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Delicious and Easy Chicken Teriyaki Recipe for Two | Quick & Flavorful

Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki is a delicious and popular Japanese dish that combines tender chicken with a savory, sweet, and slightly tangy teriyaki sauce. It’s a versatile recipe that can be enjoyed on its own, served with rice or noodles, or even used as a filling for sandwiches. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of preparing an irresistible Chicken Teriyaki from scratch, complete with a homemade teriyaki sauce bursting with flavor.



Chicken Teriyaki, a beloved Japanese dish, has a fascinating history that stretches back centuries. This flavorful recipe has evolved over time, influenced by cultural exchanges, regional cooking techniques, and the availability of ingredients. Let’s delve into the rich history of Chicken Teriyaki and explore how it has become a favorite dish enjoyed worldwide.

Ancient Origins and the Birth of Teriyaki

The roots of teriyaki can be traced back to medieval Japan, during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). In those times, the cooking method known as “teri-ni” was prevalent, involving grilling fish or meat over an open flame and then glazing it with a sweet and savory sauce. This technique not only enhanced the flavor of the food but also served as a preservative.

The Influence of Portuguese Traders

During the 16th century, Portuguese traders arrived in Japan and introduced the Japanese to new culinary ingredients and techniques. One such ingredient was “saké,” a type of rice wine. The Portuguese referred to their cooking method of marinating and grilling as “carne de churrasco,” which greatly influenced Japanese cuisine. The Japanese adapted this grilling technique, incorporating the Portuguese word “teri” (meaning shine or glaze) and calling it “teriyaki.”

Development of Teriyaki Sauce

As time passed, the teriyaki technique continued to evolve. In the 17th century, Japan witnessed the emergence of “shōyu” (soy sauce) as a prominent condiment. This fermented sauce made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and koji (a type of mold) became a key component in the development of teriyaki sauce. The addition of soy sauce to the marinade further enhanced the umami flavor profile of Chicken Teriyaki.

Teriyaki’s Rise in Popularity

Chicken Teriyaki gained significant popularity in Japan during the 20th century. It became a staple dish in “yōshoku” (Japanese-style Western cuisine) restaurants, often served alongside rice or as a filling for bento boxes. The simplicity of the recipe, combined with its delightful flavors, made it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

Globalization and Culinary Adaptations

With the spread of Japanese culture and cuisine worldwide, Chicken Teriyaki found its way into international markets. The Western palate quickly embraced the unique combination of sweet and savory flavors, leading to the inclusion of Chicken Teriyaki on menus of Japanese restaurants around the globe. As it gained popularity, the recipe underwent various adaptations to suit regional tastes and incorporate local ingredients.

Modern Variations and Fusion Cuisine

In recent years, Chicken Teriyaki has undergone further transformation as a result of fusion cuisine. Chefs and home cooks have experimented with different ingredients and techniques, infusing the dish with their own cultural influences. This has given rise to innovative variations such as spicy teriyaki, pineapple teriyaki, and teriyaki skewers.

Chicken Teriyaki Today

Today, Chicken Teriyaki remains a beloved classic in Japanese cuisine. It continues to be enjoyed in traditional Japanese restaurants, casual eateries, and home kitchens worldwide. Its popularity can be attributed to its delectable flavors, ease of preparation, and versatility in various culinary applications.


Preparation of chicken10 minutes
Making the teriyaki sauce5 minutes
Marinating the chicken30 minutes
Cooking the chicken10 minutes
Making the teriyaki sauce (thickening)5 minutes
Total60 minutes

Please note that the provided times are approximate and can vary depending on individual cooking skills and kitchen setup.


1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs2
1/4 cup soy sauce1/8 cup (2 tablespoons)
1/8 cup mirin1/8 cup (2 tablespoons)
1/8 cup sake1/8 cup (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon brown sugar1/2 tablespoon
1 tablespoon honey1/2 tablespoon
1 clove of garlic, minced1/2 clove
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger1/4 teaspoon
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil1/4 tablespoon
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch1/4 tablespoon (optional)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)As desired
Chopped green onions (for garnish)As desired

Please adjust the quantities according to your personal taste preferences and the desired serving size.


