Chicken Teriyaki


Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Teriyaki finds its roots in the Japanese terms "Teri," which translates to "to shine," and "yaki," which means "to broil or grill." This description mirrors the traditional appearance of teriyaki: glossy and marked with grill lines. In Japan, teriyaki typically combines soy sauce, sake, and mirin, a rice wine adding a subtle sweetness. The teriyaki found throughout Seattle, of which this is an adaptation, is a bit more showy. Cooks often use white sugar and pineapple juice for sweetness and cornstarch for thickening.
The Korean heritage of many chefs influences the addition of ginger and garlic. While this version may not align with tradition, it is straightforward to prepare and delightful to eat. Planning is essential as the chicken needs to marinate before cooking. While an overnight marinade in the fridge is optimal, some readers have had success with shorter marinating times, such as an hour or so. —John T. Edge
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 3- inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Step 1:

  • In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except for cornstarch and chicken.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick and mix in ½ cup of water.

Step 2:

  • Place the chicken in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
  • Add the soy sauce mixture to the bag, seal it, and turn to coat the chicken.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

Step 3:

  • Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Pour the mixture into a small saucepan.
  • Please bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the pan.
  • Stir until the mixture thickens, then gradually stir in enough water (about ½ cup) until the sauce reaches the consistency of heavy cream.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 4:

  • Preheat a broiler or grill.
  • Lightly brush the chicken pieces on all sides with the sauce.
  • Broil or grill them for about 3 minutes per side.
  • While the chicken is cooking, place the saucepan with the remaining sauce over high heat and bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, adding water gradually to maintain a pourable consistency.
  • To serve, slice the chicken into strips, arrange them on plates, and drizzle with the sauce.