I got tired of buying small bottles of marinade for $3+ every time I wanted teriyaki chicken or beef, so I went Googling to find how to make it myself. As usual, I found a wide variety of recipes with different ingredients, so I cherry-picked what I liked from each. This is the result, suitable for 1 – 2 pounds of meat. This could also be thickened with arrowroot powder or cornstarch and served over vegetables.


  • 1/2 cup tamari or shoyu (or even soy sauce, if that’s all you’ve got)
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • pinch stevia powder (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in gallon-size plastic bag and mix well.
  2. Add meat, cut in bite-sized pieces, and mix well.
  3. Seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  4. Cook meat as desired, discarding remaining marinade.

Note: I am fully aware that this is not authentic Japanese teriyaki, which typically contains mirin, sake, and sugar. Since I don’t keep alcohol around and I try not to eat sugar, this recipe should be at least as authentic as the bottled stuff at the grocery store.