Chicken Teriyaki {at home}

I remember when my favorite Japanese food stand, Yanagi, in the Oxford Valley Mall food court closed down in my hometown.  I think my sister and I wept a little.  It was the one place we could rely on anytime we visited our parents, for some undeniably quick, tasty, and affordable chicken teriyaki.  Gone are those days!  But instead of crying a river, I decided to learn how to make chicken teriyaki at home, and now you can too!

Chicken Teriyaki |

It turns out that was a good move because chicken teriyaki is one of my husband’s favorite meals.  When we lived in California, he’d always order it at The Flame Broiler, a local fast food chain.  It was quick and cheap and I loved how if you sprang for an extra buck, they would put sliced avocado on top.  I completely forgot about that while we were filming this episode, but I should’ve TOTALLY done that!

Chicken Teriyaki |

My version of chicken teriyaki is simple, easy, and perfect for two.  The sauce couldn’t be quicker to whip up, and the taste is everything you’d hope it to be. You can watch how I pull it all together in EPISODE 12 of Bits & Pieces SEASON 2 below:


The key to a really great teriyaki sauce is that the sweetness has to come through more than the saltiness.  I’ve seen recipes with complicated sauces, using a ton of ingredients, but I just wanted to keep mine basic and simple.

Chicken Teriyaki |

And I chose to add steamed broccoli on the side, but you can switch up the veg to whatever floats your boat.  You can even just do a side salad, like they used to do at Yanagi!

Chicken Teriyaki |

And seriously I’m almost upset that I didn’t remember to add sliced avocado on top like they do at The Flame Broiler.  Gah… it’s so good!  But then again, with chicken this succulent and glistening, who needs anything else?

Chicken Teriyaki |

Chicken Teriyaki
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This chicken teriyaki is low fuss and easy to make. No need for take out!
Serves: 2
  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (12-15 ounces total)
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 scallion, sliced on a bias
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin, or sweet sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  1. Trim the fat off the chicken thighs and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add broccoli florets and water. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp tender and bright green. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
  3. In the same pan, heat the oil and add the chicken thighs. Sear for about 6-7 minutes on the first side, or until nicely browned. Flip and sear for another 5-6 minutes or until cooked. Whisk the sauce one more time before adding it to the pan. Pour on top of the chicken and let the sauce bubble up to thicken. Toss and coat the chicken in the sauce for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a cutting board, let rest for 2 minutes, and then slice thickly. Divide the slices between the two plates and drizzle with remaining sauce left in the pan. Top with sesame seeds and sliced scallions. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli.
TIP: If you like a lot of sauce, double the recipe. If you want the sauce to be thicker, add more cornstarch.



yong mi

I can’t wait to try this! I miss yanagi as well.


Post a pic if you make it! I seriously miss Yanagi! Sigh…


Thank you for this recipe. This was VERY good!


You’re welcome Kim. So glad you gave it a try already and enjoyed it. Hope you make it again!

Nancy @ Yummy Reads

I made this twice and it is the best chicken teriyaki we have ever had. A little more sweet and delicious. 🙂


Hi Nancy.
Great! So nice to hear. I tend to make this recipe a lot especially when I don’t feel like thinking about what to make. Have you tried the sauce over anything else yet? My recent favorite is teriyaki pork chops!


Hi CJY and Joe!
Love all your recipes and your awesome teamwork! I’ve made this dish twice already and it always comes out AMAZING! It’s seriously a no-fail recipe! I have made made it each time on a non-stick and we were hoping to try this recipe on the grill or even on a cast iron skillet on top of the charcoal grill, but I’m wary of it not working b/c of all the sugar in the sauce. Do you think it could work???

Would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 Keep doin’ what you do!


Hi Sarah.
I’m sorry I didn’t respond to you earlier. I hope it’s not too late to answer you but you can still make it on the grill. Just start it out on low heat to ensure the chicken will cook through before the sauce will burn. Then crank it up to get that char and let the sauce turn more caramelized. As for a cast iron skillet, I’ve made it in there before no problem too!


Hi Julie,
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m hoping to try making it but would like to make large batches for an event at work. Can you tell me how to make this ahead of time in large batches?
Thanks very much.


Hi Helen.
Sorry I missed your comment. I’ll be honest… it’s a little difficult to multiply this recipe in large quantities and still have it come out exactly the same. I recently tripled this recipe for a baby shower and I felt like the sauce was too sweet. So I would def cut down the amt. of sugar when multiplying. Same goes for spice… cut down on the red pepper flakes or it will be too spicy and you’ll be sorry! I ended up multiplying it as is and then straining the pepper flakes out because it was waaay too spicy. I guess to make it ahead in large quantities, you would have to go by taste and make the sauce in advance (adjust as needed). Then cook the chicken in advance, and then later, pour the sauce over the chicken and heat everything back up together in the oven, first covered in foil, and then uncovered for a few minutes, to give the sauce the chance to glaze a bit. Or just reheat everything in a pan. Sorry, but I developed this recipe intentionally for 2 people so I guess that’s why when it’s stretched, it starts being inconsistent. I wouldn’t have known how to answer you until I tried stretching it myself… and it does not turn out the same. Hope this helps, even though I’m answering you a bit late! 🙂


I made this teriyaki chicken and WOW.


Hi Jackie. Nice! Thanks for letting me know. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

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