Chicken Teriyaki

“Who doesn’t love Chicken Teriyaki?! Funny thing, I always thought it got its name from the sauce. Turns out that ‘teriyaki’ is actually a cooking method used in Japan; ‘teri’ means ‘luster’ and ‘yaki’ means ‘cooking/grilling’. What we know as teriyaki sauce is just a typical sauce used in this cooking method. Traditionally the sauce isn’t thickened with cornstarch, but for those of us Americans who are use to the bottled version, you can do that as well.” – April Ferre

Chicken Teriyaki

Course: Main Courses – Poultry
Cuisine: Japanese


  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Sake
  • 1/4 Cup Mirin
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Ginger Grated
  • 1 Onion Grated
  • 4 Pounds Bone-In, Skin On Chicken Thighs Deboned
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil Divided
  • 1/2 Cup Sake


  • In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, water, sake, mirin, sugar, ginger, and onion (including juices). Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  • Prick both sides of the chicken all over with a fork so that they will absorb more flavor. Cut off any excess skin and season with salt and pepper. Optional: marinate the chicken for 30 minutes in the teriyaki sauce.
  • Heat oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Remove any marinade from the chicken as much as possible so that the chicken gets a nice sear but does not burn. Place the chicken skin side down in the hot oil, reserving the sauce. Pan fry the chicken in two batches until skin is golden brown.
  • When all chicken has been browned, place all the chicken back into the fry pan, non-skin side down and add the sake. Quickly cover with a lid and steam the chicken over medium-low heat for 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Discard excess grease from the pan. Heat a small amount of oil in the pan and return the chicken to the pan again skin side down to recrisp the skin. Flip the chicken so the skin side is up and pour over the reserved teriyaki sauce. Cook until the sauce is reduced to about half, frequently spooning the sauce over the chicken. Once the sauce is reduced and thickened, turn off the heat.
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces.
  • Optional: thicken remaining teriyaki sauce with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water.
  • Place chicken on a plate with a side of rice and drizzle teriyaki sauce on top.

2021 Recipe – April Ferre – Adapted from Just One Cookbook