Easy Teriyaki Marinade


Try this fantastic, Easy Teriyaki Marinade for all your cooking needs! This sweet and savory marinade adds incredible flavor to chicken, pork, beef, tofu, and vegetables before grilling or baking. You can create a delicious and easy teriyaki marinade with just a few simple ingredients.

Easy Teriyaki Marinade in a bowl

Teriyaki marinade is versatile and flavorful and can be used in multiple ways, including marinating meat, salmon, shrimp, and vegetables. Use it as a stir-fry sauce, a glaze for grilled or roasted meats, or a dipping sauce for dumplings. We swear by it and even use this teriyaki marinade recipe to make beef jerky! The best part is that you can increase the recipe and make a serving sauce! Simmer it in a saucepan and drizzle it on whatever your heart desires. 

What is teriyaki marinade?

Teriyaki marinade is a popular Japanese-inspired mixture used in grilled or broiled proteins. Beef, chicken, or pork is marinated in a sweet and savory concoction of soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sake, or vinegar. This mixture is also used on vegetables, seafood, and meat substitutes like tofu. It is widely used and also appears in fusion recipes across the globe.

Why Use a Teriyaki Marinade?

This is a great marinade to use if you’re looking for a sweet, umami flavor for your grilled or baked proteins. You will need to have a few key ingredients to make this marinade. First is the soy sauce. It is an excellent source of savory, umami flavor. Next is sugar. Unlike most teriyaki recipes, we use dark brown sugar instead of white sugar. Dark brown sugar contains molasses, adding caramel flavor to the marinade. You will also need Worcestershire sauce and white vinegar. Both are easily found at most grocery stores! See below for the full list of ingredients.

Easy Teriyaki Marinade

Easy Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients:

  • Soy sauce
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Distilled white vinegar (or sake)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh ginger
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)
  • Green onions (optional)

What is a good substitute for soy sauce?

We recommend using coconut aminos for soy sensitive individuals, or tamari for gluten free diets.

How to Make Teriyaki Marinade:

  • Combine all recipe ingredients into a medium bowl.
  • Gently whisk the ingredients. 
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes, until sugar has dissolved. Whisk through once more before using.
  • Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days. Whisk before using.
  • This recipe makes 1 1/4 cups of marinade, or enough for 2 1/2 pounds of meat.
marinated salmon on a cutting board

Marinating Times:

  • Beef (all cuts), Pork (tenderloin and pork chops), and Lamb (all cuts): 4-12 hours.
  • Chicken breasts, thighs, and legs and other poultry: 4-8 hours.
  • Fish, Seafood, Vegetables, and Meat Substitutes: 1-2 hours.
  • Bake or grill meats, fish and vegetables as directed.
Teriyaki glaze

Making Teriyaki Sauce:

  • Did you know you can turn this marinade into a teriyaki sauce? It’s easy and requires a little cornstarch and a saucepan! Follow the steps below to convert this teriyaki marinade into a delicious silky sauce!
  • Place marinade ingredients into a small pot. 
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce the heat as needed. 
  • Simmer for 5 minutes. If the sauce is not thick enough, thicken with cornstarch.
  • Dissolve 2 t of cornstarch in 1 T of water.
  • Increase your stovetop heat to medium-high and whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
  • Let the sauce simmer for 30 seconds to activate the cornstarch.
  • The mixture will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove pot from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.
  • Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Is it safe to use leftover teriyaki marinade?

Yes and no. If you have prepared a little extra marinade, store it separately from the remaining marinade, and use it to make a sauce or for basting. If you intend to use the liquid the meat has marinated in, make sure to boil it in a pot on your stovetop for at least 5 minutes. Let it cool slightly, and use it as a baste on meats on the grill. We do not recommend using this version as a glaze, however. See above for how to safely prepare a teriyaki serving sauce.

Try some of our other marinade recipes!

Easy Teriyaki Marinade

Easy Teriyaki Marinade

A great way to get that sweet and savory teriyaki kick to your favorite dish! This marinade is sure to add flavor to whatever you're grilling and, works particularly well with pork, poultry, fish, and tofu. The plus side? You can make an extra batch, simmer it until thickened and drizzle on top of grilled meats and vegetables. Either way, it is fantastic.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Marinades/Brines
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: marinade recipe, teriyaki marinade
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1.25 cups
Calories: 80kcal
Author: Sabrina Baksh


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed (1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)


  • Combine all marinade ingredients into a medium bowl.
    Gently whisk ingredients. Allow the mixture sit for 10 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. Whisk through once more before using.
    Use marinade immediately or store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
    Recipe makes 1 1/4 cups of marinade.
  • Marinating times:
    Beef, pork, and lamb for 4-12 hours.
    Chicken and other poultry for 4-8 hours.
    Fish, seafood, vegetables and meat substitutes for 1-2 hours.
  • How to make the sauce:
    Place marinade ingredients into a small saucepan.
    Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally and watch for burning. Reduce the heat as needed.
    Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. If the mixture is too runny, thicken with a cornstarch solution.
    Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water.
    Turn the heat up on your stove to medium-high and whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
    Let the teriyaki sauce simmer for 30 seconds to activate the cornstarch.
    The mixture will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5324mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg

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