Japanese Teriyaki Chicken

Difficulty: intermediate

Teriyaki means to grill something and then shine it with soya sauce. It was commonly used for fish in Japan but has expanded to white meats like chicken and pork. My recipe slightly modifies the grilling process and suggests to shallow fry it for an added texture and let the chicken sit in the sauce for a long time to absorb the flavors and become tender. The key to this recipe is to get the perfect soya sauce to honey ratio, luckily for me I was able to infiltrate a gang of chefs in Tokyo with my knowledge of Toriko that they just gave it to me. Sounds like I’m say spewing random words, but that is exactly how it happened. Lets being!

*Note: This is not the dish found at Chinese restaurants with the small breaded chicken cubes and spicier sauce, for that please see the blog post “Chinese Teriyaki Chicken”.


1.5 kg chicken thighs with skin

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Oil for shallow frying, about 0.5 cm in height

2 tbsp oil

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 small onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp ginger paste

0.5 cup light soya sauce

0.25 cup water

0.33 cup honey

2 tbsp mirin (can substitute for white vinegar)

Sesame seed for garnish (optional)

Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)



De-bone the chicken thighs and cut them in half while keeping the skin on one side. Clean any blood vessels, feathers, or extra fat. You might have to see a video on how to de-bone a chicken thigh before you begin. I always use a pairing knife, as opposed to a de-boning knife, because the shorter blade makes it easier to handle. Season with salt and pepper.


Now heat the frying oil to a medium high heat and shallow fry the chicken skin down for 7 to 8 minutes until brown and crispy, then turn it over and fry for another few minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Try to do 80% of the cooking on the skin side because it is important to release all the fats and get the wonderful taste of chicken.


Take the chicken out and set aside on a paper towel to dry.


In a heavy bottomed stock pot, heat 2 tbsp oil to high heat and fry the chopped onions and garlic until they are brown.


Add ginger paste, soya sauce, honey, and water and bring to a boil, then let it simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce reduces by about half. Place the fried chicken skin up on the sauce and continue to simmer for a couple more minutes and then turn off the heat.

DSC_0024When the dish stops steaming, you can cover the pot and let the chicken stay for several hours until you are ready to serve. The chicken will soak up all the flavor, try not to submerge the chicken otherwise the skin wont be crispy anymore. Cut the chicken into slices and serve with steamed rice and garnish it with sesame seeds and green onions. White meats pair well with semi-dry white wines but since this has a sweet taste to it, it can even be paired with a semi-sweet light a Moscato.




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