Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

If you love Chicken Teriyaki, this recipe will not leave you indifferent. I was not much of a Teriyaki person for a long time myself, but I had to reconsider my preferences once Omar started liking it. Being a cook-from-scratch lady, I looked for the perfectly tender, delicious Chicken Teriyaki recipe for almost 2 years. After many trials and errors, mixing multiple recipes, the perfect Teriyaki Chicken was born!

Teriyaki Chicken

In case you want to know what a perfect Teriyaki Chicken should look and taste like, follow me along:

  1. Tender
  2. Super tender
  3. Delicious
  4. You need to know what your Chicken Teriyaki consists of!

Oh well, it is not such a descriptive list, is it? But you get the idea. I confess! It is not the world’s easiest recipe! You need to have some time on your hands to fix it up. You cannot whip it up in 5 minutes. Not even in 5 hours! Thus, I make it only on the weekends. That’s when my husband can play “Need for Speed” with our little punks, leaving the premises of the kitchen to its Queen. Yeah, that’s me, alright! The marinade should stay in the refrigerator overnight! So, plan everything accordingly. Do not freak out :) It is much easier than it actually looks.

Does anyone like Sakkio, Sarku or Sakura Japan’s Teriyaki? This is the closest you can get! Enough talking, shall we get to work?

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients for the chicken marinade:

  • 4 lbs of dark chicken meat (if you have a butcher shop near buy, you can get them easily. If you do not, then you have to buy some skinless chicken thighs, bone them, but do not trim off the fat. No swapping to chicken breast, as it is not going to come out good at all!)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Sherry cooking wine or a 1/2 cup substitute which I use (which I will explain a little later)

Sherry Wine substitute:

Here is a good Sherry Wine substitute for those who do not want to get their chicken drunk :)

  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tsp of sugar

Broth/soup for the sauce:

  • Bones and trims of chicken
  • 1 carrot cut in pieces
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1 onion diced in four
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 2 Tbsp of Kikkoman Soy sauce
  • 2-4 oz cabbage
  • 6 cups of water

Teriyaki Sauce:

It is not going to be your average, store bought Teriyaki sauce! Please do not opt for anything different. It is 60% stock based and you can make it at home, from scratch, like I do. If you do not have time, or do not want to deal with it, use pure, unsalted chicken broth instead.

  • 3 cups of home made stock or store bought, no sodium chicken stock
  • 1/5 cup Kikkoman Soy sauce
  • 1/2 Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce
  • 4 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/5 cup cold water

Directions for chicken marinade:
Click on the images for a bigger view.
Cut the chicken in bite-size pieces together with the fat. Place the chicken in a large container. Mix the Sherry-Wine-substitute-ingredients, if you are using one.

Teriyaki chicken #1 Teriyaki chicken #2 Teriyaki chicken #3 Teriyaki chicken #4 Teriyaki chicken #5

Add water to the container with chicken, add Sherry Wine (or substitute). Add garlic powder, white pepper, oil and Soy sauce.

Teriyaki chicken #6 Teriyaki chicken #7 Teriyaki chicken #8 Teriyaki chicken #9 Teriyaki chicken #10 Teriyaki chicken #11

Put on a pair of gloves, mix all of the ingredients and start massaging the heck out of the chicken pieces. It usually takes me about 15-20 minutes. Once you are done, cover the container and place it in the refrigerator OVERNIGHT!

Teriyaki chicken #12 Teriyaki chicken #13 Teriyaki chicken #14

Broth directions:

If you are making the stock yourself, add whatever leftovers you have from the chicken. In a medium pot place chicken trims, bones, soy sauce, smashed garlic, carrots, onions, ginger root, cabbage and water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pot with the lid and let it simmer OVERNIGHT! The smell is not one of the best smells in the world, but you can live with it for a short while 😀

If you are using store-bought chicken broth, measure 2 cups of it, in a small saucepan bring it to boil, add a couple of very small slices of ginger root, tiny bit of minced garlic and cook for about 30 minutes. Fish out the ingredients, creating a nice golden broth.

Teriyaki chicken #15 Teriyaki chicken #16

In the morning, separate the stock from the remaining ingredients. Discard the vegetables and all, leaving the stock.

Teriyaki chicken #17 Teriyaki chicken #18

You should have this amazing smelling soup (even if you are using the ready chicken broth), which is going to get mixed with these amazing Kikkoman sauces.

