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Teriyaki Chicken Breasts

Teriyaki Chicken Breasts

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  • 3/4 cup soy sauce* (or mix tamari** and water in equal proportions to make 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sake
  • 3/4 cup mirin
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • A 1-inch piece of ginger, grated fine
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total (set out for 30 minutes to come to room temp)
  • 2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds

*Use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version.
**If you are using tamari instead of soy sauce, use half as much, as tamari is more concentrated than soy sauce.


1 Gently simmer chicken in sauce made with sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, ginger: Mix the grated ginger, sugar, soy sauce, sake and mirin in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, return to a simmer, then lower the heat to the lowest possible setting (warm if you can), on your smallest burner, and cover.

The idea is to cook the chicken as gently as possible, below a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

If you are working with somewhat large chicken breasts, you may need to cook them longer, or cut them in half before cooking.

2 Toast sesame seeds: While the chicken is poaching, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they begin to brown. Move to a small bowl and set aside.

3 Set aside chicken, cover with foil: Remove the chicken breasts from the teriyaki sauce, set on a plate and wrap with foil.

4 Reduce sauce: Bring the sauce back to a boil and boil vigorously until the sauce is reduced to a syrup, about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the sauce, stirring it occasionally.

5 Slice chicken, cover with sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve: To serve, slice the chicken breasts, cover with the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle sesame seeds on them. Serve with plain white rice.

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How to keep teriyaki sauce

In this recipe, I used a bottled teriyaki sauce because I was looking for a really easy dinner, but sometimes I like to make my own.

When you make your own teriyaki sauce then you might as well make extra. Because of the soy sauce, which acts as a natural preservative due to the salt, it actually keeps really well. You just need to make sure to store it in a bottle with a tight lid and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for up to three months.

That&rsquos pretty handy because teriyaki sauce is one of those things you can use in a lot of recipes. I love Teriyaki Traeger Smoked Shrimp and Pork Tenderloin Teriyaki is another one on the hit parade of delicious.

In fact, you might find yourself putting it on your morning cereal. Of course, that is when you need to probably chill out on the teriyaki sauce.

Need more chicken recipes to love?

We&rsquove got them for you! Check out this Pellet Grill Chicken Recipe page if you are into pellet grilling. If you want a huge collection of cheap chicken recipes for large families, check out this amazing post from Crystal and Co!

Easy Chicken Teriyaki

Easy Chicken Teriyaki is sweet, tangy, and a crowd favorite menu item at Americanized Japanese restaurants. Serve it up with your favorite rice and some steamed veggies, and get ready to enjoy a delicious and easy takeout fakeout meal at home!

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Easy Chicken Teriyaki is sweet, tangy, and a crowd favorite menu item at Americanized Japanese restaurants. Serve it up with your favorite rice and some steamed veggies, and get ready to enjoy a delicious and easy takeout fakeout meal at home!

In traditional Japanese culture, teriyaki is more of a cooking method than an actual dish, where fish is broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar, and then basted with that sauce while cooking. Fish is most common in Japan, where poultry and red meat are used in Western cultures. Sesame seeds are not found in traditional Japanese Teriyaki, but are a common additional in Western versions of this dish.

Easy Chicken Teriyaki is not an authentic Japanese recipe, but rather a typical American version of Japanese-American takeout restaurants. The Stay At Home Chef uses ingredients that are easily accessible for most people in the United States and Canada so that anyone can easily celebrate world cuisines even if their opportunities for travel or access to regional ingredients are limited.

Different Cooking Methods To Try

Want teriyaki chicken but don’t want to pull out the ol’ grill? No worries, there are several different ways you can prepare it:

  • Stir Fry – If I can’t grill the chicken, my next favorite way to prepare teriyaki chicken is to cut it into bite sized pieces and stir-fry it in a large wok or skillet. Add a little sesame oil to the skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken and saute until white on the outside, and then add the sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through.
  • Stove Top – Similar to stir fry but keep the chicken pieces whole. In a large skillet, sear each chicken thigh on each side until golden brown then add sauce and simmer until sauce has reduced (similar to Shoyu Chicken).
  • Crock Pot / Instant Pot – The slow or pressure cooked methods are my least preferred methods because the sauce seems to get watered down. If you do these methods, simmer the sauce down in a separate pot on the stove until it thickens (about 20-30 minutes). You can serve the chicken whole or shred it.
  • Baked – Place chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour about 1-2 cups of the homemade teriyaki sauce over the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken has cooked through (165-degrees F)

No matter how you prepare it, serve with extra teriyaki sauce and maybe a few sesame seeds and some diced green onion for garnish.

