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

Connie Veneracion

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

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84 Responses

  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. Connie 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.

  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.

    • Aarika, since you already deviated from the recipe by baking the chicken, then, I can’t help you. I can’t advice you on a solution I never tried.

      • 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

  6. Hi Ms. Connie! Pwede po ba gamitin dito ang anisado wine?

  7. lakers4sho says:

    Hi Connie,

    I’ve tried making this dish following your recipe. However, when I go and make the sauce, I couldn’t make it look like how’s it’s supposed to:

    It neither turns red, nor does it thicken for some reason. What happens is a lot of it just evaporates, leaving the solid brown stuff which I tried to separate to the side (I suppose that comes from the chicken?), and the brown sauce, which still tasted okay.


    • That looks okay. You just brush it on the cooked chicken. The redness of the chicken comes from the caramelization of the sugars in the sake, mirin and the chicken itself. So, the meat does not really derive its color from the sauce.

  8. brandy says:


    thank goodness for your chix teriyake recipe. I have been looking for one in a long time. perfect for school lunch for kids. will definitely try this one.

    1 question, though. is sake also available in most supermarkets or in japanese stores only? where did you get yours?

    thanks very much!

  9. Connie says:

    Cherry Supermarket, if I remember correctly… :)

  10. amymd says:

    is mirin also available in most supermarkets? i’ll try to find one. i would love to try this dish, perfect for baon not only for my kids but also for me.

  11. May says:

    Hi connie, i also cannot find sake in the asian grocery stores. Can the recipe do without? Is there a substitute?

  12. Connie says:

    go for it, dhay! :)

    amymd, yes, try the imported section where all those jars and bottles with inscrutable labels are. :grin:

  13. Gilbert says:

    Hi Connie,

    I had tried every Chicken Teriyaki recipe there is available on the internet but this is the BEST RECIPE!!! Not to sweet, just perfect blend of every ingredients. I have to emphasize na gumamit lang talaga ng light soy sauce coz it does really matter when it comes to flavoring and colour- light brown which is what Teriyaki colour should be. Dito sa Chicago, we make it a point na magluto ng Chicken Teriyaki at least once a week and we don’t order this anymore sa Japanese restaurant!!! Thanks for sharing this!!!!

  14. prosinger says:

    this is a must try recipe! salamat po!

  15. eiram says:

    hi connie. i tried this recipe. masarap! kasama na siya sa mga everyday menu namin… although my chicken teriyaki is kindda oily. talaga bang ganun? and also the sauce does not thicken. siguro nga becoz of too much oil? pero masarap pa din. i would like to have a thicker sauce so i can serve it on top of rice rather than serving it as a separate ulam. thanks, more power!

  16. joey says:

    buhay pa ba ang cherry? eto ba yung sa may shaw blvd?
    well yun lang alam kong cherry foodarama kasi.

  17. Connie says:

    yah, joey, cherry along shaw is still there. there is a branch along congressional road in QC and another one along marcos hiway in antipolo.

  18. Clar says:

    Hi Connie,
    I have been visiting your site for a week now and i want you to know that I enjoy your recipes, reviews, and cooking “advices”. I think they’re very practical, straightforward, and helpful to starters like me. The chicken, fish, and vegetable dishes are a winner because I make it a point to serve healthy dishes and minimize deep frying as much as possible. I’m glad I discovered your site. Keep them coming!

  19. eiram says:

    hi ms connie, i love your website. a lot of recipes here are unique and mas nae-enganyo ako becoz of the pictures attached with the recipe, sana lahat ng recipes ganito. anyway, i have always wanted to try this recipe kso lagi kulang ingredients. There’s no cherry fooderama near our place here in Las Pinas, where can i buy sake? I checked out SM’s japanese section in their supermarket, all they have is mirin (which is kindda pricey for me). Any substitute for sake? Or pwede na wala nito sa recipe? Also, i hope you include japanese recipes dito besides teriyaki. I’ve been searching the net for a fried tofu recipe. Actually hinahanap ko yung sauce recipe that goes with the tofu furai I had at sukiyaki resto. Any suggestions? Hope you also do your version of tempura sauce and tonkatsu. thanks, more power.

  20. Connie says:

    eiram, try the inexpensive RICE cooking wines. Check the older archives at for tofu recipes. Madami-dami din dun. :)

  21. rush says:

    my bosses just love chicken teriyaki! i always ordered chicken teriyaki from tokyo, tokyo everytime we have a meeting. my bosses are all justices kaya ang hirap hanapan ng healthy na makakain. i will definetly try this one and papatikim ko sa kanila. i know they will love it also. mukhang sa tokyo, tokyo din naman eh. hehehe!

  22. Connie says:

    You’re very welcome, Gilbert. And regards to the Filipinos in the area. Actually… I have a brother-in-law there. :)

  23. shawie says:

    Dear Ms. Connie, hi, i’m sharon, a new fan of your wonderful site! Been reading it for about a month now and I’m so excited to finally try the recipes… anyway, I attended a cousin’s party last night and she made chicken teriyaki which was so delicious! I’m too shy to ask for the recipe that’s why I’m so grateful there are generous-hearted people like you who share what they know… anyway, 1 of your readers said the chix she made wasn’t crispy…I saw my cousin use flour to dredge the chix fillets before frying. Just thought it might help. anyway, thanks so much for this great site again! looking forward to ur Tastebook! =)

  24. bunny says:

    Hi Connie!

