This teriyaki sauce recipe makes a little over 1 cup.
Yes! I highly recommend doubling this vegan sauce recipe and storing it in an air-tight container or jar for up to a week. This is a great recipe for meal prep and planning as it keeps well and can be added to many different dishes.
Other Recipes You Might Like!
Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
- 3-5 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Ginger minced
- ½ cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- ½ cup Orange Juice
- ½ cup Water
- 6 tablespoons Agave or Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Mirin or Rice Wine
- Red Pepper Flakes to preference
- 4 teaspoons Cornstarch
- Mince the garlic and ginger.
- Add a small splash of oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant, being careful not to burn.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, orange juice, water, maple syrup, rice vinegar, mirin, red pepper flakes, and the cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until the cornstarch has dissolved.
- Pour the sauce in to the pan with the garlic and ginger and whisk together. Cook on medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened. This will only take a few minutes. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Take the sauce off heat and use immediately or store in an airtight jar for up to a week!
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