This easy teriyaki chicken recipe has the most tender, delicious chicken coated in a sweet teriyaki sauce. Skip the takeout… this is ready in half an hour!
This post was originally published on November 30, 2018. I updated the recipe to make it better, added more tips to the blog post, and took new photographs.
This is definitely a North American style chicken teriyaki. Traditional teriyaki sauce uses sake, but I decided to omit it since not everyone will want to buy it just for this recipe. Also, I do use mirin, but I use a grocery store version of it that’s more easily accessible to most people.
There’s really not much to this recipe, so it’s perfect for a simple weeknight dinner. If you’ve finally decided to learn how to make teriyaki chicken in your own kitchen, you’ve come to the right place!
I also have an Instant Pot teriyaki chicken recipe if you’d rather make it in there.
What’s in teriyaki sauce?
Garlic, brown sugar, fresh ginger, mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and water. I also add some cornstarch to thicken it.
I don’t go too crazy with the garlic or ginger in this recipe, so feel free to add more if more zing is your thing.
What is mirin?
Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine (similar to sake but with more sugar) that helps give teriyaki sauce its signature flavor. Most grocery stores will carry a version of it (I use Kikkoman brand – it’s described as “mirin style sweet cooking seasoning”), which is fine for this recipe. If you want something a little more authentic, you may want to check an Asian foods specialty shop.
Mirin substitutions: If you don’t have mirin, try a dry sherry or sweet marsala wine. If you want to do a bit of experimenting, Bon Appetit magazine suggests that dry white wine or rice vinegar will also work, BUT you will need to counteract the sourness with about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon you use… so be sure to give the sauce a taste to ensure that it’s to your liking. This will also change the amount of sauce that’s made, so I would be pretty careful with this particular recipe to ensure it thickens properly etc.
Recipe notes & tips:
- The sauce is quite thick and rich. There isn’t a ton of it, but it’s sweet and a little goes a long way IMO.
- The second batch of chicken tends to cook a little faster because the pan is hot, so you may need to turn down the heat a little bit if the pan starts smoking too much.
- The cornstarch helps give the chicken a nice crispy outside and tender inside. It also helps thicken up the sauce quickly.
- You can definitely use chicken thighs instead if you prefer!
- Using a splatter guard helps make clean-up easier. I also love using kitchen tongs for quickly turning the chicken.
What to serve with teriyaki chicken
I love to serve teriyaki chicken with rice (jasmine is my favorite) and scallions on top. It also goes well with broccoli, sweet corn, and green beans as well.
Love Asian-inspired chicken recipes? Try my Honey Chicken or this Pineapple Chicken Recipe.
Questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments below. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations!