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This quick and easy Teriyaki Chicken is the ultimate 20-minute weeknight wonder! With juicy and tender chunks of chicken coated in a delicious homemade teriyaki sauce, this dish is the family-friendly recipe you’ve been waiting for!
Easy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
This popular Japanese favorite doesn’t need a lengthy introduction! Made with succulent chicken thighs perfectly seared and then slathered in a thick soy-based sauce bursting with layers of garlicky, gingery goodness, Teriyaki Chicken is irresistibly tasty. However, it’s also incredibly simple to make in under 30 minutes!
But don’t let the short preparation time of this recipe fool you! Forget about using store-bought teriyaki sauce. This recipe features a delicious homemade sauce that’s loaded with flavor and requires no pre-cooking or fancy ingredients. So, the next time you need a delicious quick and easy meal, I invite you to give this Asian classic a try!
Why You’ll Love This Teriyaki Chicken
- Quick and Easy! Busy evenings meet their match with this Teriyaki Chicken recipe! With a handful of ingredients in just under 30 minutes, you’ll have a healthy and delicious dish ready to serve.
- Japanese Favorite! The homemade teriyaki sauce perfectly complements the tender chicken resulting in a fusion of savory and sweet flavors with a layer of garlicky goodness and a warm kick of ginger.
- Family Approved! You’ll have no trouble gathering the family around the table to dive into this dish! It’s a favorite that both adults and kids love and will request again and again.
- Chicken – I use boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Seasonings – Salt and black pepper bring out the natural flavor of the chicken.
- Vegetable Oil – Ensures proper browning of the chicken.
- Cooked Rice – Makes the perfect accompaniment to Teriyaki Chicken. Feel free to serve it with a dish like sesame noodles instead if you like.
- Soy Sauce – Gives the sauce the perfect touch of umami flavor. I always use low-sodium soy sauce to control the saltiness. You can use tamari to make the dish gluten-free.
- Mirin – It’s a type of Japanese sweet rice wine that adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the teriyaki sauce.
- Sake – Adds a subtle tang and layer of complexity. You can use dry white wine as a substitute.
- Brown sugar – Provides a caramel-like sweetness that rounds out the saltiness.
- Honey – Complements the brown sugar with natural sweetness.
- Garlic – Adds a pungent and aromatic element. Always use fresh garlic cloves when possible.
- Ginger – Freshly grated fresh ginger adds a zesty and slightly spicy kick.
- Cornstarch – Acts as a thickening agent, giving the sauce the proper.
- Water – Used to help create a slurry with the cornstarch.
This dish is super easy! You don’t even need to pre-cook the sauce. With a few simple steps, you can create a tasty Japanese favorite that’s bursting with flavor.
To begin, you need to create the base of the sauce. Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl. When you’re done mixing the brown sugar and cornstarch should be fully dissolved. Then set the mixture aside for a later step.
Next, cut the boneless and skinless chicken thighs into equally sized bite-sized pieces. Then sprinkle them with salt and black pepper to season.
Now, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Then add the chicken to the hot pan and sauté it for 6 to 8 minutes or until it’s browned and fully cooked. Be sure to move the pieces around the pan as they cook to achieve the perfect sear.
After cooking the chicken, pour the teriyaki sauce into the pan. Then stir and allow the chicken to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens up a bit.
The recipe is now complete! To enjoy, serve the Teriyaki Chicken over steamed rice and garnish it with sesame seeds or chopped green onions if you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Teriyaki flavor?
Teriyaki gets its distinct flavor from a combination of sweet, savory, and umami elements. The key ingredients that define teriyaki are mirin, rice wine, garlic, and ginger.
What can I add to the dish?
Anything you like! You can easily incorporate colorful vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or broccoli. You’ll probably want to precook them before tossing them together with the chicken. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may need to double the sauce if you’re adding a lot of additional ingredients so you have enough to fully coat everything.
Why is my Teriyaki sauce lumpy?
This can happen if you don’t properly whisk the cornstarch together with the liquid ingredients of the sauce before adding it to the pan with the chicken. The sauce mixture needs to be smooth before it hits the hot pan to thicken up.
Is there an alcohol-free substitute for sake?
You can use apple juice or even water as a substitute, but the sake does add a unique flavor.
- Pat the chicken dry. Before cooking, use paper towels to remove any excess moisture from the chicken. This step helps to ensure better browning.
- Avoid overcooking the teriyaki sauce. Once added, the sauce only needs to simmer long enough to thicken up and coat the chicken. It will stick to the pan if you let it go too long!
- Test the chicken for doneness. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165°F (74°C).
- Make it spicy. If you like, you can add red pepper flakes or a dash of sriracha to the teriyaki sauce for a little added heat that amplifies the overall flavor profile.
You can store leftover Teriyaki Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then simply reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop or in the microwave on medium heat. However, if frozen, you will need to let it thaw out before reheating.
Discover More Chicken Recipes
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Hot Honey Chicken
- Lemon Herb Chicken And Potatoes Skillet
- Jerk Chicken
- BBQ Chicken
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake or white wine, brown sugar, honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, cornstarch, and water to make the Teriyaki Sauce.
- Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- Pour the Teriyaki Sauce into the skillet and stir to coat the chicken. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens.
- Serve the chicken teriyaki with cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds or sliced green onions if desired.
- Using low-sodium soy sauce allows you to control the salt level better.
- Mirin and sake are both worth investing in for a more authentic flavor.
- You can replace sake with dry white wine if it’s more accessible.
- Optional garnishes like sesame seeds or green onions aren’t just for looks; they add an extra layer of flavor.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.