Chicken teriyaki

Teriyaki sauce...who doesn't love the stuff.  The savory sweetness of it is just so appealing.  You can pretty much put it on top of anything and it's going to be addicting.
Since we have dessert often, I tend to shy away from sweet sauces for my stir-fries. However, this is a worthy exception.  Also, I have to admit that I was sometimes reaching for a store-bought teriyaki sauce anyway whenever I was looking for a quick flavoring so when I spotted a recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce a couple of years ago, I gave it a try.  It was truly so much better than what you can get from a bottle!
So I've been making this sauce once in a while for the last couple of years.  The other day, I realized I should post it here and spread the word so I cooked up some chicken teriyaki for dinner.  Of course, you could use this sauce for many things - from seafood to meat, vegetables to tofu.

The sauce is made with soy sauce, water, sweet rice wine (or mirin), brown sugar, granulated sugar, as well as grated garlic and ginger that give it such great flavor.  I simply place the ingredients, with the exception of the grated garlic and ginger, into a measuring cup, warm it for a handful of seconds in the microwave and stir until the sugar is melted.  Then, I stir in the garlic and ginger, and the sauce is done.  
I use it as a marinade, as a glaze or sauce.  If you want a thicker consistency - to create a sauce you can pour over a final dish - you can thicken it with a cornstarch slurry.  In this case, I took some of the teriyaki sauce to marinade chunks of chicken (I used thighs) that I tossed with a small amount of cornstarch, then I stir-fried it in a skillet until cooked through.  Near the end, I add the remaining teriyaki sauce I reserved to the pan.  The sauce will thicken slightly and coat the chicken as you stir it all together.  You end up with plenty of sauce to pour over the final dish.
Of course, you need rice!  I served this chicken teriyaki with brown rice, letting it soak up all that sweet teriyaki sauce.

I would just like to point out that you need sweet rice wine, or mirin, for this homemade teriyaki sauce recipe.  Mirin is an ingredient you'll run into often for Japanese dishes.  It is quite distinct and I highly recommend seeking it out to use here.  This is the one I use:
And a quick word on the garlic and ginger.  I grate both using a microplane and a little goes a long way here.  I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to adding ingredients like garlic to dishes but I've found that you can use too much here so I would stick with the recommended amounts.  You'll find that at the end of cooking, the grated garlic and ginger might be sitting at the bottom of the pan.  Depending on how strong you want it, you can leave some or all of it in the pan since the garlic and ginger flavors have already permeated the sauce enough.  
This teriyaki sauce is handy for stir-frying like I did with the chicken.  When summer comes, it's great to whip some up for barbecues.  Recently, I used it as a marinade and sauce for some stove-top pork chops that I cooked in a cast iron skillet.  
It's all good!  And I'm going to confess something...my affinity for teriyaki sauce goes way back.  Do you ever go to a Japanese restaurant and order a bento box?  Well, I used to literally get a bento box with say, beef or salmon teriyaki, and I'd proceed to dip my sushi (yes, my California and/or spicy salmon rolls) in the teriyaki sauce! Apparently, regular soy sauce wasn't enough for me back then.  I don't do that anymore - as tempting as it is - but I enjoyed every bite of it back when I did.  That's my confession of the day.

Recipe:

Chicken Teriyaki
Teriyaki sauce recipe adapted from Majerle's Sports Grill via Food Network

- Serves 4 - 

For teriyaki sauce*:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sweet rice wine (mirin)
2 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon grated garlic
3/4 teaspoon grated ginger

For chicken teriyaki:
1 lb. chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
White or black pepper, for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons canola oil

Optional garnishes and for serving: Toasted sesame seeds, thinly sliced scallions, and rice

Make teriyaki sauce: Place soy sauce, water, mirin, brown sugar, and granulated sugar into a measuring cup.  Heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, stir until sugar is dissolved (if necessary, pop it back in the microwave for another 5-10 seconds).  Add garlic and ginger and stir together.

Make chicken teriyaki: Place chicken thighs in a bowl and season it with some white or black pepper.  Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce (reserve the remainder) and the cornstarch, tossing to coat.  Marinade at room temperature for about 20 minutes, or make it ahead and place in the refrigerator for several hours (remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking).  

