Do you love teriyaki sauce but can’t find honey to add the perfect sweetness?
Don’t worry – there are plenty of other ingredients that can be used in place of honey to give your teriyaki sauce a delicious flavor.
From maple syrup and agave nectar to brown sugar and molasses, I’m going to show you eight of the best substitutes for honey in teriyaki sauce so that you don’t have to miss out on any deliciousness.
Why Is Honey Used in Teriyaki Sauce?
Honey is a key ingredient in teriyaki sauce because it adds sweetness and depth of flavor.
Honey also helps to balance out the salty, savory flavors found in most teriyaki sauces.
The honey helps to reduce the tartness of the soy sauce while enhancing its umami (savory) notes.
The sweetness from the honey also helps to bring out other flavors like garlic, ginger, and sesame oil used in many teriyaki recipes.
In addition to adding flavor, honey can help thicken sauces without making them overly thick or too sweet.
This makes it an ideal choice for marinades and glazes as well as for teriyaki sauce.
The 8 Best Substitutes for Honey in Teriyaki Sauce
Honey is a common ingredient in teriyaki sauce, but it can be difficult to find or costly.
If you’re looking for an alternative to honey in your teriyaki sauce, here are 8 great substitutes:
1. Brown sugar
I’m sure you already have brown sugar in your pantry, and it’s a great substitute for honey.
The flavor is slightly different, but it still provides the same sweetness and depth of flavor that honey does.
It also helps thicken the sauce, just like honey does.
You can use it at a one-to-one ratio, but you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe if it seems too thick.
Brown sugar is especially great when used with other sweeteners such as maple syrup or agave nectar.
It will provide a more complex flavor than just using one sweetener alone.
2. Maple syrup
Who can say no to the sweet and savory combination of teriyaki sauce?
If you’re out of honey, maple syrup is a great substitute.
It has a similar sweetness and viscosity, but with a distinct flavor of its own.
You can use it in a 1:1 ratio.
If you want the teriyaki sauce to be sweeter, you can add more maple syrup.
Just keep in mind that if you add too much, it could overpower the other flavors in your dish.
Maple syrup also adds a hint of smokiness to the sauce, so it’s perfect for barbecues or grilling.
3. Agave nectar
Most people don’t realize that agave nectar can be a great substitute for honey.
It has a slightly different flavor, but it’s still sweet and works well in teriyaki sauce.
Agave nectar is also vegan-friendly and has a lower glycemic index than honey.
You can use agave nectar at a one-to-one ratio with honey, so you don’t need to adjust the amount of other ingredients in your recipe.
It also has a thinner consistency than honey, so you may need to cook your teriyaki sauce for a few extra minutes to reduce the liquid and thicken the sauce.
4. Date syrup
A little harder to find than honey, date syrup is a great alternative for teriyaki sauce.
It has a strong sweetness, with a hint of caramel and nutty flavor.
Date syrup can be used in a 1:1 ratio to replace honey. You may need to adjust the amount of other liquids in your recipe slightly.
I bet you didn’t think of molasses! It has a similar sweetness and flavor to honey, but it’s not quite as sweet.
Molasses is a great option if you want to cut back on the sugar in your teriyaki sauce.
For every cup of honey, use 1/2 cup of molasses and 1/4 cup of water.
This should give you the same level of sweetness with a bit less sugar.
If you find that it’s too sweet, feel free to reduce the amount of molasses slightly or add more water.
Molasses also adds a nice warm flavor to the sauce that pairs nicely with other Asian flavors like ginger and garlic.
6. Rice syrup
I know it might sound strange, but rice syrup is an excellent substitute for honey in teriyaki sauce.
It has a similar sweetness and viscosity to honey, so it works well in sauces and glazes.
Rice syrup also has a more neutral flavor than honey, which will let the other flavors of your teriyaki sauce shine through.
You’ll need to use more rice syrup than honey when substituting, though.
Use a 1:1.5 ratio of rice syrup to honey for best results.
For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of honey, use 1 and 1/2 cups of rice syrup.
7. Coconut sugar
How could I forget about coconut sugar?
It has a similar sweetness and texture, but with an earthier flavor.
Coconut sugar is also less processed than refined white sugar, so it has more nutritional value.
However, you will need to add more of it to get the same level of sweetness as honey.
For every tablespoon of honey called for in a recipe, use two tablespoons of coconut sugar instead.
You can also reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe if it seems too thin after adding the extra coconut sugar.
8. Apple cider vinegar
Lastly, apple cider vinegar can be used as well.
It has a similar sweet and tangy flavor profile, but it’s not quite as sweet as honey.
Apple cider vinegar also adds an acidic kick to the sauce that helps to balance out the sweetness.
When substituting, use one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every tablespoon of honey.
You may need to adjust the amount of sugar or other sweeteners in the recipe to compensate for the lower sweetness level of the vinegar.
In conclusion, there are many great substitutes for honey in teriyaki sauce if you can’t find or don’t want to use honey.
From maple syrup and agave nectar to brown sugar and molasses, each of these substitutes will give your teriyaki sauce a unique flavor and sweetness.
Just remember to adjust the amount of other liquids in your recipe if necessary, and to use more of the substitute than the amount of honey called for.
With these substitutes, you can still enjoy that delicious teriyaki sauce without having to worry about finding honey.
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8 Substitutes for Honey in Teriyaki Sauce
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- Agave nectar
- Date syrup
- Rice syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.