5 Best Teriyaki Sauce Substitutes

Teriyaki sauce is a delicious Asian condiment that’s perfect for marinades, dipping sauces, and glazes.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to find in grocery stores and the ingredients list may contain preservatives or other additives you don’t want to eat every day. And that means you need to find the perfect Teriyaki Sauce substitutes.

Fortunately, there are some great alternatives for when you’re craving teriyaki sauce.

The best substitutes for teriyaki sauce are Barbecue Sauce, Korean Galbi Sauce, Soy Sauce with Sugar, Oyster Sauce, and Worcestershire Sauce.

Read on to know how you can swap these in place of the original ingredient.

What is Teriyaki Sauce?

Teriyaki is a Japanese word that means “glossy grilled”. It’s a thick, dark sauce made from soy sauce and sugar, with mirin brewed from rice added for sweetness.  

The bigger amount of sugars in teriyaki sauce makes it sweeter than most other soy sauces. Ground ginger and garlic are also common ingredients in teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade for meat or seafood, and glaze during cooking.

Most teriyaki sauces are made with soy sauce as their base ingredient. It is also very common to find them mixed with other ingredients such as honey, ginger, and garlic.

Sometimes it might be a bit difficult for someone looking for a teriyaki sauce alternative because most of the recipes or substitute ingredients are close to what teriyaki sauce really is.

5 Best Teriyaki Sauce Substitutes

1. Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce can be used as a substitute for teriyaki sauce.

It has the same sweetness we commonly find in teriyaki sauce, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking for something that gives your dishes the similar taste of teriyaki but without the sugar content.  

This thick tomato-based condiment can easily be used in marinades and for making glazes. It is also a great dipping sauce!

2. Korean Galbi Sauce

Korean galbi sauce is sweeter than the teriyaki sauce, but it can still be considered as an alternative to it.

This sweet and savory chunky Korean sauce has a consistency of both ketchup and barbecue sauce. It is made of soybean paste, which has a sweet, salty taste similar to teriyaki sauce.

The difference between the two sauces is that the galbi sauce has an additional ingredient for thickness: water.

The consistency of Korean galbi sauce is thicker than teriyaki sauce because it contains only 40% of the amount of soy sauce used in teriyaki sauce.

One of the most popular uses for galbi sauce is to marinate the meat before grilling or frying it. People also use it as a dipping sauce!

3. Soy Sauce with Sugar  

Soy Sauce

Since soy sauces are almost always made from wheat, which contains gluten, a lot of people prefer to use soy sauce with sugar as a replacement for teriyaki sauce instead.  

This simple condiment can be used in marinades or glazes, and it’s also commonly used in dipping sauces.

Many varieties of this condiment are available; the most common one is made from regular soy sauce mixed with sugar.

The difference between teriyaki sauce and soy sauce with sugar is that the latter does not have any flavors added to it. 

It simply contains soy sauce as its base ingredient, blended with natural sugars.

4. Oyster Sauce

Oyster Sauce Substitutes

Oyster sauce can be used in cooking dishes without frying or grilling them.

This thick sauce, made from fermented oysters and spices, can be added to various types of food such as vegetables, tofu, and noodles.

It contains a small amount of gluten which makes it not suitable for those who are allergic or sensitive to gluten.

The most common uses for this sauce are as a dipping condiment and an ingredient in marinades, dips, soups, and stews.

Oyster sauce has a sweet-savory taste that works well to enhance other flavors.

5. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is not really a substitute for teriyaki sauce because they contain different ingredients and flavors.

However, this condiment can still be used as an alternative for someone who wants to use the same flavor but without the sugar content in their dishes.  

Worcestershire sauce is made from beef and fish, which are blended with a variety of ingredients including soy sauce, garlic, caramelized sugar, tamarind, vinegar, and lemon juice.

It also contains anchovy fish extract – the main ingredient that makes Worcestershire sauce taste like teriyaki!

Worcestershire sauce can be used in cooking dishes without frying or grilling them. This thick sauce, made from beef and fish, contains a small amount of gluten which makes it not suitable for those who are allergic or sensitive to gluten.

The most common uses for this sauce are as a dipping condiment and an ingredient in marinades, dips, soups, and stews.

What Does Teriyaki Sauce Taste Like?