Teriyaki chicken #19 Teriyaki chicken #20

Measure out 2 cups of broth in a saucepan and bring it to slight a boil. Meanwhile, mix the starch in 1/5 cup of cold water and keep it aside until needed.

Teriyaki chicken #22 Teriyaki chicken #21

Add Teriyaki and Soy sauces, sugar (sorry, not picture of the brown sugar) into the slightly boiling broth, mix everything well and turn the heat down to medium-low.

The starch is added to the chicken to give it a saucy look. That’s how Japanese and Chinese get the consistency of the sauces they use for different dishes. Without starch our sauce is going to be watery and not much flattering. Add the starch mixture (give it a stir one more time before you add it). Mix the sauce very, very, very well to prevent any type of lumps! Give it thirty seconds or so to accept the starch and thicken up. Your sauce should ONLY be thick enough to leave a glaze on the spoon, or stick to the side of the pot if you splash a little bit of it – no thicker. Behold, you have a small piece of heaven in your kitchen!!! Remove the sauce from the heat and start working on the chicken.

Teriyaki chicken #23 Teriyaki chicken #24 Teriyaki chicken #25

Take out the chicken marinade from the refrigerator. This is the not the so much fun part! Oh, was it much fun all along though? :) But if you really like a challenge (please, do like a challenge) start mixing the chicken with the whisk. I do so by hand, since I do not have a standing mixer. But if you are lucky enough and have a mixer with a dough hook, let it do the work for you. The chicken/marinade mix needs to run at least for 30 minutes. You will know it is done because all of the fat will be separated to look almost like a fatty white snow. This step cannot me omitted! To have the perfect chicken, it has to be done this way, trust me!

Teriyaki chicken #26 Teriyaki chicken #27

Once you are done with mixing the chicken, it is time to start cooking it. There are two ways you can cook this chicken:

  1. Using a grill
  2. Using a skillet

Both cooking methods are good and the procedure is the same for both. Turn the heat up to maximum, spread just a little bit of oil on the surface, dump the portion of the chicken and let it cook 5 minutes on each side. Do not disturb the chicken while it is cooking. Once 10 minutes are up, slice the chicken with your spatula in bite size pieces. Pour some of the sauce over it, toss the chicken with the sauce once or twice…aaaaaaaand you are done!!!

Teriyaki chicken #28 Teriyaki chicken #29 Teriyaki chicken #30 Teriyaki chicken #31 Teriyaki chicken #32 Teriyaki chicken #33 Teriyaki chicken #34 Teriyaki chicken #35

Serve the chicken with rice and steamed vegetables. Pour some of the sauce on top of the chicken once you start serving. Believe me, this chicken is sooo good that the taste will stay in your mouth for a long time! Our whole family loves this Teriyaki Chicken and I’m sure yours will too!

Teriyaki Chicken vertical

Equipment Used

Oxo Measuring Cup
Shun 7″ Santoku Knife
Nikon D700 DSLR


  1. iroda says

    this seems to be soo complicated, never tried teriyaki dish but when i get more time, will have to try. just getting things ready to bake the apple pie now 😀

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Irosh, it is actually not that complicated at all. I try to explain everything in smallest details, so that there are no problems later. This by far my longest recipe. Read it and visualize. What I do is, I marinate the chicken and put out the soup on the stove top at the same time. In the morning both of them are ready.

      If you are making it in the middle of the working week, prepare both of them at night. Put the soup in the refrigerator before you go to work. When you come back, fix the sauce and mix the chicken as it is shown above and cook it. It will take you literally 30 mins to whip up that dinner :)

    • Lola Mansurov says

      OK, again ask your hubby to watch your babies and at the same time whisk the chicken 😛 then you will be done in 30 min 😛

      You are a super multitasker! You can do it!!!!

  2. says

    I need some clarification: ◦1,5 Tbsp corn starch – is this 1/5 or 1 to 5 tbsp?
    Another one: ◦Coupe of pices of cabbage – :-) – 6 cups or anything else?
    Thanks :-)

    • Lola Mansurov says

      KL, lol. It was pretty darn late when I was writing this. But thank you for asking me. It is 1 and a half Tbsp of corn starch. As for the cabbage, I literally use couple of pieces. How about like 2 oz?

    • Lola Mansurov says

      One more thing about the corn starch, you do not want to use more than 2 Tbsp on any sauce or gravy you want to thicken. It will be too jelled otherwise.

  3. Camellia says


    I think she meant 1 and 1/2 tbsp corn starch and few chopped green cabbage leaves.


