Teriyaki Chicken


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Teriyaki chicken is a quick and hearty dish that wins every time. Quickly stir fry chicken pieces and mix with a sticky sweet teriyaki sauce. Serve it on top of a bed of rice alongside freshly steamed veggies. Best of all? You’ll have a healthy and satisfying meal on your dinner table in just 20 minutes.

Teriyaki chicken on a bed of rice and steamed broccoli.

You know that deliciously sweet and sticky teriyaki chicken you get at a Japanese restaurant? Well, it’s pretty simple to make right at home – so add this to your list of easy dinner ideas.

This is a quick stir-fry recipe that will switch up your typical chicken routine. Instead of using a blend of herbs like in my chicken fajitas or slow cooker chicken, we’re turning towards basic Japanese pantry items. Ingredients like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sake work together to create the most delicious homemade teriyaki sauce. Just pour this over the chicken towards the end, let it simmer, and you’re done.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Forget about the store-bought stuff. It’s full of fillers and colorings. All you need for the most delicious teriyaki sauce is four simple ingredients:

  • Soy Sauce: I’m using Tamari for gluten-free soy sauce. But, you can also use coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
  • Sake: A Japanese alcohol made from fermented rice that can be enjoyed as a drink and give flavor to cooking.
  • Mirin: It’s similar to sake but has a lower alcohol content and more sugar. It also gives our sauce that lovely glaze.
  • Honey: Traditional teriyaki sauce uses granulated sugar, but honey works just as well.

This teriyaki sauce will taste just like your Japanese restaurant favorite! But if you don’t have sake or mirin, check out the substitutions I’ve listed on my teriyaki sauce post. I’ll give you options with pantry staples as well.

Making teriyaki chicken on the stove top.

How To Make Teriyaki Chicken

This recipe is best made with boneless skinless chicken thighs. While you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs are generally more tender, flavorful and juicy.

  1. Prep the sauce. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sake, mirin and honey until everything is well combined. Set this aside.
  2. Prep and cook the chicken. Dice the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Then, heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat. Add in the chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes a golden brown.
  3. Add the sauce. Give the sauce a quick whisk then stir it in with the chicken. Continue cooking and let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve. Serve on top a fresh bed of rice and steamed broccoli. Garnish with optional diced green onions and sesame seeds.
Teriyaki chicken recipe served with rice and broccoli.

What To Serve With Teriyaki Chicken

Since teriyaki chicken is already rich in flavor, rice and freshly steamed veggies make for the perfect pairing. Below are a few easy ideas to whip up while your chicken is cooking in the pan.

To Store

  • If you’ve got leftovers, store the teriyaki chicken and rice in their own containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Separate containers will make sure your rice doesn’t get soggy from the sauce.
  • If you’re looking to freeze for later, place the chicken into a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat the next day.
A piece of teriyaki chicken picked up with chopsticks.

More Easy Dinner Ideas

On a time crunch? Here’s a few tasty and easy dinner recipes to keep up your sleeves come dinner hour.

Teriyaki chicken in a bowl with rice and broccoli.

Most Delicious Teriyaki Chicken

4.91 from 60 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Teriyaki chicken is bursting with flavor and super easy. This Japanese restaurant favorite can be made in 20 minutes! Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!



Chicken Stir Fry

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Teriyaki Sauce



  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and honey until everything is well combined. Set this aside.
    Making the teriyaki sauce in a bowl.
  • Dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces.
    Dicing chicken breast into 1-inch pieces.
  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and let it cook for 1-2 minutes on one side, until nice and golden. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
    Searing the diced chicken breasts in a pan.
  • Stir fry the chicken, flip it over, and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes. You don't want it cooked through at this stage, just seared on the outside.
    Cooking the other side of the diced chicken in a pan.
  • Give the sauce a quick whisk and add it to the pan along with the minced ginger and garlic. Stir the sauce with the chicken and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
    Teriyaki chicken in a pan with teriyaki sauce.
  • Serve on top of a fresh bed of rice and a side of steamed broccoli. Garnish with diced green onions and sesame seeds.
    Finished teriyaki chicken in a bowl with rice and broccoli.

Lisa’s Tips

  • Remember that if you don’t have sake or mirin, you can still make this delicious recipe. Check out my teriyaki sauce post for substitutions.


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1345mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chicken Teriyaki, How To Make Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. What can I use as a substitute for the sake and mirin? I saw that you had it posted somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. 