Teriyaki Chicken Foil Packets

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes


freshly ground black pepper, divided

(6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts


Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high, direct heat. Prepare 4 (10-inch long) sheets of aluminum foil.

Prepare the following, placing them all in the same large bowl: Cut 1 small head broccoli into florets, slice 2 medium red bell peppers, and peel and slice 2 large carrots. Add 1 cup of the teriyaki sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Toss to combine.

Divide the vegetable mixture between the 4 sheets of foil, leaving a 2-inch border on all sides. Season 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, then place a breast on each vegetable pile. Pour the remaining 1 cup teriyaki sauce over the chicken.

Fold the sides of the foil to meet over the center, then crimp the edges together to create completely sealed packets. Place the packets directly onto the grill grates, cover, and grill until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before opening the packets and serving.

Recipe Notes

Oven cooking: To cook the packets in the oven, place onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved.

Place the chicken in the slow cooker. I’m using chicken breasts but you can use any chicken pieces of your choice.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Cook the chicken on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred the meat. Discard the bones if you’re using bone-in chicken.

Carefully pour the sauce into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and pour in the cornstarch mixture, stirring until slightly thickened, about a minute.

Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and pour the sauce over it. Stir to coat. Cook on HIGH for a few minutes until heated through. Add salt to taste.

Serve over steamed rice garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Teriyaki chicken breasts recipe

Teriyaki chicken breast is a typical recipe included in every menu in Japanese restaurants around the world.

  • Prep Time 5 min
  • Cook Time 15 min
  • Total Time 20 min
  • Yield 1 Recipient
  • Serving Size 100g
  • Energy 149 cal
  • Cuisine
    • Japanese


    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 5 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce (and 3 extra)
    • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
    • 1 paprika
    • 1 large onion
    • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

    How to prepare

    Cut the breasts into cubes and the paprika and the onion into julienne strips. Set aside.

    Brown the chicken cubes in a frying pan with 3 tablespoons of hot olive oil until they reach the midpoint of cooking.

    Then we add soy sauce and the 5 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce. Stir to mix everything well.

    Then we add the onion and the paprika, keep mixing and let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

    Remove and serve hot accompanied by rice, vegetables or other food of your choice. The Teriyaki chicken breasts is ready.


    If the amount of sauce is not enough, add the 3 extra tablespoons that we put in the ingredients.

    We recommend before adding them to add a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it, however if you get the glazed teriyaki this step will not be necessary.

    Ingredients for Teriyaki Chicken

    Authentic Teriyaki Sauce

    Like most Japanese sauces, teriyaki sauce is a simple concoction and includes just three ingredients. That’s why I’m always a little baffled when people pay a premium to buy teriyaki sauce when it’s so easy to make at home. So here it is, the only teriyaki recipe you’ll ever need, that includes equal parts of the following three ingredients:

    1. Soy Sauce – This is the most obvious ingredient and is what gives teriyaki sauce its coffee black color and savory taste. There’s no need to get fancy here, but just be sure you’re using Japanese soy sauce. I have a whole collection of wonderful soy sauces from other countries, but they all have a different taste and salinity and are not suitable for making Teriyaki.
    2. Sugar – The sugar is what balances out the saltiness of soy sauce, giving teriyaki sauce its divine balance of sweet and savory. As the liquid reduces, the sugar caramelizes, imbuing the sauce with its trademark flavor while also thickening it. This allows the sauce to glaze whatever food you put it on in a shiny shellac of flavor.I like using evaporated cane juice (a.k.a. raw sugar) because it contributes a bit more flavor to the sauce, but plain old white sugar will work too. If you want to get an even shinier teriyaki chicken, try replacing some of the sugar with rice maltose. It’s a type of liquid sugar that’s made by saccharifying the starches in rice. It’s extremely viscous (like cold honey) and shines like an amorphous crystal ball. For this recipe I’ve left it out to keep it simple, but if you can get your hands on it, it’s definitely worth using.
    3. Sake – Sake, is an alcoholic beverage made from rice by first saccharifying the starches in rice using koji, a type of filamentous fungus. The sugars are then fermented into alcohol by yeast. The reason for adding the sake isn’t for the alcohol, but for the amino acids produced during fermentation. These amino acids stimulate the umami taste receptors in your mouth giving the teriyaki sauce its lip-smacking savory taste (without adding any MSG).When choosing sake, you don’t need to use anything expensive, but please don’t use “cooking sake”. Although it may sound counterintuitive, cooking wines (yes this applies to grape based wines too) are made with very low-quality alcohol and are loaded with salt, flavorings, and other additives that will throw off the recipe. It’s also worth noting that the alcohol in the sake (as well as the soy sauce… yes soy sauce naturally contains some alcohol) will burn off as you reduce the sauce, so it’s safe for kids to eat. If you have other reasons for not wanting to use sake, you can substitute water. It obviously won’t taste the same, but there are no good non-alcoholic alternatives (no, rice wine vinegar is not a good alternative… see my explanation below).

