There are plenty of teriyaki recipes out there that are meatless. But how do we make these recipes taste great while keeping them vegetarian and/or vegan-friendly?
Teriyaki style cooking is a simple way to bring in lots of flavors to any dish. What gives definition to these flavors is the sweet-savory teriyaki sauce you use. However, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you may want to ask, is teriyaki sauce vegetarian? Is teriyaki sauce vegan? Let’s find out in this article.
Is Teriyaki Sauce Vegan? Can We Do Teriyaki Grill Vegan? - Step-by-step Guide on How to make Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
If a teriyaki dish is vegetarian, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s vegan. A vegetarian diet doesn’t include animal products but it can include food products that come from animals such as eggs and dairy. A vegan diet, on the other hand, is a purely plant-based diet. So food ingredients that are processed with any trace of animal products in them would be a no-no.
#1. Is Teriyaki Sauce Vegan and/or Vegetarian?
The main foundations of teriyaki sauce are soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. So yes, teriyaki sauce is indeed vegetarian and most teriyaki sauces are also vegan – but not all.
If it’s a simple soy sauce-sugar-mirin mix then why can’t it be vegan? The problem comes with sugar. In some places around the world, sugar is filtered through bone char which comes from slaughtered cattle. This is how some manufacturers filter out the color to make refined white sugar.
There are also teriyaki sauce recipes that include honey. Most vegans opt to stay away from honey since it is harvested from bees. They find the conditions of bee farming to be unethical so honey shouldn’t be present if the teriyaki sauce is vegan.
#2. Can We do Teriyaki Grill Vegan?
Of course! There are plenty of teriyaki grill vegan options out there. Just have the right teriyaki sauce for you and you’re good to go.
The best way to find a vegan teriyaki sauce is to check the labels. Check the ingredients thoroughly and watch out for food products that are in conflict with your diet. If there’s sugar in the teriyaki sauce, go for the ones that make use of organic, unrefined sugar. Some bottled teriyaki sauces are also certified vegan-friendly.
Another way to get your vegan teriyaki fix is to make your own sauce. This way you can make sure all the ingredients fit your diet and you can even customize the flavors to your liking.
#3. Step-by-step Guide on How to make Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
We found this amazing vegan teriyaki sauce recipe that you just have to try! It’s sugar-free, vegan and vegetarian-friendly, and it doesn’t miss out on the delicious teriyaki flavor. This sauce is smooth and thick, perfect as a basting sauce for barbecues and roasts.
Here’s the step-by-step guide to make vegan teriyaki sauce from Veganosity.
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup pure maple syrup See Note
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp ground ginger or 3 tsp fresh grated ginger
½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tbsp. corn starch
¼ cup of water
Just combine all the ingredients except for cornstarch.
Heat and reduce in a pan.
Add in diluted cornstarch and mix until smooth. Easy!
The Choice of Vegan Teriyaki Sauce Brand: Kikkoman
If you don’t have the time to prepare your own teriyaki sauce, no need to worry. There are bottled vegan teriyaki sauces available in the market and we made a list just for you.
These Teriyaki Sauces from Kikkoman are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
#1. Kikkoman Teriyaki Gluten Free - No Gluten Option
Ingredients: Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Vinegar) | Wine | Sugar | Water | Salt | Vinegar | Onion Powder | Natural Flavorings | Succinic Acid | Garlic Powder
Not only is this teriyaki sauce vegan-friendly, it’s also gluten-free. You can enjoy your teriyaki grills, barbecues, and stir-fries without worrying about animal products and gluten.
#2. Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce with Roasted Garlic
Ingredients: Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt) | Sugar | Wine | Crushed Garlic | Salt | Vinegar | Natural Garlic Flavor | Xantham Gum | Roasted Garlic Powder | Sodium Benzoate | less than 1/10 of 1% as a preservative | Natural Flavors | Onion Powder | Succinic Acid
If you want a teriyaki sauce with more of a kick to it, try out the Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce with Roasted Garlic. It has a nice, thick consistency that makes it great for grills and roasts. Also, it’s still vegan!
High sodium levels
#3. Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce
Ingredients: Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce | (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt) | Mirin | High Fructose Corn Syrup | Water | Vinegar | Salt | Spices | Onion Powder | Succinic Acid | Garlic Powder | Sodium Benzoate: Less 1/10 of 1% as a preservative
This one is the classic teriyaki sauce from Kikkoman. It’s as authentic as you can get. It’s also the most versatile out of all the Kikkoman teriyaki variants. Yes, it is also vegan! The only thing you have to worry about is the high fructose corn syrup and it does have some preservatives in it.
