Teriyaki Chicken

Terikyaki chicken recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 2 servings

A classic Japanese-American dish of teriyaki chicken can easily be made at home with a five-ingredient teriyaki sauce and about 30 minutes of your time. 

This recipe may be considered a copy-cat style recipe of your favorite Japanese restaurant teriyaki chicken. It will become a favorite weeknight addition to your dinner repertoire that both children and adults will love!


  • 3/4 pound chicken thighs (boneless, skin-on; or skinless, chicken breasts, or pork tenderloin)
  • 4 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons mirin (sweet sake)
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch fresh ginger (grated; add more to taste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil (or other cooking oil; for cooking chicken)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for teriyaki chicken
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Poke the chicken using a fork to help absorb the flavors of the teriyaki sauce during cooking.

    Chicken on a plate with a fork
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Make the teriyaki sauce. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and ginger and mix well.

    Teriyaki sauce in a bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Add chicken to the bowl and marinate the chicken in the teriyaki sauce for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

    Chicken marinating in teriyaki sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken skin-side down (if your chicken has skin) in the skillet, cooking until browned.

    Chicken cooking in oil in a pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Flip the chicken over to cook the other side, reducing the heat to low.

    Chicken browned on one side in a pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Pour the teriyaki sauce that was used to marinate the chicken into the skillet. Cover the skillet with a lid and steam cook the chicken on low heat until done—the internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 F and the juices should run clear.

    Chicken cooking in teriyaki sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat.

    Cooked chicken with thickened sauce in pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  9. Slice the chicken and serve on a plate. Pour the remaining thickened teriyaki sauce over the chicken.

    Sliced chicken served over rice with sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  10. Optional: If you like, garnish the teriyaki chicken with additional grated ginger.

    Serve with ginger
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • Use boneless chicken thighs for tender and juicy meat, or substitute with leaner boneless chicken breasts or tenderloin cuts.
  • For best cooking results use boneless chicken with the skin on, and after the chicken is cooked you have the option of removing the skin before eating. When skinless chicken is used, there's a chance that the chicken will dry out when it is cooking.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar to tailor the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce to your taste.
  • Freshly grated ginger may be substituted with easy to use pre-grated raw ginger in a tube, available at Japanese and Asian grocery stores. It's shelf-stable until it's opened and can be stored in the refrigerator. It's a great, no-mess shortcut for adding raw ginger to any recipe.
  • There is no need to add potato starch or cornstarch to thicken the sauce. The sauce with thicken naturally after a few minutes of cooking.