Easy and authentic yakitori sauce

Is yakitori sauce the same as teriyaki? Uses & recipes

Many of us have heard of teriyaki sauce and teriyaki style cooking. Yakitori, not so much.

Yakitori sauce is quite similar to teriyaki in both the ways it’s made and their uses, but they are not the same. Both use sugar as well as soy sauce to get a sweet-salty taste but yakitori sauce adds mirin to the mix but has less seasoning.

This article will explore yakitori and teriyaki sauce so you can become an expert in distinguishing the differences.

A plate of yakitori and one of teriyaki with different sauces

They are both used not as a dipping sauce, but as a sauce for glazing the meat before it’s cooked. Let’s look at the differences:

Yakitori and Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

Yakitori and teriyaki sauce are very similar in the way they are made. Both use sugar and soy sauce.

The difference is that mirin is also included in yakitori sauce.

Mirin is a Japanese condiment similar to rice wine only it has a lower alcohol content and a higher sugar content.

Yakitori and Teriyaki Sauce Uses

  • Yakitori literally means grilled chicken. Yaki means grill and tori means chicken.
  • Teriyaki means gloss grill. Teri means gloss while yaki, once again, means grill.

Each of these sauces have slightly different uses as well.

  • Teriyaki can be used on a variety of foods
  • while yakitori is used on chicken only.

When applied to chicken, yakitori sauce is usually used on broiled skewers of thigh or leg meat whereas teriyaki is used on whole pieces of chicken that can be grilled or pan fried.

Also read: how yakitori usually is served and how you eat it

Ebara yakitori sauce
$14.29 ($14.29 / Count)

May 30, 2020 1:29 pm UTC

Easy and authentic yakitori sauce

This recipe for yakitori sauce will not only give you a great way to enjoy the authentic taste of the food, it will also give you a hint as to how it differs from teriyaki sauce.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Sauce, Yakitori
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Justin - Teppanyaki enthusiast
Cost $2


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 scallion


  • Combine mirin, soy sauce, sake, water, brown sugar and the green part of a scallion and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half. This will take about 30 minutes.
  • Sauce will be thick and glossy. Let cool to room temperature before using.

These are my favorite brands for making yakitori sauce:

Also check out my favorite Japanese ingredients list here for more flavors.


Recipe for Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce can be purchased in most supermarkets but if you want a more authentic taste, here is a recipe you may want to try.


1 cup water

¼ cup soy sauce

5 tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 tbsp. honey

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. cornstarch

¼ cup cold water


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Mix cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water. Stir until dissolved. Add to saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Teriyaki Recipes

Once you have made your teriyaki y/sauce”>sauce, here are some dishes you can use it in:

  • Teriyaki Fried Rice
  • Teriyaki Salmon Quinoa Bowls
  • Teriyakilor-content); color: var(--color-content-text);” data-mce-style=”background-color: var(--color-content); color: var(--color-content-text);”> Chicken Thighs
  • Teriyakicolor-content); color: var(--color-content-text);” data-mce-style=”background-color: var(--color-content); color: var(--color-content-text);”> Ahi
  • Teriyaki Beef Stir-Fry
  • Teriyakicontent-text);” data-mce-style=”background-color: var(--color-content); color: var(--color-content-text);”> Noodles
  • Kalbi Short Ribs in Teriyaki id=”http://data.wordlift.io/wl02114/entity/sauce” style=”color: var(--color-content-text);” data-mce-style=”color: var(--color-content-text);”>Sauce

hancement-92dc7d1e” class=”textannotation disambiguated wl-thing” itemid=”http://data.wordlift.io/wl02114/entity/yakitori”>Yakitori Recipes

And here are some recipes you can make with your tasty yakitori sauce:

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools
  • Chicken Yakitori with Purple Cabbage and Jasmine Rice
  • Chicken Meatball Shishito Yakitori
  • Chicken Thigh Yakitori
  • Soy Glazed Chicken Yakitori
  • Chicken Meatball Yakitori
  • Chicken and Leek Yakitori
  • Chicken and Veggie Yakitori

Now that you know the difference between yakitori and teriyaki, you are prepared to order at the finest exotic establishments or make your own delicious Asian dishes.

Which of these sauces will you be using in your next meal?

Also read: the best charcoal grills for yakitori reviewed