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Why Teriyaki Sauce Should Be a Pantry Staple

Why Teriyaki Sauce Should Be a Pantry Staple
Teriyaki sauce is the ideal dipping sauce for Asian-style chicken recipes.

“Teriyaki” refers to a Japanese cooking style that uses teriyaki sauce as a marinade or glaze for grilled or broiled meats – combining the Japanese words teri, meaning "gloss," and yaki, meaning "grill or fry." The sauce itself comprises soy sauce, sugar, and mirin or sake–because of its high sugar content, it melts over meat with a slightly sweet glaze and has a kick of umami from the soy sauce.

Teriyaki sauce is commonly paired with grilled or broiled chicken but can be one of the most versatile pantry staples to have in your arsenal. The sauce goes with almost anything–fish, vegetables, noodles, and more. Find out how to make teriyaki sauce at home. Plus, the ingredients you need and how you can make your dishes shine with this all-around condiment.

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

The list of teriyaki sauce ingredients is so simple that you likely already have them in your pantry.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce is a condiment made from fermented soybeans and is known for its strong umami taste. It is one of the most popular and flavorful marinade ingredients for grilled meats.


Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that many often use for cooking. It is low on alcohol but has a high sugar content thanks to its natural fermentation process. You can also use sake, a less sweet Japanese rice wine, to make teriyaki sauce. 


Sugar helps create that gloss or glaze you can get from grilling or broiling meats with teriyaki sauce. Alternatively, you can also try honey. 

Aromatics and seasoning

Teriyaki sauce is delicious with extra aromatics and seasoning – try garlic powder, toasted sesame seeds, grated fresh ginger, or Knorr Liquid Seasoning to give your sauce that extra special kick.

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce at Home

Homemade teriyaki sauce is easier than you think! Mix all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil before lowering it to a simmer and letting the sugar melt completely. Continue to simmer over low heat, occasionally stirring, until the sauce reduces by a third or to your desired consistency. Let cool completely, then transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

There’s also no shame in getting bottled and ready-to-use teriyaki sauce from the grocery store– you can keep it as a trusty pantry staple to put together quick dishes like this easy chicken teriyaki recipe. 

How to Cook With Bottled or Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Saucy stir-fries

Mix teriyaki sauce into your rice-based or noodle stir-fries for a salty-sweet kick. It also pairs well with sautéed chicken, fish, and vegetable dishes, like this fish and vegetable teriyaki dish. 

Marinades and glazes

Infuse delicious umami flavors into your meats with teriyaki sauce. Add Knorr Liquid Seasoning or crushed Knorr Chicken Cubes into your marinade, mix into your choice of meat, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. To get that mouthwatering gloss on your grilled meats, brush the sauce over the meat during the last stages of grilling or broiling. 

Dipping sauces

Don't hesitate to use teriyaki sauce for dipping sautéed meats or fried dishes. Add a cornstarch slurry as you simmer your homemade teriyaki sauce over low heat to thicken the mixture. 

Now do you understand how teriyaki sauce is a pantry staple every home cook needs in their kitchen? Make your homemade version now and have fun applying on these recipes and cooking tips.

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