chicken teriyaki

We don’t have a heck of a lot of fast food in Seattle. Most folks around here snub their noses at McDonald’s, Burger King and Arby’s (all for good reason, although I admit I occasionally indulge in the King’s chicken sangwich from time to time when I’m traveling). If we do have a signature “fast food” though, it’s surely teriyaki. Teriyaki joints in the Big Rainy are almost as frequent as coffee shops. I’ve yet to find one that’s spectacular, but most are passable and can provide you with a quick, somewhat healthy lunch. It’s cheap, filling, and satisfying.

But as is the case with most takeout, you can make it better at home. In fact, you can make great chicken teriyaki, and it’s easier than you think.

Start with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You’ll get the best flavor from the organic, free-range variety. Since this is a very simple dish, the quality of chicken you buy really matters. Grab your favorite teriyaki sauce (I like Yoshida’s Original Gourmet Sauce—stay far away from Kikkoman), and a few cloves of garlic.

Mince the garlic. I like my handy dandy garlic twist. All you do is stick the naked cloves in…

…give it a twirl and your garlic is perfectly minced. Plus, no smelly garlic hands.

Stir the garlic in with the teriyaki sauce.

Rinse and pat dry your chicken thighs, then place them in a large Ziploc bag. Pour in the teriyaki marinade. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 24.

When you’re ready to eat, grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side over medium heat. I always use thighs when I’m going to grill chicken—the higher fat content means they won’t dry out like breasts do.

Slice. Serve. Savor.

It’s your favorite takeout, but at home. With much more flavor. And probably cheaper. No need to visit that Teriyaki joint at the strip mall again.


Chicken Teriyaki  printable yaki

The key to this simple dish is quality chicken and good teriyaki sauce. Buy organic, free-range chicken if you can. Serves 3-4 as a main course. 

Prep Time: 5 minutes       Marinating Time: at least 6 hours     Cook Time: 8 minutes

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 c teriyaki sauce
1. Rinse the chicken thighs. Pat dry and place in a large Ziploc bag.
2. Mince the garlic. Stir into the teriyaki sauce. Pour sauce over chicken, seal, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 24 hours.
3. Preheat grill to medium. Grill chicken thighs for 3-4 minutes per side, or until no longer pink in the center. Serve with rice and vegetables.




  1. If it’s not already in the store-bought sauce/marinade, I always make sure to add a little sesame oil to teriyaki sauce. I think it gives it a richer flavor.

    • rainyd01 says:

      Great idea, Jen. I totally agree—sesame oil ads that certain something to Asian flavors. When are you bringing me pie? 🙂

  2. Makes me miss Philly’s!!!! They by far had the best teriyaki sub. Hmmm…new recipe idea?

  3. Thanks for adding me. I have started a link up party at Savannah’s Savory Bites. If you have a chicken recipe you’d like to share please consider joining me. Here is the link –
    Links will be accepted until Tuesday Sept, 6th and then voting will begin. The recipe with the most votes will receive a feature posting on my site, where I will create your recipe.

  4. I’m 100% japanese and just wanted to add that you can make teriyaki chicken without resorting to store bought sauce! My mothers recipe is simple and delish. cup of sugar, cup of soy sauce (I prefer Aloha brand) 3 or 4 slivers of ginger smashed and 4-5 gloves of garlic smashed. Marinate and grill 🙂

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  6. So im using a marinade and cooking sauce but its not very thick how you get more of a consistency

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