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Teriyaki Sauce with Shiitakes + Tofu

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegan
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Why we love it:

This simple, sweet-savory teriyaki sauce is my go to for a family-friendly stir fry. Everyone loves it and you probably have the ingredients, or you can make it work with substitutions. If you double it and keep some in the fridge or freezer, the next time you need a speedy meal, you’ll be ready even more quickly!


  • 114 cups Basmati Rice (Brown)
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 cup Soy Sauce
  • 12 cup Stock (or substitute water)
  • 13 cup Honey (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger (finely minced)
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (cold, plus a little more for rice if you like)
  • 1 package Firm Tofu
  • 1 pound Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 3 Carrots
  • 34 pound Sugar Snap Peas
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (or less, to taste)
  • 1 bunch Scallions
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sesame Seeds

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. RICE

    Rinse the rice and place it in a small pot with a fitted lid. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil. Stir well, then turn down the heat to low and cover. Steam the rice, without peeking at it, for 35 - 40 minutes or until the water has absorbed and the rice is tender. I like to turn off the heat and add a teaspoon of butter to it, cover and let it sit for another 5 - 10 minutes, but that is optional.

  • 2. SAUCE

    While rice is cooking, make the sauce. Combine the liquid ingredients (soy sauce, stock, honey, vinegar) in a small pan and bring to a simmer. While that’s heating up, grate or mince the garlic and ginger as finely as you can manage - a microplane or box grater works, or just chop away until it’s fine. Add the garlic and ginger and simmer for 1 minute.

  • 3. THICKEN

    In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and an equal amount of water (making the recipe for 4 calls for 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, so mix with 1 Tablespoon of water). When that is smooth, stir it into the boiling soy sauce mixture on the stove top. Use a rubber spatula and stir constantly until it returns to a boil and you will see it thicken up before your eyes. Once it coats the spoon or boils for 1 minute, turn off the heat and stir in the knob of butter. Set aside.

  • 4. TOFU PREP

    Slice the tofu into squares or rectangles and pat dry. Set aside.


    Remove the stems from the mushroom caps (save these for an amazing stock addition!). Brush the mushrooms with the edge of a clean towel and slice into thin strips.

    Scrub the carrots clean, then trim off the very end. Slice on a thin diagonal to make slices about a ¼” thick. Set aside in a bowl.

    Trim the ends and strings off of the snap peas and either leave them whole (for less chopping) or slice them in ½ on an angle (for fancy looking peas and bite size pieces). Set them aside in a separate bowl.

  • 6. COOK

    Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat and add about ½ of the oil - or less - you can really add this to taste and as needed to neatly stir fry. Coconut oil, butter or other oil variety is just fine. When it’s hot, add the tofu in one layer. You may have to do 2 batches, don’t try to force them all in or they will steam and not brown nicely. Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on one side, then flip to the other side, and repeat for a 3rd side. When they’re nicely browned remove to a plate and repeat with the second batch.

  • 7. VEGGIES

    When the tofu is done, stir fry the mushrooms for about 4 minutes. Then add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. Finally, add the peas and cook for 2 more minutes.

  • 8. ADD SAUCE

    When the peas are bright green, add the tofu back to the pan. Add in about ½ of the sauce to start and stir to coat. You can turn the heat down to medium-high at this point. Let it return to a simmer and if you’d like, add more sauce to taste. If it has become way too thick, you can actually add a Tablespoon or so of water to loosen it up again.


    Slice the scallions and add. Add sesame seeds or save for garnish.

  • 10. SERVING

    Scoop out a nice pile of rice and top with stir fry and extra scallions or sesame seeds to taste.

    Extra sauce holds in the fridge for 2 weeks or you can freeze it. It’s great to have this sauce ready to go and is delicious brushed on fish, chicken, tofu or veggies on the outdoor grill.

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    use tamari instead of regular soy sauce
  • PALEO:
    omit rice and use cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Use Braggs aminos or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and maple syrup instead of sugar (you can use a little less, too)
    adding a roasted fillet of salmon or sautéed shrimp to this sauce is very good. Seared scallops are also delicious
    the long cooking time really comes from the rice. Use precooked brown rice, white rice, quinoa, rice noodles or other prepared grain
  • TOFU:
    tempeh is good, or omit and just use veggies
    if you can’t find them or don’t want to splurge on them, portobellos or regular old cremini or button mushrooms will be just fine
  • STOCK:
    use water instead
    use ½ teaspoon garlic powder and a pinch of ginger powder
    anything can be swapped here. I love broccoli and cauliflower with this teriyaki sauce; sweet potatoes are great too. Asparagus, peppers, corn, green beans, mushrooms. Just sauté in order of cooking time and keep the batches small so they don’t steam and cook quickly

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • If they’re really choosy, keep the sauce to the side for dipping and tasting, but classically teriyaki sauce is a hit with kids. Use veggies and meat they like and it could very well be a family favorite

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Combine the liquid ingredients for the sauce and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
  2. Cook the tofu. It will soften a little but you can reheat it or just let it have a less crispy texture
  3. Steam the rice; reheat in the microwave or stir fry it into the veggies and sauce to serve
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