    I know there are probably a few of you asking “What about mirin?”. Mirin is a sweet alcoholic beverage made in a similar fashion to sake and then aged. It’s traditionally added to teriyaki sauce to boost the umami and shine in the sauce. The problem is that real mirin is hard to find, even in Japan. Most “mirin” is just grain alcohol with corn syrup, colorings, and flavorings. That’s why I prefer making the sauce with real brewed sake and sugar.

    Don’t use these in Teriyaki Sauce

    Most teriyaki sauce recipes include a lot more than 3 ingredients. Here are a few examples and why I don’t recommend using them.

    • Garlic, Ginger, Scallions – All of these things add particulate matter to your sauce. If you must embellish your teriyaki sauce with an aromatic, you can grate and strain these ingredients through a sieve to extract their juice. This will allow you to add the flavor without blunting the sheen of the sauce. Another idea is to simply garnish your finished chicken teriyaki with grated ginger or chopped scallions.
    • Sesame seeds or oil – You’re welcome to garnish your teriyaki with toasted sesame seeds at the end, but adding sesame oil to teriyaki sauce makes it a different dish.
    • Vinegar – recently I’ve seen some recipes suggesting you can replace the sake in teriyaki sauce with vinegar. While rice vinegar can be made from sake (just as red wine vinegar can be made from wine), it undergoes chemical changes in the fermentation process, and the two taste nothing alike. If you really want to add rice vinegar to your sauce, there’s a delicious Filipino dish called Chicken Adobo.
    • Starch – Teriyaki sauce gets its thickness from the sugars in the sauce being reduced and caramelized. If you’re getting the proper level of caramelization in your sauce, there’s no need to add a thickener.
    • Juices – I occasionally see a teriyaki recipe that includes pineapple or apple juice. I’m not sure if this is due to some misguided notion that fruit juice is healthier than sugar or if the creator enjoys the taste of the fruit in the sauce, but teriyaki sauce does not traditionally include juice. That being said, as long as the juice is filtered and doesn’t include any pulp, you can still get a good teri from your sauce by adding juice. Another idea is that you can also just cut up some fresh fruit and toss it in at the end as you caramelize the sauce.

    Bottled Teriyaki Sauce

    I usually mix the ingredients for the sauce straight into the pan, but if you want to save even more time, you can premix a large quantity of soy sauce, sugar, and sake in equal parts and stir it until the sugar is dissolved (heat it if need be). Then you can put your homemade teriyaki sauce in a glass bottle and store it in the fridge where it will keep for months.

    Cut of Chicken for Teriyaki

    The traditional cut of chicken for teriyaki is boneless skin-on chicken legs (both the thigh and the drumstick). If you can’t find whole legs where you are, skin-on chicken thighs will work just fine.

    When made properly, the fat renders out and the skin crisps, while keeping the meat tender and moist. If you really hate having skin on your chicken, you can remove it after you’ve browned the chicken, but before you add the sauce.

    As for chicken breasts, it’s worth mentioning that teriyaki chicken is not traditionally made with white meat. That being said, if you prefer it, then there’s nothing wrong with using it. Just be aware that breast meat is much leaner than thigh meat, which makes it susceptible to drying out. My recommendation would be to pan-fry it until it’s just barely cooked through and then transfer it to a plate while you caramelize the sauce. Once the sauce is nice and thick, you can add the breast back in to glaze it.

    How do you make Baked Teriyaki Chicken Casserole?

    Making this Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Casserole is so easy to do, simply follow these instructions for one pot chicken dinner perfection:

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and stir together the water, rice, pineapple and vegetables.
    3. Top the rice mixture with the chicken breasts and pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken.
    4. Bake the casserole for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice has absorbed the liquid.
    5. Transfer the chicken to a platter and rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
    6. Toss the rice and veggies with a fork to fluff. Serve the chicken with the rice.

    You can even make this Teriyaki Chicken in the slow cooker or Crock Pot. Just stir the ingredients in the bottom of your slow cooker and top with the chicken. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken and cover. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.

    To amp up the flavor just a bit more, I like to sprinkle my Teriyaki Chicken with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro!

    What I love most about this Teriyaki Chicken Casserole is that it’s a complete dinner all in one pot. A one pot chicken dinner, if you will. The veggies, rice and protein is all cooked together so you’re not left with a pile of dishes when dinner is done. There’s nothing I hate more than a huge pile of dishes.