Teriyaki Chicken with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

A sticky soy glazed chicken teryaki dish served with jasmine rice and springs onions

What is Teriyaki?

Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique which refers to foods grilled with a sticky glaze. The use of chicken, beef, and pork may be strongly associated with the teriyaki glaze, but it seems to be a Western invention as the Japanese tend to use fish such as tuna and salmon.

Teriyaki, the word itself that is, can be broken down into its different parts which explain its name.

Teri – A Japanese noun that refers to the glistening sheen given by the syrupy-like sauce. This sauce, the sticky glaze, is known as the tare. It’s made with a combination of sake, sugar, and soy sauce.  These ingredients are brought to a boil and reduced to a sticky glaze. Then the sauce is left to cool and can be used like any other marinade. The grilling of the chicken gives the sauce the second part of its name, yaki, as it refers to the act of grilling or broiling. The meat is typically brushed or basted several times with extra teriyaki sauce to keep the outside from drying out.

What Are The Ingredients for Chicken Teriyaki?

Mirin – Sake or Mirin can both be used to make teriyaki sauce. Both Mirin and Sake are rice alcohols, but Mirin contains more sugar with a lower ABV of 14% compared to Sake’s varying ABV of 15-20%.

Light Soy Sauce – A less intense flavoured soy sauce compared to dark soy sauce. However, don’t be fooled, light soy sauce still has an intense flavour and is often used as a seasoning, while dark soy sauce adds colour to a dish.

Rice Vinegar – or Rice Wine Vinegar is a vinegar produced by fermenting rice into alcohol and then into vinegar. It’s a sweeter-tasting vinegar compared to distilled vinegar and has less acidity.

Teriyaki Chicken with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

This sweet, but sharp teriyaki chicken recipe makes use of an easy homemade teriyaki sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4


  • 4 Skinless Chicken Breasts

Teriyaki Sauce (200ml)

  • 30 g Brown Sugar
  • 90 ml Mirin
  • 180 ml Light Soy Sauce Tamari
  • 30 ml Rice Vinegar
  • Zest & Juice from 1 Lime
  • 2 Tsp Cornflour Mixed with 2 Tsp of Water (Optional)

To Finish

  • Spring Onion


  • Make the marinade by combining all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until the sauce reduces and becomes glossy. This will take around about 10-15 minutes.
  • If the sauce isn’t thick enough, bring it to a boil and stir in the cornflour slurry.
  • Allow to cool completely then mix half the marinade with the chicken and set aside for at least 20 minutes. Reserve the remaining marinade to baste the chicken later.
  • Heat an overhead grill to high. Once hot, place the chicken on a foil lined grill tray and grill for 10-12 minutes on either side until cooked through. Baste the chicken with the pan juices and brush with fresh teriyaki sauce every 5 minutes.
  • Slice, and garnish with spring onion to serve.
Keyword Barbecue, Grill, Summer

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