Chicken Teriyaki

Teriyaki is not a sauce, but a method or technique of cooking. Meat is seared or broiled, then given a lustrous shine with a glaze of soy, mirin and sugar.


4 servings


4 tbsp sake
4 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce
1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs in 1" pieces, blotted dry
¼ cup mirin
2 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1½ cups finely chopped green cabbage
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced on extreme bias
2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tsp oil
4 cups Japanese-style short-grain rice (Nishiki)



1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp of the sake and 1 tsp soy sauce. Add the chicken and toss. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Teriyaki sauce

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium, combine the remaining 1 tbsp sake, 3 tbsp of soy sauce, the mirin and sugar. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in the ginger; set aside.


3. In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage and scallions with the remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, the rice vinegar and sesame oil. Set aside.


4. Drain the chicken of its marinade in a fine mesh strainer. Wipe out the bowl, then return the chicken to it. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss to coat.


5. In a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tsp of the oil until beginning to smoke. Add half the chicken in an even layer and cook without stirring until well browned on the bottom and the edges turn opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook without stirring until well browned on the second side, about another 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and repeat with the remaining 2 tsp oil and remaining chicken.

6. Wipe out the skillet, then return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the teriyaki sauce mixture and stir to coat. Cook over medium-high, stirring, until the liquid is syrupy and the chicken is glazed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Divide the rice among 4 bowls. Top with the cabbage mixture and chicken.