The 7 Best Substitutes for Sesame Oil in Teriyaki Sauce

Are you looking for a way to make your teriyaki sauce more flavorful?

If so, sesame oil is the perfect ingredient.

Unfortunately, not everyone has easy access to sesame oil and it can be expensive.

Luckily, there are several substitutes that can be used in its place.

In this article, I’ll discuss seven of the best substitutes for sesame oil in teriyaki sauce – from vegetable oils to nut butters and spices – so that you can still enjoy delicious Asian-inspired dishes without breaking the bank.

Why is Sesame Oil used in Teriyaki Sauce?

Teriyaki Sauce

Sesame oil is a key ingredient in teriyaki sauce because it adds an unmistakable nutty and earthy flavor to the sauce.

It also helps to balance out the other flavors like sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger that make up the classic teriyaki taste.

Using sesame oil gives a richer flavor profile than just using soy sauce alone, making it an essential part of any good teriyaki recipe.

The subtle hint of sesame oil creates a more complex and interesting flavor that elevates the traditional sweetness of the dish while still allowing all the other ingredients to shine through.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Sesame Oil in Teriyaki Sauce

Sesame oil is a key ingredient in teriyaki sauce, but if you don’t have any on hand it can be difficult to get the same flavor.

Luckily, there are some great substitutes that will help you achieve the same deliciousness without having to buy sesame oil.

Here are seven of the best substitutions for sesame oil in teriyaki sauce:

1. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil can be a great alternative to sesame oil for making teriyaki sauce more flavorful.

It has a mild, nutty flavor that pairs nicely with the salty and sweet elements of traditional teriyaki sauce.

Furthermore, olive oil is widely available and much more affordable than sesame oil, so it’s an easy choice for those on a budget.

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Additionally, olive oil contains beneficial monounsaturated fats that are good for heart health and may reduce inflammation in the body.

2. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a great substitute for sesame oil in teriyaki sauce, as it adds depth and flavor without being too overwhelming.

Vegetable oil is an all-purpose cooking oil made from a variety of plant sources such as soybeans, corn, canola, sunflower seeds or cottonseed.

It has a light flavor and aroma that won’t overpower the other ingredients in your dish.

It is also very versatile and can be used for sautéing vegetables or frying meats.

The high smoke point of vegetable oils means it works well when heated to higher temperatures than some other cooking oils like olive oil.

When using vegetable oil in place of sesame oil, you may need to adjust the amount used as its mildness will not provide quite the same level of flavor intensity that sesame does.

You should also add additional seasonings like garlic powder and ginger powder to bring out the flavors more clearly in your teriyaki sauce.

3. Toasted Sesame Seeds

Toasted sesame seeds are an excellent alternative to sesame oil, and they work equally well as a flavor enhancer in teriyaki sauce.

These tiny seeds have a naturally nutty, slightly sweet taste that adds depth of flavor to any dish.

They also provide an interesting crunchy texture when sprinkled on top of food.

Toasting the sesame seeds brings out their natural oils and intensifies their flavor.

The process is simple; all you need to do is heat them in a dry pan for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally so that they don’t burn.

Alternatively, you can toast the sesame seeds in an oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned – just make sure to keep an eye on them!

Once cooled, these fragrant little flakes are ready to be sprinkled over dishes like stir fries or salads, added into sauces such as teriyaki or hoisin sauce, or mixed into marinades for extra oomph!

4. Nut Butters

Nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter, are an excellent alternative to sesame oil for adding flavor to teriyaki sauce.

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They provide a creamy texture, delicious nutty aroma and sweet taste that can help to enhance the flavor of your dish.

Nut butters are easy to find in most grocery stores and come in various forms – natural (unsalted), dry-roasted (lightly salted) and crunchy varieties.

Natural nut butters contain no added salt or sugar so they’re often healthier alternatives than commercially prepared brands.

Nut butters are also quite affordable compared to other ingredients which makes them great value for money!

To use nut butters in your teriyaki sauce, you should start by adding a small amount at a time until you reach the desired level of richness and sweetness.

It’s best if you use a food processor or blender when combining it with other ingredients so as not to overwork the mixture which can make it too thick.

Keep in mind that since some nut butters may have added salt or sugar, you may need to adjust the seasoning accordingly before serving.

5. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a salty, savory liquid made from fermented soybeans and wheat.

It has been used in Asian cooking for centuries, adding a depth of flavor to dishes that’s hard to replicate with other ingredients.

When it comes to teriyaki sauce, soy sauce can be used as a substitute for sesame oil.

Soy sauce will give the dish an umami flavor and add complexity without being overly intense or overpowering the natural flavors of the food.

It should be noted that not all soy sauces are created equal; some have more salt content than others, so adjust according to your preference.

To get the most out of your teriyaki sauce, use only high-quality naturally brewed soy sauces for maximum taste and aroma.

Overall, if you’re looking for an easy way to make your teriyaki sauce more flavorful without breaking the bank, look no further than good ol’ soy sauce!

6. Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is an essential ingredient in many Asian cuisines, especially Japanese and Chinese dishes.

It’s made from fermented rice and has a milder flavor than other vinegars like apple cider or balsamic.

Rice vinegar can be used to enhance the taste of teriyaki sauce by adding a hint of sweetness and tanginess.

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It also helps to balance out the flavors, making the dish more palatable for a wider range of taste buds.

When using rice vinegar in your teriyaki sauce, it’s important to note that it should not be boiled or cooked as this will diminish its flavor over time.

Instead, add it at the end of cooking for best results.

It’s also worth noting that if you find yourself without sesame oil, you can substitute with equal parts olive oil mixed with one part rice vinegar for similar results.

7. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is an excellent substitute for sesame oil in teriyaki sauce.

Not only does it add a pungent garlicky flavor, but it also helps to thicken the sauce and gives it a richer texture.

Garlic powder can be added directly to your teriyaki sauce or sprinkled on top of food before serving. It’s important to remember that garlic powder has a much more intense flavor than fresh garlic, so use sparingly if you don’t want too much heat!

To get the most out of your garlic powder, grind up some fresh cloves and combine with sea salt before adding as seasoning.

This will enhance its flavor even further while still providing all the benefits of using garlic powder in your cooking.



7 Substitutes for Sesame Oil in Teriyaki Sauce

When you don't have sesame oil on hand, it can seem like your teriyaki sauce dreams are dashed. But don't despair! In this article, I'm sharing 7 substitutes for sesame oil that you can use to make a delicious teriyaki sauce without it. I'll provide an overview of each substitute, as well as tips on how to use them properly, so you can whip up a tasty teriyaki sauce in no time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce, Substitutes
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people
Calories 77 kcal


  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Nut Butters
  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Garlic Powder


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.