Friday food treat: Chicken teriyaki

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Chicken Teriyaki is a popular dish in our house. The term ‘terikyaki’ refers to a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine, not the name of a sauce as many believe. This method involves broiling or grilling foods with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin and sugar. It is not a difficult dish to make, and an easy one to tempt most palates. 

The word teriyaki  refers to the shine or lustre given by sugar in the tare and yaki. These refer to the way the food is grilled or broiled. Traditionally the meat is dipped in or brushed with sauce several times during cooking.

The dish was originally created by Japanese cooks of the seventeenth century, when urbanization, changes in agricultural methods and exposure to new ingredients from abroad gave rise to new, innovative cooking styles.

Making chicken teriyaki
The teri or glaze is made by mixing soy sauce, sake, mirin  and sugar (or honey), into a sauce. The sauce is boiled, reduced and then used to marinate meat. In this case chicken, but also beef and fish can be used. Yaki refers to the grilling process. The marinated meat is grilled or broiled, served with rice and garnished with spring onions.

Variations on the teriyaki theme
There are different variations you can use when making teriyaki. Additional ingredients may include garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, onion and spices. The main ingredients in the marinade are 2 parts soy, 2 parts mirin, 2 parts sake and 1 part sugar/honey. These are then adjusted to taste. That is why you don’t buy teriyaki sauce in a bottle in Japan!

Blended variations
When I look around on the internet for teriyaki variations I find Hawaiian dishes with teriyaki sauce, teriyaki burgers and meatballs. Such is the world of Asian fusion as these ideas are blended together. I think that is innovation these days – achieved through blending ideas!

Here is an easy to follow chicken teriyaki recipe.


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