    Chicken Teriyaki looks yummy. I’m definetly going to try your recipe, DH is a huge teriyaki fan :)

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Aha, thank you Camellia 😀 I do rely on my girls like you help me out a bit 😛 Honestly, though, I am so happy that people come to my blog and check the recipes out! I will take any criticism and/or help you can give me 😀

  4. Mahsuma says

    Special thanks from my husband :)! He LOVES chicken teriyaki, so it’s gonna be cooked very soon in this house :)

  5. Camellia says


    receptlar uchun katta rahmat.
    Yengi rasm va receptlardan ispire qilish uchun deyarli har kuni blogizga kirib turaman.
    tepada clarification soragan odam sozma soz qilib tarjima qilgan bolsa kerak, shunga “couple” sozini tushunmagan. 2ta joyga misprint bolib “coupe” ketib qolibdi (coupe = 2 door car), bolmasa ma’nosidan tushunvolsa boladi… :)

    Ishlarizga omad, yangi receptlar kutib qolaman!

  6. iroda says

    ha-ha, i just cant visualize until i try though. I was actually reading comments for Lagman recipe and someone said it was difficult. I was thinking to myself, how can it be so difficult lol. Only because we have grown up with mums making lagman in our homes we dont seem to think it is difficult at all. So, we just get up and make it. Likewise, this recipe looks complicated to me, because this is something new to me. I am a little suspicious and unsure if it will taste the same as yours. Like I said, never tried teriyaki before 😀
    But I know once I try to make it a couple of times then it gets easier than it actually looks.

  7. says

    Im sure my husband will love this if i make it for him!! Just a quick question : I am a vegetarian, so while I make this wit chicken for my husband, can you suggest something for me to substitute chicken with?

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Thank you for dropping by my blog :) I am sure your husband will love it!

      The sauce is very rich and tasty. Believe me, you will have a lot of it :) It goes well with multiple combination of things.

      You can substitute the chicken with virtually any protein or meat substitute. Seitan (Wheat gluten) and tofu would be ideal. While I do not recommend marinating the tofu, Seitan can be marinated like you marinate the chicken. It is not going to take up the whole night of marination though. 20 minutes or so is more than enough. Stir fry it with a little oil and pour the sauce.

      If you are getting tofu, get it extra firm. Coat the tofu with egg substitute, sprinkle with a little corn starch and fry it on medium high heat on both sides. The tofu is going to have some nice crispiness to it. Pour the sauce on top of it, as you would do on the chicken.

      You can also prepare steamed vegetables additional to the seitan or tofu. It is one of the best things that can go with this sauce. If you have a steamer, steam up (for 10 minutes) pieces of cabbage, thinly sliced carrots, broccoli, baby corn, bean sprouts. Serve with scallions and pour the sauce on top of everything.

      If rice will sound boring to you, swap it to Udon noodles or Lo-mein noodles. You can buy them in the grocery stores nowadays.

      I am not sure if you eat shrimp. Some vegetarians do eat a little bit of seafood. If you do, go for shrimp! No need to marinate it. Heat the skillet, drop the shrimp, pour over the sauce and in medium heat cook with the lid closed for couple of minutes.

      I hope my suggestions will help you on deciding which substitute to choose :) Please let me know if you have any questions.

  8. says

    Wow. This is one intense recipe…so intense, that I’m very tempted to try it. I’m bookmarking this recipe. Thank you so much for all the work you put into these posts. I really appreciate it.

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Dear Memoria,

      I am sure you can rock this recipe :) I am dying to find out how it turns out in your kitchen! Please let me know!

  9. Adelina says

    Holy cow….I don’t think I have ever countered any teriyaki’s recipe that involves so much work!!! With that saying, I am pretty darn sure this is one GREAT recipe to have on hand. I will probably be brave one of these days and tackle this project, really! With so much work putting into this, I’m sure there’s a reason it! I know I shouldn’t question…but you actually simmer the broth “overnight”?! wow….. Okie, okie, okie….I heard you….!

    Thanks for sharing and for posting! Truly I know you put a lot of time into writing this post for us!

    • Lola Mansurov says

      LOL! You cracked me up. Indeed, it comes out heavenly! I put recipes which worked for me well. Oh, believe me, if my 3 year old loved it, it is worth trying without any hesitation :)

      It does take some effort. You can always go with chicken broth. But if you are feeling adventurous, go for simmering the broth overnight 😛

      Thank you very much for visiting my blog!


