If you’re gluten-free, you know how tricky it can be eating at an Asian restaurant. Soy sauce and flour coated foods are a problem. For me, it’s always questionable as to whether I am going to feel well for the next day or two. This sesame teriyaki sauce is gluten-free, so easy and coats veggies, rice or protein in a silky smooth sauce.
Serve with your favorite protein and veggies like my ginger sesame broccoli, gluten-free vegetable spring rolls with a side of brown rice or quinoa. For more easy sauces check out my spicy cashew dressing and my full collection of gluten-free sauces and dressings.
This recipe is super simple. There are just a few ingredients to make this a wonderfully sweet, salty, tangy sauce.
Toasted sesame oil is key to this recipe. Be sure that you use toasted. There is a big difference between the toasted and non-toasted version. The toasted version has amazing flavor and aroma that gives this sauce its sesame flavor.
Gluten-Free Soy Sauce or Tamari – I highly recommend using a low-sodium soy sauce or tamari. The regular ones are very strong and I find them to be overpowering in flavor. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos are a good alternative,
Sweetener – Use agave, honey, brown sugar or even maple syrup. The type of sweetener is not crucial, it is simply meant to balance the salty flavor of the soy sauce.
Rice Vinegar or Lime Juice – This is another flavor balance to the salt in the soy sauce and adds a nice tangy element.
Red Chili Flakes – This adds a little kick. Add more or less depending on your preference spicy heat
Tapioca or Corn Starch – The starch will thicken the sauce to keep the oil from separating and gives gives it a nice silky texture.
This recipe can also be used as a marinade for tofu, fish, chicken or beef. Skip the starch/water thickener. Pour over fish or tofu and let sit 15 minutes before cooking. Soak chicken or beef for a couple of hours.
How to Balance Flavors
Everyone’s taste buds are different and you may prefer your sauce more sweet. or salty or tangy. I am not the kind of chef that is insulted annoyed when someone salts their dish. Please feel free to adjust the flavors to your preference!
Mix up the sauce as is, then taste. Do you find it too salty? Stir in another teaspoon or two of sweetener and taste. Too sweet? Add more rice vinegar or lime juice. Just keep tasting and add balancing ingredients a little at a time. See more about balancing flavors in my cooking 101 series posts How to Make Food Taste Better, How to Balance Bitterness and How to Salt Your Food.
Sesame Teriyaki Sauce – Gluten-Free
- 5 Tbsp low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs Liquid Aminos
- 1/4 c sweetener agave, honey, brown sugar
- 1/4 c toasted sesame oil
- 4 tsp water
- 1 Tb rice vinegar lime juice or other vinegar
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes optional
- 2 tsp corn starch or tapioca starch mixed with 2 tsp cold water
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Place the soy sauce, sweetener, sesame oil, vinegar, water and chili flakes in a small pot. Heat for one minute over a medium-high flame.
- Stir the starch/water combination thoroughly.
- While stirring the soy sauce mixture, pour in the starch mixture with a whisk.
- Turn up the heat and stir until it boils and the sauce thickens.
- Pour over your dish and top with sesame seeds.