Chicken Teriyaki

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My husband has always been a BIG fan of chicken teriyaki so I have tried lots of recipes over the years but this one is the BEST– our all time favorite!  This is the recipe that made the cut for our hard bound family cookbook (more on that soon).  When I make this chicken my boys come running and there is never any leftovers!  It is perfect on the grill but when it is cold like it is now, I use my grill pan on the stovetop with great results.  I actually love that this makes enough sauce for two dinners.  I just pour at least half into a glass jar in the fridge for later.  Enjoy!

3.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Teriyaki
*Note: Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that is used for cooking not as a drink. I found a small bottle labeled for cooking at my local grocery store in the Asian section alongside the soy sauces and rice vinegars etc. It was about $4. I never have, but I have read that you could substitute apple juice with a little sugar added for the cooking wine, in a pinch.
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1½ cups regular soy sauce (Not low-sodium)
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cups mirin (Japanese sweet rice cooking wine; not rice vinegar)*
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch with soy sauce. Thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch, whisking until no more cornstarch is visible. Add soy sauce, both sugars, mirin, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Whisk sauce until ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly dry chicken thighs with paper towels, and trim. Working one at a time, place each piece on a cutting board and top chicken with cling wrap. Pound chicken evenly to about ½ in. thick.
  3. Using a fork, poke lots of holes all over chicken pieces.
  4. Place chicken in large mixing bowl or large baking pan. Whisk marinade again and pour in just enough to completely cover every chicken piece front and back.
  5. Cover and let sit in fridge overnight, turning chicken pieces over once while marinading. Pour unused clean marinade in a jar and keep in fridge for future use.
  6. One hour before cooking, remove chicken from fridge. Grill until thighs are cooked through, basting generously and frequently with a little of the unused marinade you saved. Either throw out used marinade or boil for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria from the raw chicken. Once it has boiled for at least 5 minutes you can use it to serve as a sauce with your grilled chicken and rice. OR you can just use the extra sauce--simply bring that to a boil for minute or two and serve.
  7. Serve chicken over your favorite white rice. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Recipe Source:  Chew Out Loud


  1. Teresa says

    Melanie, why can’t we use low-sodium soy sauce? The regular is so salty and there is quite a bit in the recipe. Would it ruin the recipe to use low-sodium?

    • Melanie says

      Teresa–I bet you are right but the orginal recipe had that note. I have always just used regular sodium but gluten free soy sauce with great results. I would interested to know if you use low sodium how it turns out. So let us know:)

  2. Jan says

    Oh good, i need this recipe! I am interested in the response about using low sodium soy sauce. Have you tried it that way?

  3. Amber Jean says

    I used low sodium. It still tasted pretty salty to us and I love salt like crazy! The flavor is really good however it was pretty salty and a bit too much sugar for our taste. Maybe it’s because I didn’t marinate it, I just mixed it together and simmered the chicken in for about 20 min. I will definitely try this again!

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