This Japanese version of Teriyaki Chicken Skewers has a mind-blowing flavor, hundreds of times better than the takeout. The chicken thighs are tender and perfectly marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce (recipe below). Above all, it’s ready within 15 minutes. There is no alcohol in this teriyaki recipe so that you can enjoy it with your kids too. I never compromise when it comes to flavor, so I made sure to save your time and get a delicious dinner on your table! More tips and tricks in the post below, step by step images, and a video tutorial to guide you through the cooking process!
What is Teriyaki Chicken?
Teriyaki is a Japanese method of cooking, the word Teri (タレ) means the glaze or shine, Yaki (焼き) means grilling or broiling, so if you put it together, Teriyaki chicken is more like Glazed Grilled Chicken.
The original Teriyaki recipe has three ingredients only, soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. You can use this Teriyaki sauce on any meat you wish, be it chicken, fish, beef, or even vegetables.
Teriyaki became popular in the USA, and with time few more ingredients were added to the recipe mainly to suit people’s taste. For example, in the Middle East and some Far East countries, alcohol is not consumed for religious reasons; eventually, mirin was omitted. In other parts of the world, the original teriyaki recipe is considered too sweet; therefore, the amount of sugar was reduced.
I wouldn’t be sharing the authentic recipe for teriyaki sauce in today’s post. However, this version is a crowd-pleaser, perfect for parties, and full of flavor!
Ingredients to make Teriyaki chicken skewers
Chicken thighs. I have used skinless and boneless chicken thighs. You can go for chicken breast as well.
Sugar. Brown sugar enhances the flavor of the teriyaki sauce, but you can go for honey or white sugar.
Soy sauce. It’s better to use low sodium if available, but if you have the regular soy sauce, then dilute it by mixing two tablespoons of water to the amount of soy sauce mentioned in the recipe.
Ginger paste. For sharper, spicier flavor to the sauce and chicken.
Cornstarch. We need cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
How to make Grilled Teriyaki chicken skewers on the stovetop?
1- In a bowl, add the Teriyaki sauce ingredients—sugar, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, oil, cornstarch, and water. Mix the ingredients well.
2- Take out 1/3 cup from the sauce and keep aside to use later.
3- Add the skinless and boneless chicken thighs to the previously prepared sauce. Mix well, cover with a plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
4- You can use metal skewers, but if you use wooden skewers, then first soak the skewers in warm water for 30 minutes to prevent it from burning.
5- Thread the chicken thighs onto the skewers. Discard the marinade, do not use it on the chicken while cooking/grilling.
6- Pour a tablespoon oil on the shallow pan, and when the oil is hot, place the chicken skewers on the pan.
7- Flip the chicken and brush with the reserved teriyaki sauce; keep flipping and brushing the chicken until it’s done.
8- Serve with rice.
Tips and tricks
Most people buy the regular soy sauce; it is salty and can ruin the dish; however, if you can’t get a low sodium soy sauce, mix the three tablespoons soy sauce mentioned in this recipe with two tablespoons water. Then use it in the recipe.
- Don’t use light soy sauce.
- I found that brown sugar gives the teriyaki sauce an excellent deep flavor, but if you must substitute, use honey.
- If you want to use chicken breast instead of thighs, then cut the breast into medium-sized cubes to help it cook evenly and faster.
- You can use ginger powder, keeping the same measurement, although using fresh ginger gives out more flavor.
- To grill the chicken over a griller, soak the wooden skewers in warm water for 30 minutes before threading the chicken, or else the skewers will burn.
- When placing the chicken skewer over a grill, do not move the skewers until at least three minutes have passed; otherwise, the chicken will stick to the grill.
How to make and store homemade Teriyaki sauce?
To make the teriyaki sauce, double or triple the amount of the sauce ingredients in this recipe.
- Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and mix well.
- Turn on the heat to medium and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for three minutes or until thick.
- Some add sesame seeds to the sauce, but I think toasted sesame seeds give a better taste when added to the dish and not the sauce.
- Let the sauce cool completely, then pour in a jar with a preferably an airtight lid.
- Refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks.
- You can use the sauce to marinate any meat. You can also use it in stir fry dishes.
More recipes you will enjoy:
Teriyaki chicken skewers
- 500 gm skinless and boneless chicken thighs. Read note #1
FOR THE TERIYAKI SAUCE
- 3 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce. Read note #2
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil optional
- Sesame seeds
TO COOK THE CHICKEN
- 1 ½ tablespoon cooking oil
- In a bowl, add all the teriyaki sauce ingredients and mix well. Take out 1/3 cup from the sauce and keep aside to brush the chicken skewers later.
- Add the chicken thighs to the teriyaki sauce and mix well.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes before using, it will prevent the skewers from burning while grilling the chicken.
- Thread the chicken thighs into the wooden skewers and keep them aside.
- Add oil to a flat pan and turn on the heat to medium. I have used a 10” flat pan.
- When the oil is hot, place the chicken skewers on the pan.
- Flip the chicken skewers when the bottom is light brown. Brush the chicken with the reserved teriyaki sauce and continue cooking.
- Keep flipping the chicken skewers and brushing them until the chicken is cooked.
- Serve the chicken skewers over plain rice, fried rice, or steamed vegetables.
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