Versatile enough to use in different recipes
Contains High Fructose Corn Syrup
#4. Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce With Toasted Sesame Seeds
Ingredients: Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt) | Water | Sugar | Sesame seeds (1.6%) | Modified starch | Spirit vinegar | Garlic powder | Black pepper | Salt | Capsicum extract
Toasted sesame oil goes really well with teriyaki flavors. This is especially good for stir-fry noodles and vegetables because of that extra flavor from sesame seeds --another great way to enjoy your vegan and vegetarian dishes. The toasted sesame seeds also add texture to the sauce so you might want to consider this before using it in your recipes.
Toasted sesame flavor
The List of Teriyaki Dishes For Veggie Lovers
Here, we create a list of Teriyaki Dishes for people who love vegan/ vegetarian food. Let’s check it out!
#1 Vegan Teriyaki Stir-fry with Tempeh
This vegan recipe makes use of tempeh as it’s protein component. It’s made with whole soybeans and wheat and barley grains. Tempeh is similar to tofu but it has a firmer texture and a unique nutty flavor.
Three colors of bell pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Brown tempeh on both sides.
Remove tempeh and stir-fry your vegetables with teriyaki sauce.
Top tempeh and stir-fried vegetables on rice or enjoy it as it is!
#2. Vegan Teriyaki Noodles
Craving noodles? Try this vegan teriyaki noodles from Cookie and Kate. Use your noodle of choice to enjoy your big bowl of delicious vegan teriyaki noodles
4 ounces soba noodles, brown rice noodles, spaghetti or long noodle of choice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 medium red or white onion, halved and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
6 cups thinly sliced mixed vegetables
½ cup teriyaki sauce, or more as needed
1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook onion in oil and salt until tender.
Add remaining vegetables and stir-fry until tender and caramelized on the edges.
Add the noodles and ½ cup teriyaki sauce and stir to combine.
Cook for about a minute.
Add toasted sesame oil to taste.
Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
#3. Pineapple Teriyaki Portobello Burger
You have got to try this vegan teriyaki burger recipe from One Green Planet. It’s sweet and spicy and so easy to prepare!
For the Marinade:
1/3 cup tamari
2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the Toppings:
4 slices pineapple
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha
Sliced napa cabbage
2 buns (gluten-free if necessary)
4 Portobello mushrooms
Combine all marinade ingredients.
Soak portobello mushrooms in the marinade. The longer, the better!
Combine carrots, cucumber, sesame seeds, and rice vinegar then soak in the teriyaki marinade.
Grill mushrooms for 5 minutes per side.
Grill pineapples and baste with vegan teriyaki sauce.
Assemble your burger and enjoy!
#4. Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Stir-fry
A vegan teriyaki recipe wouldn’t be complete without a tofu dish. Tofu is so nutritious and delicious and is easily available. You can’t go wrong with this peanut tofu stir-fry recipe from I Love Vegan. Their teriyaki peanut sauce is to die for!
Ingredients to prepare:
1 tbsp sesame oil or coconut oil
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup carrots, sliced diagonally
1/2 red pepper, sliced
3 cups cooked brown rice
TERIYAKI PEANUT TOFU
1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed
1/2 tbsp sesame oil or coconut oil
TERIYAKI PEANUT SAUCE
1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 tbsp chile garlic sauce or sriracha (or a mix of the two)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
water to thin the sauce
To make the teriyaki peanut sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Pan-fry tofu in a skillet.
Soak fried tofu in peanut sauce and set aside.
Stir-fry your vegetables in the same skillet and season as desired.
Finish your stir-fry and toss in rice and tofu in the skillet.
Cook for another minute and transfer to a bowl and dig in!
#5. Vegan Teriyaki Chicken
Chicken teriyaki is a classic teriyaki dish and yes, you can make it vegan. There are plenty of vegan chicken substitutes now. Just get your favorite pack of vegan chicken and stir-fry using this recipe from Avant-Garde Vegan.
5 tbsp Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar
1/4 cup Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp Dried Garlic
Thumb sized piece of Ginger, chopped small
1 cup Water
2 tbsp Cornflour, mixed with water
Stir Fry Ingredients
2 tbsp Sesame Oil, or cooking oil of your choice
1 cup Vegan Chicken or Meat Replacement of your choice
1 Red Bell Pepper, Deseeded & cut fine
Handful Baby Corn, sliced down the middle
1 Red Onion, sliced fine
1 Carrot, sliced fine
1 Courgette, sliced fine
2 Baby Pak Choi
Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan without the cornstarch mix and reduce for about 5-6 minutes.
Add in cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil. The sauce is done in a minute!
Prepare your vegetables.
Heat a wok and add the oil.
Add the vegan chicken and sauce.
Cook the vegan chicken for a minute or so then stir fry with the vegetables.
Serve the stir fry with cooked rice and sprinkle sesame seeds and cashew nuts on top.
#6. Hawaiian Teriyaki Tofu Skewers
Have yourself a Hawaiian teriyaki barbecue party with these teriyaki tofu skewers from My Darling Vegan. Its sweet and tangy Hawaiian flavors will impress everybody at your party and it’s not a pain to prepare. The recipe also makes use of their very own vegan teriyaki sauce recipe.
