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10 Best Substitutes for Teriyaki Sauce

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Ever find yourself with a recipe that calls for teriyaki sauce, but you don’t have any on hand? The good news is, there are many different teriyaki sauce substitutes that you can use in your cooking instead. Here are 10 of the best substitutes for teriyaki sauce we absolutely recommend.

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What is Teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is a Japanese sauce that has a thick consistency and a sweet and savory flavor.

The sauce is most often used as a marinade for meat and poultry, like in teriyaki chicken.

It is also a popular condiment for sushi and other dishes in Japanese cuisine.

Is teriyaki just sweet soy sauce?

No. While teriyaki sauce share the common ingredient of soy sauce, it’s so much more than just “sweetened soy sauce.”

In fact, did you know that there are technically different flavors for teriyaki sauce?

The traditional Japanese teriyaki sauce is made from soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake. However, many of the westernized version of teriyaki sauce actually contains additional ingredients, like garlic, ginger, and honey.

Cornstarch may be added to homemade teriyaki sauce to produce its thick consistency.

10 Best Substitutes for Teriyaki Sauce

Ponzu Sauce

Ponzu sauce is a citrusy soy-based sauce that is often used as a substitute for teriyaki sauce. It is made with soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and citrus juice, so it has a salty, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor.

While it is more of a thinner sauce, ponzu sauce is a good substitute for teriyaki sauce when used as a marinade for chicken or beef, or when used as a dipping sauce.

Korean Kalbi Sauce

Another suitable substitute for teriyaki sauce is Korean Kalbi sauce.

Kalbi sauce is a savory sauce made with soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic powder, and ginger. It has all the flavors you love in teriyaki sauce, but with a little something extra.

Keep in mind, however, that kalbi sauce is not as sweet as teriyaki sauce, so it makes for the best teriyaki sauce substitute in dishes that need a more savory flavor profile, like grilled meats.

Though of course, you can always mix in a sweetener like honey or even white sugar to add more sweetness.

Barbeque Sauce

Barbeque sauce is another great alternative for teriyaki sauce because it has a similar sweet and tangy flavor that pairs well with chicken, steak, or pork.

Since barbeque sauce is thicker than teriyaki sauce, it will stick to your food better. This makes bbq sauce a wonderful teriyaki sauce substitute when used as a marinade.

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a Chinese condiment made from soybeans, flour, garlic, vinegar, chili, and various spices. It has a similar dark color and slightly thicker consistency than teriyaki sauce, and shares the same salty flavor as teriyaki sauce.

That said, hoisin sauce is way less sweet compared to teriyaki sauce, and has more of a unique flavor.

Still, while it doesn’t have the exact same flavor profiles as teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce works well as a teriyaki sauce substitute in recipes that benefit from the extra spice – like in stir-fries and as a glaze!

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a dark, tangy sauce that can be used as a substitute for teriyaki sauce in a lot of different recipes.

Traditionally, Worcestershire sauce is typically used in British and Irish cuisine, and can be found in most grocery stores in the United States. It is made from anchovies, tamarind, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and various herbs and spices.

While it does have a slightly different flavor profile compared to the true teriyaki sauce, it does lend a similar sweet and sour flavor as teriyaki sauce.

We love Worcestershire sauce as an alternative to teriyaki sauce because it adds a lot of depth and complexity to dishes, especially for meat dishes, such as steak or ribs.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a popular condiment used in East Asian cuisine made from fermented soybeans, salt, and water.

Given that soy sauce is the main ingredient in teriyaki sauce, it’s no surprise that that it can make for a great teriyaki sauce substitute.

That said, soy sauce has a strong, salty taste without the sweetness, so we recommend mixing soy sauce with maple syrup for a more authentic teriyaki flavor.


If you’ve never heard of tamari before, just know that it’s essentially gluten-free soy sauce. As such, tamari is the best gluten-free substitute for teriyaki sauce.

Similar to our note on soy sauce, tamari also does not have the sweetness of teriyaki sauce, so we recommend mixing it with maple syrup for a better teriyaki alternative.

Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is a great substitute for teriyaki sauce because they share a similar flavor profile and consistency.

The sauce is salty, sweet, and a little bit savory, which makes it a great accompaniment to meats and vegetables, just like teriyaki sauce. It works especially well in stir fries.

Oyster sauce is also very easy to find in most grocery stores, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for a quick and easy teriyaki sauce replacement.

Indonesian Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce)

Kecap manis is a sweetened soy sauce that originates from Indonesia. It is made by combining soy sauce with palm sugar (though some brands use brown sugar, honey, or molasses).

This dark, thick sauce is used as a condiment in Indonesian cuisine and can be found in specialty and Asian grocery stores worldwide.

Compared to teriyaki sauce, kecap manis is much sweeter. That said, I recommend mixing kecap manis with regular soy sauce or tamari to add saltiness for a flavor that is closer to teriyaki sauce!

Homemade Sauce

Of course, while all the other sauces are great substitutes for teriyaki sauce, none can ever compare quite like the real thing.

So if you don’t have any store-bought teriyaki sauce on hand, why not consider making your own teriyaki sauce? It’s surprisingly easy and requires just a few basic ingredients!

How to Make Your Own Homemade Teriyaki Sauce



  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until well combined. Transfer to a saucepan along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, brown sugar, honey, garlic powder, and ginger.
  2. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once done, let the teriyaki sauce cool before transferring to an airtight container, like a mason jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

More How-To’s & Ingredient Substitutions

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Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Content is written by Michelle Schmidt of dwellbymichelle.com.

Easy Teriyaki Sauce Recipe (+ 10 Substitutes)

DWELL by Michelle
This homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is easy to make and requires just a few simple ingredients. We love using it to flavor meats and vegetables for an easy meal!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Dips, Sauce
Cuisine Asian
Servings 5 servings
Calories 57 kcal



  • In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until well combined. Transfer to a saucepan along with the soysauce, sesame oil, mirin, brown sugar, honey, garlic powder, and ginger.
  • Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Once done, let the teriyaki sauce cool before transferring to an airtight container, like a mason jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Calories: 57kcal
Keyword easy dipping sauce, easy recipes, sauces, soy sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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