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Chicken Teriyaki - An Updated Classic

Growing up, my mom would make her secret recipe teriyaki sauce nearly every week. She rarely measured out the ingredients, but the sauce was perfection every time. I'll never be able to replicate her sauce, but through trial and error, I've finally settled on a version that would make her proud.


3 tablespoons sake or sherry wine, divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken thighs, remove excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 scallions, greens and whites divided

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 cup mirin

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons ginger, shredded or minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 cups white rice


2-3 cups broccoli crowns

1/2 cucumber (diced into matchsticks or small half circles)


Step 1: In large bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons sake or sherry wine to create a slurry. Add chicken thighs, minced garlic, and the scallion whites. Mix everything together so the chicken is evenly coated and then set aside.

Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet or wok and heat over medium-high. When oil is hot, place half the chicken mixture in even layer and let it brown for 3 minutes without touching it. Flip and brown the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan, add another tablespoon of oil, and then repeat the process with the remaining chicken.

Step 3: Reduce heat to medium-low, then add mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and 1 tablespoon sake or sherry wine. Use wooden spoon and deglaze the pan, bring to low simmer for 4-5 minutes. Make sure to constantly stir. Once the sauce is thick, add cooked chicken (plus any juices) to the pan and bring the heat back up to medium/medium-high and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, making sure all pieces are evenly coated with sauce. Add the black pepper and then remove from heat.

Step 4 (Optional): Since this recipe calls for a heavily sauced chicken, I prefer to cook vegetables separate from the chicken. In a separate pan or steamer, do a quick 3 minute steam or blanching of broccoli, season with salt, and set aside.

Step 5: Serve rice and then plate the chicken teriyaki and broccoli. Top with scallion greens, cucumbers (optional), and sesame seeds.


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