  10. aliasrestricted says

    Delicious! My boyfriend and I started making it last night and had it for lunch today. It was a lot of work but well worth it. The chicken was amazingly tender and had great flavor even without the sauce.

    • Lola Mansurov says

      OOOO, Congratulations on mastering this recipe! :) It certainly does involve a lot of work but isn’t it really worth it? :) It is 12:11AM down in Denver and am so craving for this Chicken Teriyaki that I can’t explain!

      I am glad you liked it! You can marinate the beef the same way, add mushrooms to the saute, steam the vegetables and enjoy! Yuumm!!!

  11. shasa says

    i dont think that massaging the chicken is necessary cause marinading them for 24 hours will keep them moist tender and the sauce will absorb well.

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Shasa, you could be right. But the end result with massaging the chicken is much more tender than just the marination. I am sure either way this chicken will be delicious :)

      Thank you for your input! :)

  12. ruby says

    I cooked this last week and we all enjoyed it. My daughter who is super picky even liked it. She loves the Chicken Teriyaki at the restaurants but she liked this one, too. I steamed some vegetables and pour some of the teriyaki sauce over it. I didn’t have time to massage the chicken but it still turned out juicy and tender. I’ll make it again but this time I’ll add a little crushed red pepper since my family is a little on the spicy side. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Lola Mansurov says

      I am very glad your family liked it :) You can always buy sirarcha and add as an extra to an already ready dish. I love that, too.

  13. Hazel says

    Just wanna ask how long do you simmer the stock? Does it literally mean overnight? Or can I simmer it like for 3 hours or more? Looking forward to this recipe. I really love teriyaki.

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Hi Hazel! I do simmer it overnight. That’s when the meat and bones realize their flavor. If you want an easier alternative opt for the chicken stock version. It is much quicker and equally tasty :)

  14. Ruben says

    Thanks for what appears to be an excellent recipe. I like cooking and have been successfully cooking Asian and Indian meals for a while BUT for I have been completely inept at creating a sweet teriyaki chicken like the ones at Sakura Japan or Sarku. I’ve tried so many bottled teriyaki sauces and half the time I can’t even decide between a glaze or a marinade (altough I think the glaze is usually sweeter) but the end result is not what I expected.

    Your recipe looks like it would taste just like the mall stores (funny to be actually trying to make something taste like a mall fast food place) which are sooo yummy that even my 7 year old loves it. I could eat at Sakura all week!

    Will let you know how it goes.

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Dear Ruben, unfortunately I have never used mirin in cooking. If you think it can be a good fit, I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t use it :)

  15. donna says

    Pour some of the sauce over it, toss the chicken with the sauce once or twice… Is this the same sauce that it was setting in over night, or do I need to make a new batch and use that instead. I been looking for a good recipe and have everything i need except chicken , but thinking this would be good with pork also.

    if you ever have a good recipe for lo-mein noodles Chinese let me know. and thanks for the step by step instrustions.

  16. Anna says

    This recipe looked amazing so I thought I’d try it. I started making it last night, but I came across a problem. In the ingredient list is says to use 3 C. of chicken broth but in the directions it says to mix in only 2 C. of the broth. Is it 2 C or 3 C of chicken broth? Let me know soon so I can finish the recipe for dinner. Thank you! And to everyone else, I highly recommend this dish. It is a bit of a challenge, but what cook doesn’t love a challenge? 😛

    • Lola Mansurov says

      Anna, I see what you mean :) 2 cups will be enough. I hope you really like this recipe as much as we do :)



  17. Kahli says

    Hello I have a question, if I’m using store bought stock/broth…do I have to let that simmer overnight just like the one from scratch? And also do I have to include the onions, carrots and cabbage with the store bought version. Thanks! My chicken is currently marinating overnight I’m excited to see how it comes out! I wonder if I can find an asian stock and use that??

  18. Kumari says

    Question. . so will this recipe not turn out as well if i use chicken breast instead of the chicken thighs?

  19. Art says

    I made this exact recipe. I was fortunate to have a KitchenAid mixer for the mixing process, I let it churn for 45 minutes on medium speed using a dough hook. It turned out fantastic. Couple things:

    1. You can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 4 lbs of chicken during the mixing process, as a tenderizer.

    2. Use Japanese short grain rice, and when preparing the rice, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil per one cup of rice for added flavor.

    3. Using a whole chicken carcass for the broth makes it easy to find a use for it after the previous days’ meal, like one of those common rotisserie store bought cooked chickens. There are a number of YouTube videos detailing chicken stock creation. Cook the broth for at least four hours, and ideally, for about eight hours.