Heat a large non-stick skillet with the canola oil over medium-heat.  Add chicken in a single layer, let cook without disturbing for about 2 minutes, to allow it to brown and caramelize.  Stir and continue to saute until chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes or so. Add the remaining reserved teriyaki sauce to the pan, toss to thoroughly coat the chicken. Cook for about a minute to allow sauce to thicken slightly, then transfer to a serving plate.  Top with sesame seeds and scallions, if using.  Serve hot, with rice.

* For a thicker teriyaki sauce, you can make a cornstarch slurry by combining 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of cold water.  Heat teriyaki sauce in a small saucepan, add cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened.  



37 comments:

  1. So true, no one can say No to teriyaki sauce. And this chicken teriyaki looks and sounds divine, Monica. My husband would love this!

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    1. Thanks, Anu. My fellas are big fans, as you can imagine. It's hard not to like teriyaki.

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  2. haha I definitely really enjoy teriyaki sauce as well!! That had me chuckling about the sushi! I also tend to go a little overboard with the ginger ... it's a problem! :) This dish looks and sounds wonderful!

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    1. haha - I can't believe I confessed that! But no regrets. ; )

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  3. Isn't it a magic sauce, Monica? These chicken bites look succulent and very flavourful.

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    1. Totally - whoever came up with it was a genius.

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  4. Teriyaki is my all time favourite sauce. I even use it as dressing sometimes....

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    1. Oh yeah, I need to use it as a dressing now!!

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  5. Haha teriyaki sauce is so yummy so I see nothing wrong with using it to dip your sushi :) This looks so flavorful and delicious, Monica! We are such teriyaki fans and I would love a big bowl of this for lunch right now :)

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    1. hehee - I'm glad you don't think that was too odd, Kelly! : ) I son loves teriyaki salmon at the Japanese restaurants and whatnot so it's good to make some at home.

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  6. Hehe I love that you dip your sushi in the teriyaki sauce!! That's something I would do too. I'm forever trying combos and sauces even when you're not meant to :P

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    1. Oh boy, I'm starting to feel embarrassed about that confession! haha
      But I love that you'd do the same! ; )

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  7. I've been working on a teriyaki sauce for some time now - your version sounds perfect! I can eat sushi with just about anything - but I haven't tried it with teriyaki - but I will :) Have a wonderful week Monica!

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    1. haha - next time, give it a try and see if it grosses you out or if it's addicting, Tricia. ; ) I am happy with this little teriyaki recipe. My family really enjoys it and I make it now and then.

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  8. I do love teriyaki sauce! The savory sweetness it has is something that I totally crave for! And this looks so delicious!

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    1. Yes, that sweetness is totally addicting. Combined with a little ginger and garlic, with the savory, and it's just a winner. All you need is rice. ; )

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  9. I would finish this bowl of chicken in one go, Monica. It looks really great and the teriayki sauce sounds totally delectable too.

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  10. So tender and delicious with your teriyaki glaze. This recipe sounds addictive where you just need a little bit then a little bit more until you have finished off the whole darn pan.. LOL

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    1. Exactly - teriyaki sauce and Asian dishes with sauces are like that, aren't they...

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  11. I love teriyaki chicken but have been too lazy to make it myself. I just might put this on next week's menu - thanks for the inspiration!

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  12. I just had teriyaki chicken last night for dinner! Wish I saw this first - looks so scrumptious!

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    1. That's awesome! : ) Enjoy the upcoming weekend, Ashley.

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  13. A great recipe for a tasty midweek dinner, this looks so good. You've made me hungry!

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  14. sounds delicious, monica! teriyaki sauce is a favorite of mine, and i appreciate your sharing a wonderful homemade version for all of us to try (: have a great weekend!

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    1. There's this lady on TV who says "fresh is best, unless you're stressed". That about sums it up...so I make my own teriyaki sauce when I can. : )

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  15. The post is fantastic! I love it so much:)
    Have a nice weekend!

    www.theprintedsea.blogspot.com

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  16. Great teriaki recipe. I've never made the sauce myself, I always bought it, but this is so simple and I'm sure healthier and tastier. I can't wait to try it!

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    1. I hope you try it and enjoy it like we do, Adina..thanks.

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  17. I am a huge fan of all these ingredients. So will try this one next weekend and give you my feedback. Hugs

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    1. Sounds great - hope you make it and enjoy it like we have.

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    2. Simply delicious. Actually I made it yesterday evening. ;)

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    3. So glad to hear that. Thanks for letting me know! Have a great weekend!

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  18. Oh forgot...one of my best friend is Japanese so I've tasted amazing food...we usually don't go to a Japanese restaurant, here. ;-)))

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