Homemade Recipe for Japanese Food: Easy Teriyaki Chicken (and the most delicious)
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
This is one of the simplest and the most delicious recipes I can offer you
Total: 35 - 40 minutes
Prep : 20 minutes
Baking: 15 - 20 minutes
Japanese “Teriyaki” dishes are slightly different from what we see at most US restaurants. While Teriyaki Chicken in the US is more like Teriyaki Sauced Chicken, the original dish’s name “Teri” means “Glazed” and “Yaki” means “Grill” or ”Baked.”
There are many ways to cook Teriyaki Chicken - bake, grill, and pan fry. But what you need to be careful when cooking chicken is to overcook. If you ever had “rubbery” chicken, that is the result of cooking too much, meaning the cooking temperature was either too high, or the chicken was cooked longer than necessary.
So called “Flavor” is the combination of taste and smell, both of which live in the cell of the muscle. Inside the cell is water that holds taste and aroma. When you add heat to the muscle, water will be released from these cells. Muscle without water is just fiber, no flavor, which is the reason for rubber chicken. The solution to avoid rubbery chicken is to cook is so that you retain as much water as possible. Therefore the key is to cook chicken at the lowest temperature possible, to avoid losing too much water during the cooking. Also make the chicken meat soft by the marinate.
All these may sound too complicated, but not to worry. This is one of the easiest but delicious recipes I created (and use.) Basically, marinate chicken, and bake in the oven. That’s it and it works all the time!
Bake at 135°C/275 °F
If you are used to cooking your meats at higher tempura, get ready to lower temperature cooking. It may take longer, but the result will be juicy and tender chicken.
Marinate in Shio Koji
What's Shio Koji? Koji is a type of fungus fermentation agent that is used to make Sake. Think of it as a sister of yeast.
It contains enzymes that break down proteins to pull out umami flavors and this process also contributes to tenderizing meat and fish. (Source: Hikari miso's)
If no Shio Koji is available, you can skip it and marinate in Teriyaki Sauce for a couple of hours instead.
Want some Charred Flavor?
Because of the lower cooking temperature, the chicken will not have a charred texture & flavor when cooked. Solution? Use a kitchen torch, or simply pan fry to add that charred texture on the outside of the cooked chicken.
225g (½ lbs.) Chicken Thigh, Boneless
60g (2oz.) Shio Koji
Teriyaki Sauce (ratio is 2:1:1:1)
Soy Sauce 20g
Optional (for Teriyaki Sauce)
5 - 10g Ground Ginger
5 - 10g Minced Garlic
In a ziploc bag, place chicken and Shio Koji. Seal and rub with your hands for fifteen seconds. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
While chicken is marinated, mix Teriyaki Sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Take out the chicken from the ziploc bag, wipe off the excess Shio Koji with a paper towel.
In a sheet (baking) pan, place parchment sheet, and Shio Koji marinated Chicken.
Pour some Teriyaki Sauce and gently rub into the chicken.
Cook the chicken at 135°C/275 °F for 15 to 20 minutes.
When the outside of the chicken started to become dry and have a “pinkish” color, turn off the oven and let it sit for three to five minutes.
Cut into small pieces and serve.
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