I. Preparation of Chicken

  1. Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into bite-sized pieces for even cooking and better flavor infusion.

II. Making the Teriyaki Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Mix well until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is well combined.

III. Marinating the Chicken

  1. Place the chicken pieces in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken, ensuring each piece is evenly coated.
  3. Cover the dish or seal the bag, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 1-2 hours for enhanced flavor.

IV. Cooking the Chicken

  1. Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Transfer the chicken pieces from the dish or bag to the hot pan, reserving the marinade for later use.
  4. Cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Optional: Brush some of the reserved teriyaki sauce on top of the chicken pieces during cooking for an extra glaze and flavor.

V. Making the Teriyaki Sauce (Thickening)

  1. Pour the remaining reserved teriyaki sauce into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. If desired, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with a tablespoon of water. Gradually add the slurry to the simmering sauce while stirring continuously.
  3. Continue simmering the sauce until it thickens to your desired consistency, being careful not to overdo it.
  4. Remove the sauce from heat and set it aside.

VI. Finishing the Dish

  1. Pour the thickened teriyaki sauce into the pan used for cooking the chicken.
  2. Add the cooked chicken back into the pan, gently coating each piece with the teriyaki sauce.
  3. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the Chicken Teriyaki to a serving dish.
  5. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions for added flavor and presentation.

Enjoy your homemade Chicken Teriyaki, and serve it alongside rice, noodles, or your preferred side dishes!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationAmount Per Serving
Serving Size1/2 recipe
Total Fat17g
– Saturated Fat4g
– Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate18g
– Dietary Fiber1g
– Sugars15g
Vitamin D0.5mcg

Please note that the nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on the specific ingredients used and any modifications made to the recipe.


  • For the best flavor, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are more tender and flavorful compared to chicken breast.
  • Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. For more intense flavor, marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • Reserve a portion of the teriyaki sauce before marinating the chicken to use as a glaze during cooking.
  • If you prefer a thicker sauce, use the optional cornstarch slurry while making the teriyaki sauce. Add it gradually until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking the chicken. Cook it in batches if necessary to ensure even browning.
  • When cooking the chicken, aim for a golden brown color on the outside while ensuring it is fully cooked inside. Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • To enhance the presentation, sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped green onions on top of the finished dish.
  • Adjust the sweetness and saltiness of the teriyaki sauce to your taste by adding more honey or soy sauce accordingly.
  • Experiment with variations by adding spices or ingredients like chili flakes, pineapple chunks, or vegetables to customize the flavor of your Chicken Teriyaki.
  • Serve the Chicken Teriyaki with steamed rice, noodles, or a side of stir-fried vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.

Pros & Cons

✅ Delicious and flavorful❌ High in sodium
✅ Easy to prepare❌ Can be high in calories
✅ Versatile dish❌ Contains added sugars
✅ Can be customized❌ Requires marinating time
✅ Popular and well-liked❌ May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions

Please note that the pros and cons mentioned are subjective and may vary based on individual preferences and circumstances.


In conclusion, Chicken Teriyaki is a delightful and versatile dish that offers a perfect balance of flavors. With its succulent chicken, savory-sweet teriyaki sauce, and endless serving possibilities, it is no wonder that this recipe has gained worldwide popularity.

Preparing Chicken Teriyaki at home allows you to savor the freshness and customize it to your liking. From marinating the chicken to creating the rich teriyaki sauce, each step adds depth to the dish. The result is a tender, flavorful chicken with a glaze that will leave you craving more.

Whether you enjoy it over a bed of steamed rice, as a filling for sandwiches, or in creative fusion dishes, Chicken Teriyaki is a versatile choice that never fails to satisfy. Its simplicity in preparation, coupled with the ability to experiment with variations, makes it accessible to both novice and experienced cooks.

