Savory, sweet, and sticky, this Vegan Teriyaki Sauce is absolutely delicious as a marinade or sauce. Enjoy it on rice, tofu, vegetables, noodles, and more! It only takes 10 minutes to make, and is so much better than store-bought sauce.
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This is the best vegan teriyaki sauce! It’s so delicious, you’re going to want to put it on everything! Tofu, stir fries, noodles, and veggies. And since it’s made with pantry staples in just a few minutes, you can make it all the time.
While teriyaki sauce is easy to pick up at the store, so many of them are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (which I try to avoid whenever possible) or honey (which isn’t vegan).
An advantage of making homemade vegan teriyaki sauce is that you get to control the ingredients. You can make it as sweet, salty, or spicy as you want. It tastes fresher, and it’s also so much cheaper! So why not make a better tasting teriyaki sauce and save money at the same time?
What is Teriyaki Sauce?
Teriyaki is thought to originate in Japan. But some claim it was developed in Hawaii when the Islanders created a sauce by sweetening soy sauce with pineapple juice. Regardless of how this sauce originated, it really took hold in America and is considered to be one of the most popular American styles of Japanese cooking.
Vegan Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce – for a gluten free sauce, use gluten free soy sauce or tamari. For a soy free sauce, use coconut aminos.
- Rice Vinegar – If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar.
- Light Brown Sugar – for refined sugar free sauce, substitute with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or date sugar.
- Fresh ginger – fresh ginger gives a better flavor, but ginger powder can be substituted.
- Minced garlic – from a fresh garlic or from a jar of minced garlic. Garlic powder can be substituted.
- Cornstarch – to thicken the sauce. For a corn free sauce, use arrowroot powder.
How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
- Make a slurry by combining the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add all the other teriyaki sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan. Stir together and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a simmer.
- Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and stir continuously until the sauce comes to a boil. and thickens. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- If desired, sprinkle in a few raw or toasted sesame seeds.
- Make it spicy by adding crushed red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
- Use a bit of pineapple juice for some of the liquid.
- Make it more savory by using veggie broth instead of water.
Ways to Use This Sauce
- Leave out the cornstarch and use as a marinade for tofu, seitan, or tempeh.
- Use as a stir fry sauce.
- Make delicious teriyaki noodles!
- Use it as a sauce on tofu or soy curls and serve with rice and veggies for a tasty and healthy teriyaki bowl as I did in my Teriyaki Tofu.
- Let it cool and use as a dipping sauce for veggie spring rolls and other foods.
- Make these fresh and crisp Soy Curl Lettuce Wraps.
- Enjoy a summer meal on the bbq with these Grilled Tofu Veggie Kabobs.
For other oil free vegan sauce recipes, see:
- Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
- Vegan Enchilada Sauce
- Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Oil Free Vegan Pesto
- Easy Pizza Sauce
Explore my Vegan Staples Cookbook
Frequently asked questions
Many teriyaki sauces are vegan, but some contain honey. When buying teriyaki sauce, it’s important to read the label to make sure all the ingredients are vegan.
Store the sauce in a jar or other airtight container for up to a week. Freezing homemade teriyaki sauce is a great way to preserve it for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen sauce in the freezer, and reheat it in a small pot on the stove before using.
Yes, simply substitute a gluten free tamari for the soy sauce.
This teriyaki sauce recipe is not spicy as written. If you want a spicier sauce, add a few crushed red pepper flakes or some hot sauce.
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Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- Make a slurry by stirring together the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Set aside
- Transfer the remaining sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
- Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and whisk continually until it comes to a boil and thickens.