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.

  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

  6. 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.


    • says

      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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. May says

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

  10. Connie says

    go for it, dhay! :)

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

  11. 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!!!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. Connie says

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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! =)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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 :)

  22. 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 :)

  23. michelle says

    Hi Miss. Sassy,

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

  24. 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!:)

  25. 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..

  26. 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.

  27. RiaBell says

    Hi Ms Connie!!

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


  28. 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!


  29. Kat says

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

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