Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce

This chicken with teriyaki sauce is easy to make with boneless chicken thighs and a sauce so authentic you’ll swear off the bottled stuff forever.

Pieces of sliced chicken with teriyaki sauce in a pewter bowl.

When I was growing up, my mother often put this delicious teriyaki chicken dish in the bento boxes my sister and I brought to school. I love teriyaki sauce so much that I used to sidle up to my mother and whisper, “Put more sauce in my bento.” [Editor’s Note: This teriyaki sauce is thinner than the sort you may be accustomed to from a bottle. Just so you know what to expect. And the flavor? FAR surpasses anything you’ve experienced. From a bottle or otherwise.]

There are two ways to apply teriyaki sauce. The first is the method described in this recipe, which is to sauté the meat until tender, then add the sauce and reduce it together with the protein. The second is to reduce the sauce on its own, marinate the meat in the reduced sauce, then barbecue or broil the meat.–Rika Yukimasa

*What is sansho pepper?

Sansho pepper is the Japanese version of Szechuan pepper. It’s commonly used for yakitori and is particularly delicious here.


Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 2
Print RecipeBuy the Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking cookbook

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Pat the chicken thighs dry. Remove any visible fat from the chicken thighs and prick both sides evenly with a fork. Score the underside of the thighs so that they flatten to a uniform thickness.

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake, and mirin.

Add enough oil to a skillet to slick the surface. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin-side down, and place over medium heat. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.

Carefully turn the thighs over. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 3 minutes.

Uncover the skillet and pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce reduces by about three-quarters and glazes the chicken, 7 to 15 minutes.

Cut the chicken into slices. Sprinkle with sansho and serve immediately.

Print RecipeBuy the Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking cookbook

Want it? Click it.


    • Tux variation

      This teriyaki sauce can also be used on beef, lamb, pork, duck, and meatballs. Teriyaki sauce for meat and poultry is a simple mix of mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar, always in equal amounts. Teriyaki sauce for fish contains a little less sugar.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    An Asian coworker invited me out for a bento box lunch. I’d never heard of such a thing but I was thrilled when the wait staff placed before me a box filled with small portions of food—chicken teriyaki, Asian salad, jasmine rice, and crispy tempura vegetables.

    I’ve tried making chicken teriyaki several times at home but it never quite tasted the same as I remembered; those attempts often resulted in dry chicken over seasoned with soy sauce.

    To my delight, this recipe tasted light and clean much like my first taste of chicken teriyaki years ago. I’m pleased to report as well how extremely easy it is to make. The only issue I’d had was when I flipped the chicken. The recipe doesn’t call for much oil so the trick is to follow this tip so your chicken doesn’t stick to the pan. Remove your chicken from your refrigerator about 10 minutes before you plan to cook it. Also be sure to heat your frying pan to an adequate temperature so it’s hot enough when you add your chicken. Each of these steps should prevent your chicken from sticking when you go to flip it to the other side.

    I left all the luscious juices in the pan to mix with the sauce thinking it’d add a richer chicken flavor than if you removed it. It may require a few extra minutes to reduce the sauce depending on how much liquid was in the pan.

    I served it with an Asian Cucumber Salad and Coconut Rice.

    This is my first time preparing a teriyaki sauce from scratch and the result was spectacular!

    I doubled the portion of the protein because of the size of the thighs, it was about 1 pound, 6 chicken thighs.

    I just had a total of 3 portions (well, my son fixed his plate like for 2 persons).

    Since I don't eat chicken with the skin (unless it’s rotisserie), I decided to cook it skinless. I pricked it, however it came out not as tender as I'm used to having it. Next time I'm going to cook it a little bit longer although my son loved it! He said it was perfect.

    I do like my sauce more liquidy than thick so I liked the consistency. I served it with steamed white rice.


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