Teriyaki chicken is so deliciously sweet and savory, and this homemade version is simple to prepare and packed with flavor!
Teriyaki Chicken, a Flavorful Favorite
In my much younger years, when I was just beginning my foray into eating more internationally-inspired foods, one of my favorite meals to enjoy at an Asian restaurant was teriyaki chicken.
Teriyaki chicken was totally “non-threatening”, meaning that it wasn't too spicy or too overpowering with flavors that were unfamiliar to me. It's a milder chicken dish, typically served with some sort of vegetable and rice, so it was always perfect for my developing palate.
I liked how glossy and pretty Teriyaki chicken could be, how simple yet bold in sweet and savory flavor, and it's a dish that I enjoy to this day.
And me being me, I love to take beloved recipes that many of us often enjoy eating at restaurants, and make them totally doable at home, in the comfort of our own kitchens.
This teriyaki chicken recipe is just such a treat, as it's quick, easy and delicious, and a dish that is sure to become a flavorful favorite!
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken
Typically, a basic traditional teriyaki sauce consists of soy sauce and sake (or mirin, which contains no alcohol), and perhaps a touch of sugar. I opt to use mirin in my version, and substitute honey for the sugar.
The other thing I appreciate about teriyaki sauce is that it can be prepared to have a consistency that is a bit on the thinner side, or more glossy and sauce-like. The latter version is the style that I really like, as it coats the chunks of seared chicken deliciously!
Because I love lots of color and flavor when it comes to teriyaki chicken, I like to add a generous amount of garlic and freshly grated ginger into my pan, along with baby broccoli (the younger, long, thin version of broccoli), some red bell pepper, sliced onion, and even little chunks of fresh pineapple.
Here's my teriyaki chicken recipe at a glance:
- To begin, I prepare my quick teriyaki sauce.
- Next, I quickly saute my chicken pieces until cooked through; then, I saute my red bell pepper slices and onion just until they're barely softening (I like mine slightly crisp), and then I add in my aromatics.
- Next, I add my baby broccoli into the pan to heat through (it is very thin and softens quickly), then add the chicken back into the pan; I then drizzle in a good amount of my teriyaki sauce, stirring to coat everything well.
- Finally, the fresh pineapple chunks are folded in, and the finished dish gets topped with a sprinkle of green onion.
(The full recipe is below...)
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 374 calories (without rice)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Teriyaki Chicken Ingredients:
• Avocado oil, or other high-heat oil
• 1 ½ pound chicken breast tenderloins, cut into strips or chunks
• ½ small onion, sliced
• 1 small red bell pepper, cored and sliced
• 6 cloves garlic, pressed
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• 2 cups baby broccoli florets (long, thin style broccoli)
• 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
• 2 green onions, sliced
• Rice, to serve as accompaniment
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients:
• ¼ cup cold water
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• ¾ cup soy sauce
• ¼ cup mirin
• 3 (heaping) tablespoons honey
-Begin by preparing your teriyaki sauce: in a small sauce pan or pot, whisk together the water and the cornstarch until dissolved, then add in the soy sauce, mirin and honey, and whisk to combine; place over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle simmer for about 5-6 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce goes from opaque and thin to dark, glossy, and slightly thickened; set aside.
-To prepare the teriyaki chicken, place a large heavy-bottom skillet or pan over high heat, and add in about 2-3 tablespoons of the oil; once hot, add in the chicken and allow it to sear for a couple of minutes before stirring and cooking it through completely; remove from pan and set aside for a moment.
-Add into the same pan the onion and red bell pepper slices, and saute for a couple of minutes just until slightly softened yet still crisp; add in the garlic and ginger, and stir to combine until fragrant.
-Next, add in the baby broccoli florets and stir to warm through and soften, followed by adding back into the pan the chicken; drizzle in about half of the teriyaki sauce to begin with to coat everything, continuing to add as much as you'd like (or perhaps saving some to drizzle over when serving), and stir to combine.
-Fold in the pineapple, then garnish with green onions and serve with warm rice.
Tips & Tidbits for Teriyaki Chicken:
- Heavy-bottom pan: Because I like to get a bit of sear on the chicken and quickly saute the red bell pepper and onion, I like to use a large, heavy-bottom skillet good for higher heat for this recipe. If you don't have one, use a non-stick pan, and allow it to get nice and hot first.
- Strips of chicken, or chunks: I like to cut my chicken breast tenderloins into fairly thin strips or chunks for quick cooking, making sure they're bite-size pieces. This allows them to quickly sear up nicely.
- Array of veggies/add-ins: Lots of color and flavor is great in a teriyaki chicken dish, so I use red bell pepper slices, onions, and baby broccoli florets. I also add pineapple at the end for juicy sweetness. Other tasty options are sliced carrots, peas, or even diced zucchini.
- Make your sauce ahead for ease: You can whisk up your teriyaki sauce ingredients and simmer them up, then allow the sauce to cool to have it ready. Make it ahead a day or two for one less step to prep, then gently re-heat.