  2. Thank you for the lovely recipe! Followed the recipe except for reducing the ginger as my husband doesn’t like a strong ginger flavor. I reduced it to 1 tsp and it was perfect! It also took about 10 min to reduce for me (not the 4-5). It was so easy to make and flavorful!5 stars

  3. When I try to thicken the sauce my chicken tends to over cook. Any suggestions? By the way this happens with almost every recipe that involves chicken so I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I can always add cornstarch or cook it on the side but I would really like to be able to skip that extra step. Thanks in advance.5 stars

    1. Hi Brian – there’s always so many variables in the kitchen, so it might just be your pans or even your heating element. You can always make a double batch of the teriyaki sauce on it’s own and thicken it up (it will store for quite a while in the fridge!). And then just add it at the end of the chicken cook time (plus add it to other recipes in the future). I know you said you’d like to skip that extra step, but it might be best. Also keep in mind that Japanese teriyaki sauce is not nearly as thick as Americanized teriyaki sauce. Hope that helps!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My family loved this dish. One question, can I use drinking sake instead of cooking sake. Thank you5 stars

  5. This was good and we would make it again, but it didn’t taste like teriyaki. I think that’s because the 1 TBSP of ginger was just way too much. We like ginger, but it basically took over the whole dish. Next time we’ll try with 1 TSP and we’re hopeful that will make this recipe perfect! Oh, I did have to add a TBSP of cornstarch too as our sauce never thickened.4 stars

    1. Hi Kaily – This teriyaki sauce is more like a traditional Japanese teriyaki chicken where it’s not extremely sticky and overly sweet. But, you can always make adjustments as needed :)

  6. I’ve made this recipe so many times now! It’s such an easy thing to whip up and it’s very flexible. It’s so delicious and satisfying to eat this with a steaming bowl of rice and veggies!5 stars

  7. We love your chicken teriyaki it’s so easy to cook, that we usually make it in our lunch break. Thanks for always posting a video and not just the recipes, I enjoy watching the videos while I cook just to make sure that I’m following each step exactly the way you meant it :)5 stars

    1. So glad you loved the chicken teriyaki Carolina! And happy to hear the videos are helping you in the kitchen :)

  8. Ok so I’m a serious rice lover, especially when paired with teriyaki sauce. But I’m also sensitive to garlic which is in almost every bottled teriyaki you’ll find at the store. So when I found this recipe and noticed the sauce was garlic-free, I had to give it a shot. I’m SO glad I did… my husband and I are obsessed with this recipe. It’s so simple and easy to make, and perfect for when I’m craving a teriyaki bowl. It’s amazing as is, but I also like to add some finely chopped fresh ginger for an extra kick. 5 stars

  9. I have to eat a strict paleo diet. Can you please tell me what I can use in place of Sake & Miren in this recipe?

  10. Simple but delicious dinner my hubs loved
    Love your recipes and how approachable they are, but always turn out. Thanks for this one, too! One small note – the recipe calls for chicken thighs, but breasts are listed in the instructions.5 stars

  11. I somehow stumbled onto your youtube channel! I love everything about it. The recipes, the way you organize and how practicle you are with organizing and how fluid you are with what you eat. I also have an autoimmune diseases and this is just perfect. This was the first recipe I tried and it’s amazing! Thank you so much for all the effort you put into everything you post!
    Atlanta GA5 stars

    1. Welcome to the Downshiftology community Donna! So glad you’re enjoying all my content so far and that I can help you in so many ways :)

  12.  I noticed in the recipe you all for chicken thighs but in the instructions you say to cut the chicken breast. It looks yummy!

  13. Hi there, I do love the recipe very tasty BUT I’ve tried it twice now and the sauce does not thicken. I have even added cornstarch. I’m following it to the exact measurements. Let me know.  4 stars

    1. Hi Brigid – A true Japanese teriyaki sauce doesn’t get as thick as an American-style teriyaki sauce (if that’s what you’re comparing it to). It should thicken a bit though, so if it doesn’t it might be because your stove temperature was too low. The pan should be quite hot when you add it. Alternatively, you can always simmer the sauce separately, to really reduce it down to a thicker consistency, then add it to fully cooked chicken. Hope that helps!

  14. I love simple, easy, quick, but tasty recipes, and this one ticks all the boxes! I didn’t have sake so I substituted it with rice cooking wine and it still turned out so delicious. Had mine served on a bed of rice with some steamed broccoli! So good!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! This really is an easy and simple dinner that can be whipped up with minimal prepping :)

  15. Thank you for the recipe! Finally, I got a home made healthier substitution to my most frequent delivery guilty pleasure thanks to you. Making batches of it now and freezing so it’s there when the craving hits…

    I’m not friends with chopped or greater ginger, so I’d use a splash of a store bought ginger juice instead.5 stars

    1. Hi Ruta- So glad you enjoyed this teriyaki chicken recipe :) This is definitely a great dish to keep in the freezer as well!

  16. My family loved this dish .  Perfect meal .  At first, I was concerned when my teriyaki sauce did not thicken so I added a little more honey .  Turned out perfect .  Taste and smell was delicious .  Will DEFINITELY make it again . 
    – CMF5 stars

  17. The only problem with this recipe… is how much of it of it I can eat lol! Thank you so much for sharing this and all your recipes. You absolutely deserve one million subscribers – congrats! – I love your recipes and your calming, inspiring, and organized videos. I appreciate you!! <35 stars

  18. This recipe is absolutely delicious and so easy to whip up! I doubled it and fed it to a family of 7! I absolutely love how the sauce infused the chicken with the sweet and savory flavor.