Teriyaki sauce tastes similar to soy sauce with a hint of sweetness. It’s known for its unique flavor that makes it stand out from other condiments because of the way they are made and what ingredients are used in them.

It contains sugar, rice wine, sake, and soy sauce. Teriyaki sauce has a sweet and salty flavor that makes it ideal for glazing meat or fish. It also complements well when added to dipping sauces such as barbecue sauce, ketchup, or chili sauce.

What Ingredients Are Present in Teriyaki Sauce?

Many people are surprised to learn that teriyaki sauce doesn’t contain any tea leaves! However, the ingredients used in this sauce make it a delicious condiment that can be used with various dishes.

For example, teriyaki sauce contains white rice vinegar (which gives it its characteristic sweet flavor), plus soy sauce as its base ingredient. In addition to these two main ingredients, sugar and seasonings such as ginger and garlic are usually added for flavoring.

Some brands of teriyaki sauce also contain corn syrup or sugar as a sweetener, while others may use molasses instead. As you can see, there are many ingredients used in this popular condiment!

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce at Home?

If you’d like to make your own homemade version of teriyaki sauce at home, there are many recipes available online.

For those who feel adventurous in the kitchen, here’s one recipe to make your own homemade teriyaki sauce:  

Ingredients needed:

  • 3/4 cup pure soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sake or Japanese rice wine  
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine  

How to make it:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Put the mixture into a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

To make your own teriyaki sauce more flavorful and tasty, you can also add some minced ginger or other ingredients to it. 

Here are some popular additional ingredients that people often add when making their own teriyaki sauce:

Shiitake mushrooms, fish sauce or salt, apple cider vinegar, minced ginger, and sesame seeds.

Teriyaki Sauce vs Soy Sauce: What’s The Difference?

Teriyaki sauce may be similar to soy sauce in flavor and color, but there are some differences between these two popular condiments.

Here are some important facts about each one:

1. Teriyaki sauce is sweetened with sugar while soy sauce isn’t.

2. Soy sauce is made from fermented beans while teriyaki sauce uses fish or soybeans for flavoring, although both have brownish-red color.  Also, teriyaki sauce usually contains sugar while soy sauce doesn’t.

3. Soy sauce is pungent and salty while teriyaki sauce is sweet and tangy with a hint of saltiness.

4. Both sauces can be used as marinades, dips, or glazes for meat and fish.  However, teriyaki sauce is mainly used in the preparation of chicken dishes.

5. Teriyaki sauce can easily be substituted with other condiments such as barbecue sauce and ketchup since it has a similar sweet flavor.

How to Use Teriyaki Sauce?

Some people make use of teriyaki sauce in the preparation of salads, omelets, and rice dishes. You can also use it as a marinade for meat or fish if you want to add a flavorful twist to your dish.

Here are some other do-it-yourself (DIY) tips on how to use this condiment:

1. Use teriyaki sauce as the major ingredient in making a sweet and salty dipping sauce for meat or seafood.  You can also mix it with soy sauce, ketchup, or any other condiments that you have on hand.

2. You can use teriyaki sauce in the marinade of your meat or fish dish.  You may also stir fry it with vegetables and serve it as a side dish for rice.

3. For those who are health conscious, you can substitute soy sauce with sugar to make a healthier version of this condiment instead.

If you’re not sure of what to cook for dinner, you can use teriyaki sauce as a condiment and flavor enhancer to add a sweet kick to your dish.

Best Teriyaki Sauce Brands

There are many brands of teriyaki sauce available in supermarkets today. Here are some popular store brands:

  1. Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce  
  2. Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce
  3. La Choy Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
  4. Sriracha-Honey Barbecue Sauce
  5. Annie Chun’s Sweet & Savory Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce
  6. Oyster Flavor Sauce (Oyster sauce is similar to teriyaki sauce.)

Final Words

Teriyaki sauce is a great condiment to enhance the flavor of any dish.

The recipe for teriyaki sauce that we’ve provided should give you some ideas on how to whip up your own at home, or you could always buy it from the store if cooking doesn’t sound appealing right now.

Keep in mind though that there are many different brands and varieties available out there so be sure to find one with all-natural ingredients before settling on just any old brand.

If this article has inspired you to try making your own homemade teriyaki sauce, let us know! We’d love to hear about what substitutions and additions have worked best for you and why.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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