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Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken – This authentic Japanese recipe only takes 20 minutes to make! All you need is 5 simple ingredients and it’s way cheaper than getting it at a restaurant! This is the BEST teriyaki chicken recipe!

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki chicken is one of my go-to foods to order at a Japanese restaurant.  It is something that I can always count on being delicious and I just love the flavor! To kick of my new collection of authentic Japanese recipes and Japanese-inspired recipes that are easy and approachable for the typical home cook, I knew I had to stat out with a recognizable classic! I have tried my hand at many different versions of teriyaki over the years (such as my teriyaki meatballs), but this is by far my favorite recipe to make.  It only takes 20 minutes total and 5 ingredients.  That’s it! It’s super easy and way cheaper than ordering it out!

Chicken Teriyaki

Common questions about making teriyaki chicken

Is chicken teriyaki good for you?

How good chicken teriyaki is for you depends on the ingredients you use to cook it.  It can be high in sodium and fat but if you use lower sodium soy sauce and a leaner cut of meat such as chicken breast or you trim the fat off well, this can help make it healthier.  Additionally, many teriyaki recipes call for quite a lot of sugar but this one uses just the bare minimum necessary to maintain the classic teriyaki flavor.

How do I make teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is made from 4 simple ingredients – soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar.  If you plan on cooking a lot of Japanese recipes, I highly suggest having all of those ingredients on hand, a combination of those and just a few other ingredients such as miso paste and rice vinegar make up most of the sauces and soups prevalent in Japanese cooking.  If you can’t find them in your local grocery store, they are all available on Amazon pretty cheap.

How do I make Japanese teriyaki chicken?

Japanese teriyaki chicken typically is made using chicken thighs and teriyaki sauce.  The chicken thighs are either grilled or pan-fried and then the sauce is added at the end while the chicken cooks in it a little longer and the sauce thickens.

What is the taste of chicken teriyaki?

Chicken teriyaki has a strong umami flavor, it is both salty and sweet.

Is chicken teriyaki Japanese?

Yes, chicken teriyaki is originally a Japanese dish.  “Teri” means shine and “yaki” means grilled so when combined, “teriyaki” describes the dish very well.  Typically in Japan, this style of cooking is primarily used on fish but in the west, it can be found on just about everything from chicken to beef.

How do you thicken teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is not a particularly thick sauce.  It can be if you mix it with a slurry of cornstarch but that is optional.  For this recipe, the sauce is a reduction of the sake and other sauce ingredients cooking down.

Japanese Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

Other tips and tricks on this chicken teriyaki recipe

  • While the recipe does call for skinless chicken thighs, any cut of chicken can work instead such as chicken breasts or drumsticks.
  • Chicken thighs with skin can also be delicious if you let the skin cook until golden and crispy.
  • Some other popular meats to use in teriyaki recipes are salmon, mackerel, steak, squid, etc.
  • If you choose to grill the chicken, cook in until it is cooked through and then make the sauce, pour it into a pan, bring to a boil, and then add the chicken in.
  • Japanese recipes are traditionally served with short-grain white or brown rice.  This is a great option to pair with the chicken teriyaki but additionally, noodles tossed with a bit of the extra teriyaki sauce such as soba noodles are great too.
  • If you can’t get ahold of mirin, you can substitute in extra sake for it along with 1/2 teaspoon of extra sugar.

Can’t get enough of this chicken teriyaki recipe? Try these other recipes!

How to Cook Teriyaki Chicken

Yield: 4 people

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken - This authentic Japanese recipe only takes 20 minutes to make! All you need is 5 simple ingredients and it's way cheaper than getting it at a restaurant! This is the BEST teriyaki chicken recipe!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Remove excess fat from chicken thighs and then place them on a grated pan or skillet over medium heat with oil.  Cook for 5-7 minutes or until chicken has browned before flipping the chicken over and cooking the other side.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Stir until combined.
  3. Once the chicken has cooked through, remove from pan and set aside.  Pour the teriyaki sauce into the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once the sauce has boiled for about 2 minutes, add the chicken back in and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, flipping occasionally so that the sauce soaks into both sides.  Serve over rice or noodles.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 1383mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 32g

This nutritional information can vary depending on the specific products you choose so this is a general guess of the correct nutritional information based on the products I used. Please keep that in mind when making the recipe.

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Tuesday 5th of June 2018

I love the flavors of teriyaki! This one looks so amazing! I love the saki in it. I don't usually do that. I amd going to try next time I make it!

colleen kennedy

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

Mmm, this is my kind of lunch dish! Love the simplicity and flavors!


Tuesday 5th of June 2018

LOVE that you provided an easy homemade recipe for teriyaki! Now I just need to go get some miring and sake. Yum!

Cynthia | What A Girl Eats

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

Who doesn't love a good teriyaki recipe? This looks just perfect!


Tuesday 5th of June 2018

My kids just love teriyaki chicken, so I can't wait to give your recipe a go. It looks to have the perfect umami balance.

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