Find out if teriyaki sauce is gluten-free, which brands to look for when you’re at the grocery store, and get a recipe to make your own gluten-free teriyaki sauce at home.
Note: I am a proud Amazon and Thrive Market affiliate and am happy to recommend their service and products to you. Please know that as an affiliate, I may receive a small commission on the products you purchase after clicking through my links. For more info, please see my disclosure policy here.
Do you love to cook with teriyaki sauce or enjoy getting teriyaki takeout? If you’re gluten-free, you may be wondering what options are available to you on your diet.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of a quick and easy meal, I think of a protein plus veggies, and topped with a sauce. Done and done.
Teriyaki takeout is one of those go-to easy meals that I used to rely on long before I went gluten-free. Mainly, because I didn’t have to make anything myself!
It’s delicious, easy, and there’s almost always one within a short walk or drive from just about anywhere I’ve ever lived.
But since I’ve been following a gluten-free diet, I’ve become more aware where gluten hides, and I quickly learned that wheat can be found in a LOT of pre-made sauces and processed foods.
So what do I do if I can’t have that easy takeout dinner? I’ll make it at home for myself and my family!
Believe it or not, it’s not actually THAT much harder to cook it at home than it is to call for a pickup and go to get it. Plus, it’s cheaper and much better for you to make it at home.
In this post, we’ll talk about teriyaki sauce – both the kinds from the store AND the homemade options.
If you are like me on my lazy days and like shortcuts, there are plenty of options available for you. But if you’re like me on my more ambitious days, you also want a homemade option that doesn’t require too much effort.
Let’s cover the basics of teriyaki sauce first!
What is teriyaki sauce made of?
Teriyaki sauce is usually made of soy sauce, sake or mirin, sugar, and ginger. It’s mainly used as a sauce for chicken and beef, stir-fries, on chicken wings, or as a marinade.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form or gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Is teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Traditional Chinese soy sauce contains gluten, making most teriyaki sauce you’ll find at grocery stores or restaurants not gluten-free. Despite teriyaki sauce being of Japanese origin, it’s still often made using Chinese soy sauce in the US.
You can certainly find a few gluten-free options of teriyaki sauce available at grocery stores and online, but be sure to look at ingredients lists as well as look for the gluten-free label before buying.
You can also find coconut aminos teriyaki sauce at some stores and online. Coconut aminos has a similar taste to soy sauce, but is made from coconut instead of soy.
Where can I buy gluten-free teriyaki sauce?
You may be able to find gluten-free teriyaki sauce at your local grocery store or health food store. However, if it’s not available to you, you can definitely find it on Amazon or Thrive Market online.
Look for both gluten-free teriyaki sauce and coconut aminos teriyaki sauce. Check ingredients lists before buying to ensure you don’t pick up something you realize later you can’t use.
Gluten-free Teriyaki Sauce Brands
While there aren’t a TON of gluten-free teriyaki sauce brands on the market, there are enough to give you a few options.
If you like the convenience of buying teriyaki sauce over making it, look for one of these brands next time you’re shopping. If you can’t find it in person, try looking online using the links below.
- Annie Chun’s Teriyaki Sauce
- Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce
- Organic Asian Fusion Sesame Teriyaki Sauce
- Kevin’s Natural Foods Teriyaki Sauce
- Primal Kitchen
- San-J Gluten-free Teriyaki Sauce
- Sky Valley Organic Teriyaki Sauce
- The Ginger People Spicy Ginger Teriyaki Sauce
Are my favorite brands of teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Is Kikkoman teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Kikkoman brand makes a specific gluten-free teriyaki sauce. Look for the bottle that says gluten-free before buying, and avoid purchasing if you see “wheat” on the ingredients list.
Kikkoman also offers a less sodium gluten-free teriyaki marinade and sauce.
Is Sweet Baby Ray’s teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Both Sweet Baby Ray’s teriyaki sauce flavors – Sweet Teriyaki Marinade and Honey Teriyaki Marinade – contain wheat, therefore are not safe for a gluten-free diet.
Is Annie Chun’s teriyaki sauce gluten-free?
Annie Chun’s Japanese-Style Teriyaki sauce is gluten-free and safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet. This brand also offers another teriyaki sauce that is not gluten-free, so be sure to check the ingredients lists and labels before buying.