    4. One of the benefits of making your own chicken stock is that it insures that there is absolutely no salt in it, because when you use the broth for the sauce, you add plenty of salt to it with the added Kikkoman soy and teryaki

  20. Michelle says

    Time consuming but really good. It smelled like Sarku when I was cooking the chicken and my family kept asking when it will be done. Just like at Sarku having to wait and drool over your order being cooked haha.

  21. says

    Found your recipe through pinterest and foodgawker. We lived in Seattle for years and teriyaki chicken is one of the things I miss most (besides all that is the Pacific Northwest and its grandeur)!

  22. Adrian says

    Hey There! I am so excited to try this recipe! My husband and I have bee nin love with Sakkio since we met and we currently moved away from our hometown due to his job and our new area we live in does not have a Sakkio, so this recipe is going to make us feel like were home again! Just a couple questions… 1) my husband cannot stand dark meat, is there a white chicken meat that I can use that will be similar or do I need to be stealthy and sneak the dark?– easier said than done, he went to cooking school haha 2) for the Teriyaki Sauce part where I add the Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce you typed 1/2 but didnt say half of what measurement.. so I wasnt sure if it was jar, cup or what it is was if you can just clarify those for me so I can add these ingredients to my grocery list I would really appreciate it!!! Thanks!

  23. Abby says

    I followed this recipe to a “t” and the consistancy of the chicken meranide so SOOO wrong!!! and everyone was complaining about the broth and the chicken isn’t even chicken anymore! just strings of meat!!!! and if you plan to try thia recipe be prepared to spend at least 3 hours in the kitchen, not including the marenide and simmering. I’m very dissapointed with this recipe.

  24. Mattison Mania says

    I got a question that I’m hoping I didn’t overlook in the comments. After the chicken has been mixed with a stand mixer to separate the fat from the chicken, do you fry/grill up that mixture as is, or separate it? Thanks for your time.

  25. Kevion says

    I’ve been to many restaurants and their teriyaki chicken taste plain. It’s cooked chicken with some teriyaki sauce on top.

    Out of all the recipes on the internet, nothing comes close to the Sakura Japan teriyaki chicken taste until now. This is it!

    Thank you very much! You saved me a lot more trial and error runs.

  26. John says

    It looks like you got this recipe from from Keitaro427’s directions. You really should credit this deliciousness to him!

  27. Honey twyman says

    The food looks very delish but recipe does seems very complicated however after reading it 6 times (I’m determined to understand it..LOL) it became easier to understand. thank you for the recipe. i will be making this soon.

  28. says


  29. Jordan says

    Would it be okay if I let it marinade for 48 hours? I was supposed to make the meal tonight but something came up and I can’t cook tonight. Would it be okay to cook it tomorrow night, even though i made it last night?

  30. Martin says

    Hi, I was wondering where you found this recipe because I was looking for the Sarku Japan recipe for nearly 7 years and I could not find it anywhere! But thanks for the recipe:) hope u reply

  31. The Odd Couple says

    This recipe is/was FANTASTIC!!! My son came over couple days ago for an extended visit . When the subject of dinner came up I showed him this had been my intention to take a shot at it and had already picked up all the needed ingredients.. Most of the prep work was done on Monday allowing the broth to simmer and chicken to marinade over night.. We just finished dinner and I was amazed.. Being a big fan of Sarku Japan at the local lmall led me to look for this and it’s dead on the money good. Fixed ours with Thai noodles.

  32. Carrie Blackburn says

    I’ve got the chicken thighs thawing, and after a year of having this recipe pinned, I’m going to brave it. Sarku Japan is the ONLY food my kids all dig at the mall. Even my “vegetarian” six-year-old will eat it. Question, is fresh ginger a deal breaker, or can I use ground?

  33. John Turner says

    This looks delicious! Looking to make this for about 40 people for 60th birthday party.
    Have you tried baking the chicken (bone in) instead of deboning and cooking on the stove? Curious if anything will change. I can’t possibly fathom standing at the stove cooking enough for the masses.

  34. Julie says

    I CAN NOT wait to try this out this weekend! My husband loves to get chicken teriyaki from Sakura Japan. We are only able to enjoy this deliciousness is when we go to the mall which is not very often. He is going to love this when I show him this recipe. We have been looking for this recipe forever. I am so glad I stumbled upon your page! This is great. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!! Super excited!

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