Friday, 17 October 2008

Chicken teriyaki

Chicken teriyaki is just about the standard item on most Japanese restaurants and takeout menus. If done right, it is a most savoury and delicious accompanient to plain rice. But it can sometimes be too sweet, or, worse still, have the strange tang of vinegar (don't ask...) that often comes from using bottled sauces. Teriyaki sauce is amazingly simple to make, using only the essential condiments of most Japanese cooking: light soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar (you can even omit the sake if you like).

You can of course use beef, chicken, prawns or firm tofu for this dish. Adding some vegetables like bean sprouts, thinly sliced carrots and snow peas will also make this a good one-dish meal on top of rice. If using beef, very thinly sliced beef is best for quick cooking on a pan or grill without drying out the meat. For chicken, I prefer to use chicken thighs for the same reason as opposed to chicken breast, which can get too dry. Most supermarkets have skinless and boneless chicken thighs available (or get them from your local butcher). Strange fact: chicken thighs and drumsticks are more expensive than chicken breast in Singapore, Malaysia and many Asian countries, as the more tender cuts are deemed more tasty and desirable. Conversely, thighs and drumsticks are very cheap compared to chicken breasts in the UK, US and Canada (is it true for Australia and New Zealand as well?), as they are more popular, seen as being more lean and healthy, and I suppose more convenient too! I still find it rather bizarre but hey I'm certainly not complaining about being able to buy cheap thighs and drumsticks.

Chicken teriyaki 2

Ingredients (serves 2):

4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sake
3 tsp sugar
Some toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


1. Trim the chicken thighs of skin and excess fat if needed. Place them in a bowl with the light soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar. Mix well and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2. Heat some oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the bowl, draining off excess marinade, and cook in the pan. Pan fry for about 2 minutes on each side until the chicken is nicely browned.
3. Add 5 tbsp water to te reserve marinade (whatever's left in the bowl) and pour over the chicken. Cover and simmer on low heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
4. Uncover, increase the heat and reduce the sauce to a glaze to coat the chicken (be careful not to burn the sauce). Remove chicken and slice. Pour remaining teriyaki sauce over the chicken and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Chicken teriyaki 1

This dish is best served on top of rice so that the teriyaki sauce permeates into and flavours the plain rice. Yum.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks so dark and packed with flavor! I love the sweetness of teriyaki chicken, but not sure why I hardly ever cook it myself (I have a big bottle of teriyaki sauce in the refrigerator too), strange huh? Perhaps I should try it next week. Btw, I have an award for you! ;)

Kevin said...

Chicken teriyaki is one of my favorite meals as it is simple, quick and tasty. Your chicken teriyaki is looking really good! Nice teriyaki sauce recipe!

Lizzie said...

I always leave the skin on and grill the thighs, and then boil the reserved marinade to pour over. The skin is naughty, but very nice...!

noobcook said...

Yes I agree teriyaki sauce is one of the easiest sauce to prepare, this is about the only sauce that I don't buy from the stores hehe ... your chicken teriyaki looks really juicy :D

clover said...

One of my friends was astonished to find out that I've been at my new place for three months, but still hadn't eaten at any of the teriyaki places around my house. It's so easy to make at home that I must confess when I go out I'd rather eat something I don't make at home. Your teriyaki is looking quite good.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

These look great! I know what you mean about thighs being better yet cheaper here. I had no idea there was a place in the world where they were more expensive, but it totally makes sense.

Happy cook said...

Looks delicious. Here in belgium too chciekn breast are more expensive and legs and drums are really cheap.

Mrs Ergül said...

From the market 1 chicken breast will cost me S$2.20 while 1 thigh meat cost S$2.00. Breast meat is indeed most costly that thigh, albeit just a slight difference.

Your teriyaki chicken looks so appetizing!

Nilmandra said...

Little corner of Mine: I like mine quite dark, heh. Thanks for the award!

Thanks, Kevin!

Lizzie: Yeah, traditionally the skin is left on to get all nice and crisp. And extra flavour from the skin too. But I do tend to remove it for lower fat cooking.

Noobcook: It's always nicer to make your own sauces when possible, although I'm certainly not above using a bottle or packet sometimes ;)

Clover: I agree, I find it difficult to order something at a restaurant that I can make at home myself. Much cheaper!

Marc: I was totally surprised when I found that thighs and drumsticks are cheaper, heh.

Happy cook: Interesting, looks like it's the same thing on continental Europe in general?

Mrs Ergul: Ah, but then one breast is heavier/larger than one thigh (especially without bones), so the thigh is still a little bit more expensive than breast. It's been a long time since I shopped at a proper wet market in Singapore.

Heather said...

I love teriyaki for all reasons you mentioned, but I even like slumming it with the sticky-sweet style. How does it get so nice and thick with only those four ingredients?

tigerfish said...

Never seen such a huge piece of chicken teriyaki!

gaga said...

I still have a huge jar of teriyaki sauce in my fridge, but I'm definitely using this recipe when I finish it up!

rage-chan said...

Yes, in Australia the drumsticks and thighs are cheap, it used to be around $1 per kg but since the influx of Asian people the price has gone up to $3.50 - $4. Still, it's cheaper than the breast meat at over $10 per kg. O_O

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