    Can I do without the sake?

  25. Martieza says:

    Can I use the rice wine instead of sweet rice wine? What can I use as a substitute of sake? Can’t find sake in our local supermarkets.

  26. Connie says:

    Westerners say sherry is an okay substitute for most oriental cooking wines.

  27. Anne says:

    Hello connie. thanks for sharing. I, too, am an avid cook and fortunately, i can indulge my hobby of cooking & baking. i already tried your baked mac recipe. Of course, it was a hit. I could already tell from the picture. Im going to try this chix teriyaki recipe though I dont have sake. will sub it white wine maybe. its close to impossible to find sake here bec i live in a very small town in Bicol. the closest decent supermarket is abt. 35 km away. anyway, thanks so much again for your wonderful sharing. expect to hear again from me. God Bless you & your family

  28. celeste sy says:

    Hi Ms Connie! Just want to share that i cooked chicken teritaki today for lunch and it was delicious :) actually this is my second time to try it. the first time was’nt so successful because nasunog ata the chicken. i think i put too much oil and i put the chicken in the pan straight from the marinade (i didnt let it drain kasi muna as you have advised)and yun, nasunog na agad the sugar. This time, i used less oil and removed the chicken from the marinade and let it it sit for a while para ma drain the sauce and voila, perfect chicken teriyaki na siya! Im so happy :) Thanks so much for all your recipes. My hubby said gumagaling na talga ako magluto. hahaha :) either he just wants to please me by saying that or gumagaling na nga talga ako :) have a good weekend! addicted na ako sa site mo sobra! and i save money pa because instead of eating out, we just eat at home since i serve good food naman na :)

  29. celeste sy says:

    i looked at the chicken teriyaki picture again. hay sana i can take pictures as good as yours too. i have a good camera but i dont have the skill pa kasi and have not mastered the manual settings pa :) soon soon soon :)

  30. michelle says:

    Hi Miss. Sassy,

    I already have a bottled teriyaki,how many tablespoons should i put in a 300 grams of chicken? Thanks!

  31. Connie says:

    Can’t say. I’ve never used bottled teriyaki sauce.

  32. annie says:

    hi connie!

    you really are a blessing! you know what? i was looking for the recipe of lumpiang shanghia the other day and i found yours the best compared to all that i’ve found online! i made it yesterday for thanksgiving and my in-laws who are white americans love it so much! i couldn’t believe my father-in-law kept picking one after another and even took the dipping sauce and poured some on his plate hahaha. my sister-in-law was happy when i told her that she can take all the left-overs and her daughter said i make good food hehehe (glory to God!). thank you so much for sharing your gift to everybody especially to filipino housewives like me who wants to please their foreign husbands and trying to make a statement that our food is just as good as their steaks and potato dishes if not even better sometimes hehehe. i always make filipino dishes when we have a family gathering here and i am just so grateful i found your site which i had a link on my toolbar now… chicken teriyake? i’m sure my husband will love me more once he tried this, i’m sure this is another big hit!

    God bless you, your family and all the food you make for them!:)

  33. Agnes says:

    Ms. Connie,

    I cooked for the second time this menu last saturday, but it seems I cannot perfect the color of the chicken skin same as yours..medyo nasusunog ang ibang part ng chicken skin..I cut the measurement of cooking oil and sugar..I used white wine instead of sake…My kids love this menu and I want to cook it again..please help..

  34. Connie says:

    Control the heat and turn the chicken over often.

  35. Agnes says:

    Thanks Ms. Connie..will try again because my kids love this menu..

  36. joy says:

    Hi Connie,
    Thanks for your recipe. What can i substitute for sake? Can i use Asuka rice wine? Is Asuka the same as Mirin?

  37. Connie says:

    I’m not familiar with Asuka rice wine.

  38. Joy says:

    Thanks for you quick response. I got it from Cherry too.
    Before I found your recipe, I saw another which lists ingredients as Mirin and Rice wine but didnt indicate sake.

  39. Connie says:

    Mirin and sake are both rice wines.

  40. RiaBell says:

    Hi Ms Connie!!

    any substitute for mirin? can’t find it here :( I’m so eager to try this recipe


  41. Connie says:

    Try doubling the amount of sake. Am not sure it if it’ll yield equally good results however.

  42. Ruel says:

    hi Atty. Connie,

    Thanks for sharing us your recipe. It would be of great help for me in preparing my “baon” for my kids.

    God Bless!


  43. ailene says:

    where do you buy your sake? i tried in landmark makati, sm makati, but no luck. haaay..

  44. Connie says:

    At Shopwise. Sometimes, at S&R.

  45. Kat says:

    Ms.Connie, if I want a little bit more sauce, is it ok to double the measurement of the liquid ingredients? Thanks.

  46. Connie says:

    No. The chicken will be too salty and too sweet.

  47. Joy abad says:

    hi, im ur avid fan… can i use rice wine vinegar

  48. Oh, no! Sake and mirin are both sweet — substituting something acidic will ruin the teriyaki.

  49. chad says:

    could i substitute rice cooking wine for sake and the mirin?

  50. You can try but I can’t say that the result will be comparably good.

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