Perhaps you have had teriyaki in Chinese restaurants and, wondering if you can make it at home, searched for a teriyaki chicken recipe. You will see that this dish is easy to prepare in your own kitchen, much easier than tempura shrimp. Teriyaki chicken, which is growing in popularity among Americans, may just become a favorite of your family. The grilled chicken coated in a sweet sauce is delicious, especially when served like it is in Japan--with a bowl of hot, steamed white rice.
What Teriyaki Means
Teri refers to the shine or luster that the sauce gives the surface of the chicken. Some may say it even looks like a light glaze. Yaki means to grill, bake, or roast. The Japanese have many recipes using this word, such as yakiimo (roasted sweet potato) and yakitori (roasted chicken on skewers). Interestingly, yaki also refers to frying as in the dishes yakisoba (fried chow mein noodles) and yakimeshi (fried rice).
Teriyaki chicken is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. To make it, you will need to marinate chicken and cook the meat with a sweet sauce. Although you do fry the chicken in oil for a few minutes, this recipe is not like American fried chicken recipes where chicken is crisp on the outside when the frying is done. Frying is only to make the skin brown and then it is simmered to continue cooking until ready to serve.
Ingredients for Teriyaki Chicken Sauce
- 1/2 cup of shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup of mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 1/4 cup of sake (sweet rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- Pour all of the ingredients into a saucepan. Mix well.
- Turn the heat on low.
- Simmer the mixture while stirring for a few minutes.
- Remove from heat and use immediately to marinate the chicken or cool it so you can store the sauce in a bottle in the refrigerator.
- You may want to adjust the amounts of soy sauce and sugar, according to your tastes.
Ingredients for Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
- 1 pound of chicken breasts and thighs
- 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Instructions for Marinating
- Place the chicken in a bowl.
- Poke the skin with the tip of a knife in various places so the sauce can absorb into the meat.
- Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken.
- Cover the bowl with a tight lid or use plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator to marinate at least three hours. You can marinate the chicken overnight, if desired.
Instructions for Cooking
- Heat the vegetable oil on medium in a large frying pan.
- Using chopsticks or a fork, remove each piece of coated chicken.
- Add the chicken to the pan to brown the pieces.
- Turn them over occasionally.
- Lower the heat, add a little water and enough marinade to cover each piece.
- Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
When the chicken is removed from the frying pan, slice it length-wise. Pour some of the sauce from the pan over each piece. Garnish with grated ginger root.
Alternative Means of Preparing Teriyaki Chicken
Another way to prepare this teriyaki chicken recipe is by cooking it in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place marinated pieces in a baking dish and put the dish in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. During the baking time, turn the chicken over at least once and baste the pieces with the marinade four or five times.
Other Uses for Teriyaki Sauce
There are other dishes you can make with teriyaki sauce. You can either purchase the sauce in a bottle in the Asian section of your grocery store or make it by using the recipe above. Chop some onions, carrots, green and red peppers, and broccoli. As you stir-fry them, coat with the teriyaki sauce. You can also marinate other meats such as beef or pork and bake according to the above recipe while basting with the sauce. Teriyaki salmon is also delicious.
Tasty Hot or Cold
Although teriyaki chicken is usually served hot, it is sometimes served cold in Japanese lunch boxes, known as obento. These obento are also sold at train stations for passengers to enjoy on long train trips.