Forget store-bought, my Vegan Teriyaki Sauce is super easy, delicious, inexpensive, takes only 10 minutes to make, and isn't full of chemicals and preservatives. It also happens to be vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.
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Hey Internet, are you ready for a new saucy sauce from me? This teriyaki is so good it's downright addictive, but it isn't full of all the crap that the storebought ones are.
I used it recently in my Chik'n Teriyaki with Brussels Sprouts recipe and I knew I had to make it again and again for other applications.
Teriyaki sauce is probably one of the quickest and most versatile sauces I make on a regular basis. It's great with stir fry when you need a really quick meal.
It's also good on some pan-fried tofu, and makes the perfect base for my favorite sticky tofu (coming soon).
I can't even believe this was one of the first sauces on my blog! It's been recently updated (hi) of course.
Guess what else? It's ridiculously easy to make and takes only 10 minutes to prep.
What You'll Need
- Reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce: I like to use reduced sodium soy sauce for my teriyaki because regular just seems way too salty. If you're accustomed to using the full strength, feel free to go ahead and use that. You can always dilute the sauce with a bit of water if you find it's getting too salty. If you’re gluten-free, use gluten-free tamari. If you’re soy-free, try No Soy or Coconut Aminos.
- Agave or maple syrup: This is the first of two sweeteners we'll add to give this vegan teriyaki sauce some dimension without using refined sugar. You can also use vegan honey or just use the other sugar option if you prefer.
- Coconut sugar: Also known as coconut palm sugar, this is refined sugar-free option that's warm and sweet like brown sugar and lends itself well to the flavors found in teriyaki sauce.
- Powdered ginger: Fresh grated ginger will also work well here, but I like smooth teriyaki sauce so I used powdered. The ginger gives great flavor to this recipe. If you aren't into spicy foods, you won't feel much spice from the small amount in this recipe.
- Pineapple juice or water: When I was researching teriyaki sauce, some featured fruit juces. In reading this article about the origins of teriyaki sauce, it seems that it is actually traditionally made with pineapple juice. I tried it this way and the flavor was too sweet for me, but feel free to replace some of the water in this recipe with a little pineapple juice or another juice like orange juice.
- Arrowroot powder or cornstarch: So technically, because of the sugar, you can boil this sauce until it reduces and thickens, but then you’ll also have less sauce. In order to save time, half the calories, and produce a fair amount of sauce, we can just instead use a little water + arrowroot powder or cornstarch to thicken the sauce and make it sticky (the coconut sugar helps with that).
- Garlic--optional: I chose not to add garlic because I don't feel the sauce needs it. It seems to me that some teriyaki sauces have garlic and some don't. So if you want garlic in yours, add about a teaspoon of granulated garlic or about 2 cloves of grated or minced garlic.
How to Make Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
- Note: I would use a sauce pan with a spout --it makes it easier to pour! Especially if you are storing this sauce into a jar or pouring it directly on food (instead of adding it to another pan, say if you are stir-frying something).
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce/gluten-free tamari, sugars, ginger, and one cup of the water (reserve a quarter cup) (or if you're using juice, just use a cup of that here). Add to a small nonstick sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let boil for 1-2 minutes.
- Mix the arrowroot powder/cornstarch with the remaining quarter cup of water with a whisk in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Pour the mixture into the pot and whisk or stir constantly until the sauce has thickened to your liking. If you want it thicker, you can either add another tablespoon of the powder to another 2 tablespoons of water (the same way you did before, with the whisk as it avoids lumps), or you can just refrigerate it since it will thicken as it chills.
- I like to use this right away in whatever I’m making. Use it on whatever you like--vegan teriyaki cauliflower wings, vegan chicken teriyaki and Brussels sprouts, or stir fry... so many possibilities.
- Refrigerate the sauce for up to 3-4 days.
How to Store the Sauce
When you make sauces at home, most of the time you are not using preservatives. This means that it won't last a month in your fridge. However most of the time they are so easy to make that it doesn't matter.
This sauce will last a week in the fridge if stored properly. Store it in an airtight glass container. I have had the best results with cooked food lasting in the fridge when using glass containers.
For this sauce, I like to store it in a mason jar.
Other Asian-Inspired Recipes
If you like this recipe, I suggest you try some of my other Asian-inspired recipes!
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants.
This Easy Vegan Teriyaki Sauce is:
- and PACKED with umami flavor!
Let me know if you make this by tagging me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!