While indulging in this delicious recipe, it is important to be mindful of the sodium content and portion sizes to maintain a balanced diet. However, with the right adjustments and ingredient choices, you can create a healthier version that suits your dietary needs.

So, why not embark on a culinary adventure and bring the flavors of Japan to your kitchen? Try your hand at preparing Chicken Teriyaki, and experience the joy of creating a homemade dish that is both satisfying and bursting with flavor. Gather the ingredients, follow the step-by-step instructions, and enjoy the delightful journey of preparing and savoring this beloved Japanese classic.

Unleash your creativity, customize the recipe to your taste, and make it a memorable meal to share with family and friends. Get ready to indulge in the tender, succulent chicken bathed in a luscious teriyaki glaze, and discover why Chicken Teriyaki is a favorite worldwide.


  • I. 🐔 Chicken Teriyaki Travelled Across the Globe
    • Chicken Teriyaki’s popularity has reached far and wide. From its humble origins in Japan to international kitchens, it has become a beloved dish globally.
  • II. 🎉 Chicken Teriyaki Celebrates Umami Flavor
    • The combination of soy sauce, mirin, and other ingredients in Chicken Teriyaki creates a mouthwatering umami flavor. Umami is often described as the “fifth taste” and adds a delightful savory note to the dish.
  • III. 🌶️ Spice it Up with Spicy Teriyaki
    • If you enjoy some heat in your dishes, you can add chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the teriyaki sauce. Spice lovers can elevate their Chicken Teriyaki experience with a fiery kick.
  • IV. 🌐 Chicken Teriyaki – A Culinary Chameleon
    • Chicken Teriyaki is incredibly versatile and can be adapted to various cuisines. Its flavors blend harmoniously with different ingredients, making it a popular choice for fusion dishes worldwide.
  • V. 🎭 Chicken Teriyaki in Pop Culture
    • Chicken Teriyaki has made appearances in pop culture, from being featured in movies and TV shows to becoming a favorite order at Japanese-inspired restaurants in video games. Its deliciousness has captured the imagination of food enthusiasts and entertainment lovers alike.


Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs for Chicken Teriyaki?

Yes, you can use chicken breast if you prefer leaner meat. However, keep in mind that chicken breast tends to dry out faster, so be careful not to overcook it.

Is there a vegetarian alternative for Chicken Teriyaki?

Absolutely! You can replace the chicken with tofu or tempeh and follow the same steps for marinating and cooking. The teriyaki sauce works wonderfully with vegetarian protein sources.

Can I make a large batch of Chicken Teriyaki and freeze it?

While it’s best to enjoy Chicken Teriyaki fresh, you can freeze cooked chicken teriyaki in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.

What can I substitute for mirin if I can’t find it?

If you don’t have mirin, you can use a combination of dry white wine and a pinch of sugar as a substitute. This will provide a similar sweet and tangy flavor to the dish.

Can I grill the marinated chicken instead of pan-frying it?

Absolutely! Grilling the marinated chicken will add a smoky flavor to the dish. Ensure the grill is preheated, and cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

How long can I marinate the chicken for maximum flavor?

It’s recommended to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. For more intense flavor, marinate it for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

Can I make the teriyaki sauce in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the teriyaki sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just reheat it gently before using.

Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the teriyaki sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce to your preference. Reduce the amount of sugar or substitute with a sugar alternative while maintaining the balance of flavors.

Can I use low-sodium soy sauce for a healthier option?

Absolutely! If you are concerned about sodium intake, you can opt for low-sodium soy sauce or even use a reduced-sodium tamari sauce as a substitute.

Can I prepare the Chicken Teriyaki in a slow cooker?

While the traditional stovetop method is recommended, you can adapt the recipe for a slow cooker. Brown the chicken first, then transfer it along with the teriyaki sauce to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.