Note: We Want The Sauce is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

How To Thicken Teriyaki Sauce ⋆ The Best Methods!

So you’ve got a running Teriyaki sauce. Naturally, you are going to want to know how to thicken it. But what are your options here, what can you use and how do you go about the process? Let’s find out!

So, how do you thicken teriyaki sauce? Your two options for thickening teriyaki sauce are through reduction (simmering on medium heat to burn the excess liquid off) or adding a thickening agent, such as cornstarch, cornflour, or rice flour.

In reality, there are various different approaches to the problem.

And all of which have their pros and cons, as we shall soon see.

So with this in mind let us now look at the various options and how to proceed with each one!

Thickening Teriyaki Sauce Through Reduction

Reduction is all about ‘reducing’ the liquid and simmering off the excess water.

To do this, follow the simple steps below:

Step One: Add your teriyaki sauce to a saucepan.

Step Two: On medium heat, keep stirring and simmering the sauce until it starts to gently boil. This will cause some of the liquid in the sauce to evaporate. If you notice the sauce sticking to the pan, you’re using too much heat!

Step Three: Dip a spoon into the sauce; checking to see if it sticks. If the sauce is able to coat the spoon, chances are it will be thick enough for your meal once it cools.

Step Four: After some time has passed and the sauce has had time to cool, taste it to test the flavor.

Step Five: Once your sauce reaches your desired consistency, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Note that the longer you simmer it, the thicker the sauce will get.

Step Six: If the sauce is too thick or concentrated (in taste) add a small amount of water. Begin with a small amount, test, and add more if necessary.

Pros Of Using Reduction

  • You can manipulate the flavor of the sauce – increasing, reducing as required.
  • Process is reversable by adding/reducing further water.

Cons Of Using Reduction

  • Takes time,
  • Requires washing up!

Thickening Teriyaki Sauce With A Thickening Agent

A thickening agent is essentially another ingredient that you add to alter the consistency. There are several to consider using, including cornstarch/flour, wheat, and rice flour.

Let us look at the methods of each one:

Thickening With Cornstarch/Corn Flour

Corn flour is a yellow powder made from ground dried corn, whereas cornstarch is made from fine, white powder from the starchy part of the corn kernel.

Both work equally as well and depending on where you live and where you shop, these terms can be used interchangeably.

Step One: Mix 1 teaspoon (~8 grams) of cornflour with 2 teaspoons (~10ml of water) in a bowl. Whisk with a fork to create a consistent slurry without any lumps. If it is too thick, add some more water a small amount 1-2ml at a time.

Step Two: Add your teriyaki sauce into a saucepan, and then add the cornstarch/flour mixture into the center. Mix together with a cooking spoon and continue to stir to prevent lumps from developing. If you notice sticking on the pan, reduce the temperature.

Step Three: Leave the sauce on low heat for several minutes to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick add a few drops of water and stir until happy.

Pros Of Using Cornstarch/ Corn Flour

  • Cornstarch thickens quickly and the process is straightforward.

Cons Of Using Cornstarch/ Corn Flour

  • Sauce can become lumpy,
  • Sauce can stick to the pan which can be a pain to clean.
  • You will need to wait for your sauce to cool before you will know if it is at the right thickness,
  • Requires you to buy additional ingredients.

Thickening With Wheat Flour

Similar to cornstarch/ corn flour, you first need to make a roux before you attempt to mix it into your teriyaki.

Otherwise, you’ll get lumps.

Step One: Heat 1/2 tablespoon (7g) of butter, and equal parts wheat flour.

Step Two: Stir to combine over low heat, then add your teriyaki sauce and stir together.

Step Three: Add 1/4 cup of water and continue to simmer over low heat until your sauce combines and thickens.

Pros Of Using Wheat Flour

  • Wheat flour also thickens quickly
  • Wheat flour is commonly available.

Cons Of Using Wheat Flour

  • Making a roux requires additional time, and additional ingredients.
  • Not viable if you’re a celiac or avoiding gluten.

Thickening With Rice Flour

Rice flour, or ground rice, is another good option fir absorbing liquid.

Here is all you need to do:

Step One: Drizzle 5-10 grams of rice flour into your teriyaki sauce as you are heating it. Combine thoroughly.

Pros Of Using Rice Flour

  • Thickens immediately so you know instantly when your sauce is ready.

Cons Of Using Rice Flour

  • Rice flour can be difficult to source, or expensive to buy.

Thickening With Brown Sugar

Brown sugar, unlike white, contains molasses which can help to thicken a sauce.

Here is what you need to do with this method:

Step One: Add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to your teriyaki sauce as you are heating it.

Pros Of Using Brown Sugar

  • Relatively inexpensive and easy to buy.
  • Ideal for those who like sweeter teriyaki or would like a change.

Cons Of Using Brown Sugar

  • Can make your teriyaki sauce too sweet.
  • Non-reversable!


So there you go.

Five different methods for reducing teriyaki sauce.

All of which come with their pros and cons.

Thankfully though, you should be able to find one that suits your preferences and circumstances.

Besides, you likely have some of these ingredients already lying around at home.

Or, it will not be too much of a challenge to get them!

Either way, do ensure you thicken your teriyaki sauce to the right consistency.

It is generally much better that way.

Related Questions

Why Won’t My Teriyaki Sauce Thicken?

The most common reason why a teriyaki sauce does not thicken is that it is not reduced for long enough, or too little thickening agent is used.

How Can I Thicken Teriyaki Sauce Without Flour Or Cornstarch?

You will need to use another starch, with tapioca and potato being some of the best to use. Alternatively, Xanthan gum can work equally as well.

Does Teriyaki Sauce Thicken When Heated?

Teriyaki sauce will thicken when heated. Additionally, it may reduce further after heating and once cool depending on the ingredients of the sauce.

Want to learn how to thicken other sauces? Then go ahead and check out my other related guides: