Teriyaki. Teriyaki. Teriyaki.
The Japanese equivalent of Chinese sesame chicken.
This was the only thing I ordered as a little kid when we went to a Japanese restaurant. What little kid wouldn’t like anything smothered in this sweet/savory sauce? I started out eating chicken teriyaki but at some point, switched my order to salmon teriyaki. I order both now, depending on my mood, and it’s definitely become one of my top Japanese comfort foods.
Since the start of my amateur culinary venture, I’ve made it a goal to make my own chicken teriyaki. After doing some research, I realize that chicken teriyaki isn’t teriyaki because of the sauce but because of the cooking method. According to SeriousEats, it’s a style of cooking where the meat or fish is basted with a sweet and salty sauce and grilled. The sauce is made of soy sauce, mirin, and sake. The word teriyaki comes from “Teri”, or “tare” meaning luster or glaze, and “yaki” meaning cooking over direct heat. Today, many people associate it with the sweet sauce available in the supermarkets.
The recipe below is an adapted, fast and easy version of the traditional. The chicken is marinated for a couple of hours, first cooked at high heat in the wok, and then at a medium low heat to thicken the sauce. The traditional style is similar except the meat or fish is grilled directly over a flame and then glazed with the sticky sweet brown sauce.
recipe from Woks of Life
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons oil
- steamed rice, to serve
- Add the chicken to a bowl, along with the mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix together until all the ingredients are well combined. Allow to marinate for 2 hours.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Transfer the chicken to the pan in one layer (reserving the marinade), and allow it to sear on one side for 1 minute. Then start stir-frying for another minute.
- Add the reserved marinade to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer to reduce the sauce until it thickens and coats the chicken. Serve over rice