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How to make Teriyaki Chicken

Updated on July 11, 2014

What is Teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki actually derives from the noun 照り(teri) which is the shine or gloss from the sugar content of the sauce 焼き(yaki) means to bake/cook in Japanese. It is basically chicken which is marinated in a soy sauce mixture which give it its unique taste and smell. In McDonald's in Japan The Chicken Teriyaki burger is available normally on the menu, also Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Teriyaki seasoning tends to very from cook to cook, it depends on how much sake (Japanese liquor) and sugar is used for the seasoning sauce. It is available in many restaurants in Japan and is quite popular among foreigners.

In Japan the Teriyaki Chicken is actually part of the standard Kentucky Fried Chicken Menu and is very nice as part of the sandwich set. You should definitely try it if you ever visit Japan. You will even find it on McDonald's menus during seasons with promotional events, especially in certain sports events seasons. You will find at many local convenience stores in Japan such as Seven Eleven, Mini Stop, Family Mart, Circle K etc. including the Bentos, which are like a take away Japanese style lunch/dinner.

Teriyaki is rather an acquired taste for foreigners in Japan. either you love it or hate it, like Marmite but with a different taste. It has a very rich taste which can be too much to stomach for a lot of people especially elderly Japanese who prefer plainer tasting food.


  • 3/4 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 Tbps of sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 3-4 Tbps of Mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 4 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Grated ginger


Firstly you mix the Sake, mirin, Soy sauce, sugar and ginger into a bowl until it has a glistening brown liquid texture.

Using a fork poke holes into the chicken then place the chicken into the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Once done, heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan and brown the skin side of the chicken on medium heat.

Turn the chicken over to fry the other side on low heat. Then you pour the sauce used to marinate the chicken, on top on the chicken, cover the pan and steam cook on low heat until done.

After this you remove the lid and simmer until the sauces becomes thick. Once finished, this is to be served on a plate which the thick sauce poured over it. Use the grated ginger for garnishing it. Easy!

Most Japanese like the skin on the chicken but many people in the west don't, so it's no problem to remove the skin and brown the meat part instead.

A spicy variation


One chicken breast

1/2 an onion

Salad oil

A table spoon of sugar

A table spoon of soy sauce

Three table spoons of vinegar

Three table spoons of Mirin

1/2 a tea spoon of Miso

1/4 of a tea spoon of Toubanjan (Chinese chili bean sauce)

1/2 a tea spoon of grated ginger

1/2 a tea spoon of starch


  • Mix the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, miso, toubanjan, ginger and starch.
  • Slice the onions, cut the fat from the chicken and poke holes in the skin.
  • Bake or grill the chicken until the skin is crispy.
  • Put a little oil in the frying pan and saute the onions.
  • Put in on medium heat and fry the chicken with the skin facing down.
  • Put in the rest of the ingredients, mix and serve.

Chinese chili bean sauce

This chili bean sauce can be used for a variety of recipes, not only Chinese or Asian food. It can be used as a hot sauce in general however it doesn't have the tomato tangy taste as the Salsa chili sauce has, and it in extremely hot so care needs to be taken.

Other uses

Teriyaki is mostly famous for it's use with chicken however it also works well with other meat and fish such as Yellowtail and pork. It is not as popular with the dark meats such as beef however you can still find it if you look around. The whiter meats such as chicken / pork and fish are definitely the best for making dishes with.


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    • Hezekiah profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Japan

      Thanks for appreciating.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Looks Yumi, thanks for sharing.


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