Chicken teriyaki |

Chicken teriyaki

When you discover what’s in a bottle of teriyaki sauce, you will wonder why you have been buying bottles and bottles of the stuff when it’s so easy to prepare it at home. Mirin, sake, soy sauce and, optionally, honey. I like to add a bit of ginger but it’s not really a must. In fact, the traditional Japanese teriyaki recipe does not include ginger at all. You mix the ingredients for the sauce, marinate the boneless chicken in it and then you grill the chicken. That’s it, in a nutshell. Of course, if you want to make sure that your chicken teriyaki is not so-so, you will have to pay attention to the small details that make all the difference.

1) Try to use chicken thigh or leg fillets rather than chicken breast fillets. Skin on.

2) Use light soy sauce. I use Kikkoman but if you have access to more brands, you can always try something else. There might be something better than Kikkoman. The local soy sauce brands like Silver Swan and Datu Puti fall under dark soy sauce. They give the chicken a dark rather than a reddish-gold color.

3) You can’t dispense with the marinating part. You have to give the chicken enough time to absorb the flavors in the marinade.


  • 300 grams of chicken fillets, preferably thighs or legs, skin on
  • 1/4 c. of light soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. of mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1/4 c. of sake
  • 1 tbsp. of honey, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. of grated fresh ginger, optional
  • finely sliced onion leaves, to garnish


  1. Place the uncut chicken fillets in a bowl. Add in the soy sauce, mirin, sake and, if using, honey and ginger. Mix well. Cover and let sit in the fridge for several hours or, preferably, overnight.
  2. Pour in the reserved marinade into a small pan. Boil gently for about five minutes or just until thickened. Set aside.
  3. Heat up the grill (or grill on the stove top with a cast iron skillet). Drain the chicken fillets, reserving the marinade. Lay the chicken fillets on the grill (or skillet), skin side down, and cook over high heat until the skins are brown and start to turn crisp.
  4. Flip them over, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for a few minutes until the opposite is browned and the meat is done.
  5. Transfer the cooked chicken to a chopping board. Chop into strips about half an inch wide (or not if you prefer to serve them whole). Arrange on a plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with onion leaves before serving. Chicken teriyaki

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

*Originally published in June 10, 2007; updated on July 24, 2012


  1. dhay says

    ms connie,
    i don’t remember making a terriyaki dish as yet? Oh my, where have i been? hehhe..I do chicken and beef stir fries, but i haven’t tried terriyaki yet. i’ll let u know the outcome..

    oh by the way, my parents wedding anniv is this suday and im making a few dish, one of them is “baked macaroni”, we’ll see what they’ll say about it! as far as the one’s who tried it already, they loved it, let’s see what will the other guests say.. i hope they will not dissappoint me and you! :)

  2. says

    eiram, use as little cooking oil as possible (non-stick pans are recommended). if the sauce didn’t thicken, it means cook the chicken longer. you turn off the stove just before the sugar starts to burn.

      • sharon says

        Hi! I would love to try your teriyaki recipe since my kids love to have it every time we eat out.

        Since I need to feed a lot of people at home, I don’t 300 grams of chicken fillet would be enough. If I need to up the chicken, how much more of the other ingredients should i add? Is it correct to double the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar if i would be marinating 600 grams of chicken fillet?

        Thanks very much!

  3. aarika says

    hi, thanks for your recipe, question lang po, im actually doing this recipe for a party, i have about 10kg of chicken thighs, i tried to bake the chicken and it tasted better than frying, my problem with frying is medyo pumait, i think it would be time consuming if i would be baking all them. any suggestions? plus, with the reserved marinade that can be used as a sauce..parang i feel ang tagal before the sauce thickens. do i need to add cornstarch in it para mag thicken.. please..i need advice if you don’t mind. thank you so much.. =)

  4. aarika says

    ff up question din po, just to check if im using the right ingredient, is sake the same with rice wine vinegar? usually the one with a green cap/ label? ang hirap kasi it doesnt have a label that says “Sake”. but i usually see this at imported sections of supermarkets.

      • melissa says

        Hi Connie, looks like a good recipe…I am about to try it out tonight :) I have lived in Japan (hubby is Japanese) for almost 10 years, thought you might be interested to know, (as i was recently when i was chatting with hubby while i was making dinner) that light soy sauce (usukuchi) is actually much saltier than dark / regular soy sauce (koikuchi). Light soy sauce is usually used instead of dark soy sauce, so as not to ruin the appearance of the meal…I was quite surprised to find that out :)

  5. A says

    I was reading the Q-and-A dito. LOL! A lot of the questions are tanga-tangahan lang. Hahahahahahaha. Seems like some people don’t know how to use google! :p