This simple homemade Vegan Teriyaki Sauce is quick and easy to make. Naturally sweetened and made soy free with coconut aminos, this homemade teriyaki recipe is simply the best!
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I think one of the best-kept secrets in the sauce world is how easy it is to make your own homemade Vegan Teriyaki Sauce.
I mean, it's so easy it's ridiculous.
One day not too long ago I had a hankering for a teriyaki stir-fry, but I looked at the bottle of teriyaki sauce in my cupboard only to discover 1) it was badly expired, 2) it should have been stored in the fridge (whoops!) and 3) it was not vegan. It also had a loooooong list of ingredients, and I knew there had to be a better way.
Turns out, there is: Make it yourself!
What is teriyaki?
Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique. The word teriyaki is comprised of two Japanese words, "teri" which means luster (the shine), and "yaki" which means to grill or broil.
When westerners refer to teriyaki, we're typically referring to the accompanying sauce, which is sweet, salty, and a bit sticky. I am not Japanese and therefore can not speak to the authenticity of this recipe, however, I can certainly attest to its deliciousness.
Is all teriyaki sauce vegan?
No. Some teriyaki sauce is sweetened with honey, which is not technically vegan. If you're buying bottled teriyaki sauce, be sure to read the ingredients if you're looking for a vegan sauce. Or, just make this one!
What's in vegan teriyaki sauce?
The list of ingredients is short and sweet... literally! Here's what you need:
- Coconut aminos --> I used this in place of soy sauce because it's naturally a bit sweeter.
- Maple syrup --> This is our vegan sweetener.
- Rice vinegar --> For tang.
- Corn starch --> To thicken.
- Ginger --> For a bit of zing!
- Garlic --> To round things out.
Coconut aminos: If you'd prefer to use regular soy sauce or soy aminos in place of coconut aminos, your teriyaki sauce will be considerably more salty than the recipe that I've developed and tested. You may need to add additional maple syrup to balance the saltiness.
Maple Syrup: You can certainly use another liquid sweetener to replace the maple syrup. Although I have not tested any alternatives, I believe that brown rice syrup, agave, or honey (if not vegan) are suitable replacements. My friend Sarah makes a Whole 30 teriyaki sauce that replaces the sweetener with pineapple.
Corn starch: Corn starch is the only thickener I have tested, however, I've seen other recipes that use arrowroot powder in its place.
How do you make vegan teriyaki sauce?
Easy, friends! I'll talk you through it step-by-step.
Step 1: Make your cornstarch slurry. Simply whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl, and set aside so it's ready when you need it.
Step 2: Combine the coconut aminos, maple syrup, water, rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Step 3: As soon as the mixture is boiling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry!
Step 4: Keep on whisking until the sauce thickens.
Keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so you don't want it to be *too* thick while it's on the heat. It should coat the back of a spoon, like in the picture below.
Step 5: Remove the teriyaki sauce from the heat, and you are done!
Either you can use it right away, or transfer it into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge for up to one week.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
You sure can! Transferred into a glass jar and cooled to room temperature, you can store your terikyai sauce in the fridge for up to one week.
I have not personally tried freezing teriyaki sauce, but the internet says that you can. I'd recommend freezing it in ice cube trays so you can use exactly how much you want.
Ways to use vegan teriyaki sauce
My favourite way to use this teriyaki sauce is with stir-fried or baked tempeh or tofu.
It's also a great dipping sauce for Salad Rolls.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Vegan Rice Noodle Bowls
Vegan Poké Bowls
Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
Red Curry Coconut Stir-Fry
Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon cold water
- 1 Tbsp ginger finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or finely grated
- ½ cup coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- In a small bowl, combine 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoon cold water. Mix well, and set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves crushed garlic, ½ cup coconut aminos, ½ cup water, ½ cup maple syrup, and 2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar.
- Bring the teriyaki mixture to the boil over medium heat.
- Add the cornstarch slurry, and whisk well.
- Continue whisking until the sauce thickens to the point that it coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly before using.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Vegan Teriyaki sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.
- See the main post for substitutions.
I used half the suggested maple syrup and it was really good.
I probably shouldn't drink this... but it's so good 🤩 I reaaally enjoyed this as a marinade, thank you!
Haha, no judgement here. Drink away!
I made it and it's great! This is an authentic sauce, the ingredients sound misleading but when you put the final product together, it tastes like something from a restaurant. You will be wanting to come back for more like it was a weight watcher's frozen dinner!!
This sounds fantastic, Katie! Commercial ones are commonly full of rubbish and since it's a frequently used Asian sauce, it make sense to make one's own. Fab!