If all else fails and you can’t find a teriyaki sauce at your store, or you like the idea of controlling the flavor and quality of your ingredients, then making your own gluten-free teriyaki sauce is a great option.
It’s quick and easy to make and can last up to 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
What you need to make your own gluten-free teriyaki sauce
There are a number of different recipes for gluten-free teriyaki sauce available online. I feel like with most sauces, everyone has a different variation of what they like best. In my recipe, I like to keep the ingredients simple, but also full of flavor.
Here’s what you’ll need for this gluten-free teriyaki sauce recipe.
To give this teriyaki sauce some major flavor, fresh garlic will brighten up this dish and give it some spice.
Ground ginger brings a layer of depth and mild spiciness to your homemade teriyaki sauce.
White wine, sake, or mirin
Traditional teriyaki sauce calls for sake, but I never drink this so don’t have it on hand. Instead, I like to use white wine or mirin.
I’m much more likely to have white wine on hand than either mirin or sake, but all three work in this recipe. Use what you have on hand.
Rice vinegar gives this recipe some tang and brightness, the perfect addition to a homemade teriyaki sauce.
Brown or coconut sugar
To sweeten up this teriyaki sauce, brown sugar or coconut sugar give this recipe some rich sweetness.
The brown sugar is a little sweeter in flavor, but coconut sugar is better overall health-wise as it’s not refined and won’t spike your blood sugar as much.
Read on: Is brown sugar gluten-free?
Low-sodium tamari soy sauce
Choose tamari soy sauce to ensure your teriyaki sauce is gluten-free. I like to use the low-sodium option for my recipe, because there’s almost always just too much salt for my body in many of the store-bought brands of teriyaki sauce.
Read on: Is soy sauce gluten-free?
Cornstarch or arrowroot starch
Cornstarch or arrowroot starch helps to thicken up the teriyaki sauce slightly, giving it a sauce-like texture instead of a runny liquid, after heating it on the stove for a few minutes.
Read on: Is cornstarch gluten-free?
How to make your own gluten-free teriyaki sauce
If you happen to not be able to find gluten-free teriyaki sauce locally or want to buy it online, you can make your own at home.
This is also a great option if you like to control the quality of ingredients that go into your food. Or if you haven’t quite found a bottled teriyaki sauce that you love.
To make your own gluten-free teriyaki sauce, you only need to follow a few simple steps.
Step 1. Combine ingredients
Combine water, garlic, ground ginger, white wine (sake, or mirin), sugar, tamari soy sauce, ground ginger, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir to combine.
Step 2. Thicken the gluten-free teriyaki sauce
Turn on the stove burner to medium heat to heat the saucepan. Stir frequently to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. When the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes, transfer it to a jar to cool on the counter.
Step 3. Use in your favorite dishes
Use this gluten-free teriyaki sauce in stir-fries, as a marinade, or to make your favorite teriyaki chicken or beef dish.
How to store gluten-free teriyaki sauce
If you don’t plan to use the teriyaki sauce immediately, you can store it in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
How to use gluten-free teriyaki sauce
There are a number of ways to enjoy gluten-free teriyaki sauce. Look for recipes online with teriyaki sauce or try one of these delicious ideas:
- Use in stir-fries
- Marinade chicken, beef, or tofu with sauce before cooking
- Use as a sauce to serve with an appetizer
- Spread on chicken wings while cooking
- Add to fried rice for a new twist on flavor
- 1 cup cold water
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ cup white wine, sake, or mirin
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown or coconut sugar
- ½ cup gluten-free low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- Combine water, garlic, ground ginger, white wine (sake, or mirin), sugar, tamari soy sauce, ground ginger, and cornstarch (or arrowroot starch) in a saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Turn on the stove burner to medium heat to heat the saucepan. Stir frequently to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. When the sauce has thickened, about after 5 minutes, transfer it to a jar to cool on the counter.
- Use this gluten-free teriyaki sauce in stir-fries, as a marinade, or to make your favorite teriyaki chicken or beef dish.
If you don't plan to use the teriyaki sauce immediately, you can store it in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
If you love teriyaki sauce, I hope this post has helped you find some options to continue enjoying this ingredient in your gluten-free diet. Both at the grocery store and at home, you’ll have options to make your favorite teriyaki chicken, chicken wings, and stir-fries again!