Making the Best Japanese Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken is one of the most popular Japanese dishes worldwide.  Ready made teriyaki sauce is usually available in nearby supermarkets -- even that chicken-teriyaki-sauce-in-a-bottle doesn’t taste like real teriyaki sauce in Japan. 

Teriyaki is actually a cooking technique: “teri means “luster” given by the sweet soy sauce marinade and yaki means “cooking/grilling”.

Taken from, here we share how to make the best Japanese Teriyaki Chicken:

  • 1 lb. (454g) boneless chicken thigh with skin, rinsed and pat dry
  • 1 tablespoon oil for Step 4
  • 2 tablespoons sake for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon oil for Step 7
Teriyaki Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ onion, grated
  • 1" (2.5 cm) ginger, grated
  1. Cut each chicken thigh into 4 pieces. Prick the chicken with a fork so it absorbs more flavors.
  2. Combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a medium bowl or Ziploc bag.
  3. Add the chicken into the bowl and marinate for at least 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat and place the chicken pieces skin side down, reserving the sauce (do not add any liquid so that chicken will brown nicely).
  5. When skin side is nicely browned, flip the chicken and add sake. Quickly cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken to a plate and wipe off excess grease from the pan.
  7. Heat the oil and put the chicken back in the pan, skin side down, and cook until the skin becomes crispy.
  8. Flip the chicken and pour the reserved sauce and cook until the sauce is reduced. Use a spoon to pour the sauce on top of the chicken while cooking.
  9. Transfer the chicken to a plate and drizzle the remaining sauce on top.

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