Ingredients to prepare:
1/2 cup soy sauce (use Tamari Sauce for gluten-free)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
16 oz extra firm tofu
1/2 large red onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks
Make vegan teriyaki sauce by combining ingredients with corn starch slurry and boil for 2 minutes, keep stirring until sauce is reduced and smooth.
Cut tofu in 1” cubes and marinate in teriyaki sauce.
Stack tofu and vegetables on skewers and bake in the oven.
Flip every 10 minutes until tofu is crisp.
Once done, add a final glaze of your teriyaki sauce and serve
*/ Resource: https://www.mydarlingvegan.com/tofu-skewers/
#7. Vegan California and Teriyaki Tofu Sushi
Sushi is something you don’t usually see in a vegan recipe list but we’ve found a recipe for it. Make these yummy vegan California and teriyaki tofu sushi from One Green Planet for your next cocktail party.
For the Filling:
1/4 cup roasted red pepper (you could probably use un-roasted red pepper, too)
2 teaspoons vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup tofu
1 sheet of nori (the sushi seaweed)
1/2 cup prepared sushi rice
2-3 1/2 inch strips of avocado
2-3 1/4 inch strips of raw cucumber (optional)
For the Teriyaki Tofu:
4 ounces tofu (about a third of a 12 ounces package), sliced into 1-inch strips
1/3 cup soy sauce (make sure to get gluten-free if you are avoiding gluten)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 inch square of ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
To make the filling, blend red pepper, mayo, and tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Roll sushi. At the base, lay a sheet of nori and spread rice on top of it. Add a spread of your red pepper mixture and top with avocado and cucumber.
Combine your teriyaki sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Cook tofu in marinade and slice thinly to use for sushi rolls. Fry the tofu to use for nigiri.
Roasted Mushroom or Roasted Red Pepper Nigiri
Broil your mushroom or red pepper for 5-10 minutes until nice and browned.
Slice or cut into desired shapes.
On a cutting board, assemble with sushi rice, vegetables, and nori.
Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.
#8. Spicy Teriyaki Soba Noodle Spring Rolls
A fuss-free and delicious way to enjoy yakisoba is by wrapping it into spring rolls. Use the teriyaki sauce in this recipe from One Green Planet for noodle spring rolls with a spicy kick.
For the Spring Rolls:
10 ounces soba noodles (check the package to make sure that they are 100 percent buckwheat)
12-14 spring roll wrappers
10 stalks of asparagus, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups shredded green cabbage
3/4 cup carrots, thinly sliced
For the Spicy Teriyaki Sauce:
7 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha, to taste
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Boil asparagus and soba noodles for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Toss in your vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Remove from heat and add the noodles and asparagus into the pan.
Whisk together the teriyaki sauce ingredients and pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables.
Wrap soba noodles and vegetables in spring roll wrappers.
#9. Crispy Baked Teriyaki Tofu
Rushing for dinner? This vegan teriyaki tofu recipe from Connoisserusveg is so easy to prepare you’ll have dinner ready in no time.
For the Crispy Baked Tofu
1 (14 ounces) package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil (or high heat oil of choice)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper, if that's what you've got)
For the Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chilled water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Crispy baked tofu
Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss to coat the tofu in soy sauce, oil, cornstarch, and pepper in a medium bowl.
Bake for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through until browned and crispy.
Stir 1/4 cup of water, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sherry, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger together.
In a saucepan, let the sauce simmer.
Add cornstarch slurry and let the sauce thicken for a bit.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Coat tofu in teriyaki sauce after baking and serve with rice and steamed veggies.
Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions then serve.
#10. Asian-Inspired Cauliflower Wings
Wings would be a great dish you can serve for game nights and movie marathons at home. Plus, it’s very easy to prepare and a joy to eat!
To Make the Sauce:
3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 cup gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 cup orange (juice)
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons of arrowroot (mixed with 1/3 cup orange juice)
3 tablespoons scallions
To Make the Cauliflower:
1 cup almond milk
1 cup gluten-free flour
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 scallion sliced (garnish)
Combine and heat sauce ingredients in a saucepan except for the arrowroot-orange juice mixture.
Stir combination together and bring to a boil.
Stir together the arrowroot and orange juice until it dissolves in a separate bowl.
Slowly integrate juice into the boiling sauce, and continue to mix for 1 minute.
Allow the mixture to simmer for 3-5 minutes in low-medium heat until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and cool before pouring into a jar.
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
Combine almond milk, flour, and optional oil in a large bowl.
Coat cauliflower in batter and then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake for 15minutes and toss in teriyaki sauce
Top with sesame seeds and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender-crisp.
Teriyaki is something everyone can surely enjoy so it’s great that there is a huge variety of options for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy. Grab yourself a bottle of your favorite vegan teriyaki sauce or make your own at home.