This easy chicken teriyaki is marinated then grilled, baked, or stir fried until perfectly cooked and juicy! Glaze with teriyaki sauce for the best chicken teriyaki that's better than takeout! Works great with chicken breast or chicken thighs!
Chicken teriyaki is one of the most simple, flavorful Japanese meals you can make at home!
It's a versatile dish that can be made with skin-on or skinless chicken thigh or chicken breast. The chicken teriyaki marinade is an authentic, simple three ingredient marinade that's the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and umami.
- Chicken - Use boneless skin-on or skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast. Flatten so it's about ¾ inch thick for even cooking.
For the marinade, you'll need the following:
- Low sodium soy sauce - Use low sodium soy sauce for the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
- Mirin - Mirin is a Japanese cooking wine that gives this dish its restaurant quality taste!
- Sugar - Sugar is what gives teriyaki chicken its signature sweet, glossy finish.
How to make chicken teriyaki
- Flatten the chicken to be ¾ inch thick for even cooking.
- Combine soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and reserve half for later use. Marinate the chicken with the remaining half for 15 minutes in the fridge.
- Grill or Pan: Heat a grill or pan over medium high heat and place the chicken skin-side down (if using skin-on). Flip and cook the other side. Add desired amount of the remaining marinade during the last 5 minutes of cooking to reduce into a thick glaze. Internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.
- Bake: Bake chicken in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until fully cooked. During the last 5 to 7 minutes, brush on the reserved sauce. It will thicken into a delicious teriyaki glaze.
- Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Mirin - Substitute with sake or white wine. For a non-alcoholic substitute, use stock or water with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice.
- Sugar - Substitute with honey, brown sugar, or agave.
- Soy sauce - Substitute with tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos.
Stir fry chicken teriyaki - Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, no need to marinate. Stir fry with half the marinade mixture until chicken is fully cooked and marinade is thickened into a sauce. Add any vegetables you'd like during the last 5 minutes.
Teriyaki sauce - Feel free to add garlic, ginger, or green onions.
Spicy chicken teriyaki - Add red pepper flakes, sriracha, or chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please share, rate, or comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks so much for stopping by! 🧡 -Jamie
More Japanese recipes:
Easy Chicken Teriyaki with Marinade
- ¾ lb chicken thigh - or chicken breast; See Note 1
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
- Prep chicken: Flatten the chicken so it's about ¾ inch thick for even cooking. Place in a zipper bag or large bowl to marinate.
- Marinade: Combine the ingredients for the marinade and mix together until the sugar dissolves. Reserve half for later use and marinate the chicken with the remaining half for at least 15 minutes to overnight in the fridge.⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce, ⅓ cup mirin, ⅓ cup sugar
Cook Chicken (Grill, Pan fry, or Bake)
- Grill or Pan fry: Heat your grill or pan over medium high heat and add the oil. Remove chicken from the marinade, wiping off the excess. Cook skin-side down if using skin-on chicken and flip when golden brown. During the last 3 minutes, add your desired amount of the reserved teriyaki marinade. It will reduce and thicken into a glaze as the chicken cooks. Internal temperature should register 165°F and juices should run clear.
- (Optional) Bake: Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking pan. Bake chicken for about 20 until fully cooked, brushing on the reserved sauce a few times during the last 5 to 7 minutes. The reserved sauce will thicken into a glaze. Reduce the heat if it starts to burn.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and serve over steamed rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and spoon any remaining glaze over the chicken. Enjoy!
✎ Recipe Notes
- You can use both skinless or skin-on chicken thighs or chicken breast.
- Mirin - substitute with sake or any white wine. Non-alcoholic substitute: use stock or water with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice.
- Sugar - substitute with honey, agave, or brown sugar
- When baking, keep an eye on the chicken as the sugar in the marinade can easily burn if your oven is too hot.
Variations:Teriyaki marinade - Though not traditional, feel free to add garlic, ginger, or green onions. Stir fry chicken teriyaki - Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, no need to marinate. Stir fry with half of the marinade until chicken is fully cooked and sauce is thickened. Add any vegetables you'd like during the last 5 minutes. Spicy chicken teriyaki - Add red pepper flakes, sriracha, or chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.