    I think I overcrowded my pan, and so when the chicken was cooked, I removed it to allow the sauce time to thicken a bit more, in case that helps anyone!5 stars

    1. Hi Molly- Happy to hear everyone in the family enjoyed this recipe! And thanks for the quick tip.

  19. Hi Lisa, I made this tonight and it was delicious! Just a quick note, in your recipe you forgot to include adding the garlic and ginger at the same time as the teriyaki sauce. Love your site and am having fun cooking all your recipes!

    1. Nope just kidding I see you added it. I had saved the recipe when it was posted. Sorry about that!

    2. Hi Amanda – so happy you loved the recipe! I add that in step three in the directions. Do you not see that on your end?

  20. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for the amazing recipe – my family loves it. We have recently started getting serious about meal-prepping in advance for the week; does this recipe freeze well? Have you tried to freeze it? Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi there- Freezing this recipe shouldn’t be a problem :) Just make sure to freeze the rice separately!

  21. HI All! I tried this tonight but used Coconut Aminos and Sherry Cooking wine. Mine turned out very thin instead of thick like the video. Any tips on how I could have made this a bit more sticky to the chicken?4 stars

    1. Hi Kimberly – the sauce will thicken as it reduces on the stove, so you probably just needed to cook a little longer. If you’re afraid of overcooking the chicken, you could always reduce the sauce in a pot separately, then add to the chicken once it’s already started to thicken up. Hope that helps!

  22. Hey, my sauce took a lot more to reduce and the chicken overcooked :/ any suggestions to why did that happen, i followed the recipe to the dot

    1. It may have just been due to the temperature of your pan/stove. In the future, if you’re worried about over cooking the chicken you can always begin to reduce the sauce in a pot, then once it’s slightly thickened add it to the chicken. :)

      1. Love all of the recipes I’ve tried from your site, and was excited to try this one. I followed the recipe exactly, but I substituted an additional 1/4 cup of sake and 2 tbs of honey for the 1/4 cup of mirin. It turned out looking and smelling great, but I was disappointed to find that the sauce had very little flavor at all. I understand it is the non-sweetened American teriyaki recipe, but it was so flavorless that I must have made a mistake somewhere. Hoping you may have an idea of what I did wrong! 

  23. The most delicious teriyaki chicken I have ever had. I love that this only has 10 ingredients, but lacks nothing in flavor. It was worth ordering the sake for delivery to make this! I plan on making a bigger batch and freezing this week.5 stars

    1. Hi Courtney – So glad you found this recipe easy to make and super flavorful! And yes, the sake is definitely worth it for an authentic teriyaki sauce :)

  24. This recipe is SO GOOD. The teriyaki sauce is to die for, and you can taste all the amazing flavor the instant it hits your mouth! I was surprised how easy it was to make, and it was a hit in my house. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t substitute any ingredients, although I might see if I can get away with less honey next time (just because I’m running low :)).5 stars

    1. Hi Susan – A lot of people think teriyaki sauce is difficult to make, but it’s actually so simple! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe overall :)

  25. I made this the other day and it is possibly one of my most favorites of your recipes. I was confused, however, that the ginger and garlic are listed in the ingredients, but are not a part of the directions. Am I missed something?5 stars

    1. Hi Virginia- Ah thanks for pointing that out! You actually don’t need the ginger and garlic. I just removed it as I was testing different variations out and ended up not using it for the teriyaki sauce :)

  26. I made this with white wine vinegar and rice vinegar instead of the wines. But it was still incredible. After we are free to roam I’m going to make it officially with the Asian acids. I added a bit of roasted sesame seed oil at the end.5 stars

    1. Hi Jacqueline – Happy to hear this recipe still turned out delicious using the white wine and rice vinegar! Toasted sesame oil at the end would also be a beautiful addition.

  27. I made this two days ago and am making it again tonight! It is such an approachable, quick and delicious recipe. What a big difference from store bought teriyaki sauce. Thank you for such quality content! ;)5 stars

    1. Hi Lisette- Homemade teriyaki sauce is definitely much better than store-bought :) I’m glad you’ve already enjoyed this recipe so much!

  28. Thank you so much Lisa for this amazing recipe. My daughter thinks this is the most yummy recipe ever. Since my other daughter has recently started on a low FODMAP diet due to IBS issues I had to make some changes. I swapped the honey for maple syrup and I took the garlic out. It all worked out perfectly so this one is going to be on repeat. Next time I do however should make more ;-).5 stars

    1. Hi Babette – So excited to hear that both of your daughters are able to enjoy this recipe with a few modifications!

  29. I made this recipe and even though I used only soya sauce and honey ( I don’t have sake and mirrin in my pantry as a rule) it was amazing. Had it with steamed rice and it was finger-licking good!!5 stars

    1. Hi Heena – Wonderful! I’m glad you were able to use a few substitutions to get the teriyaki sauce right :)

  30. Made this last night for dinner and it was so delicious and easy to make. It tasted better than most take out I’ve had! My sauce took a little longer than 5 minutes to thicken, but i’m pretty sure I didn’t have the heat high enough. Looking forward to making this one again!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! I think homemade versions are much better, especially when you know exactly what ingredients you are using. As for the sauce, the timing can vary. Just keep heating it until you find it thick enough :)

    1. Hi Susie – You can find further instructions on how to adjust your teriyaki sauce in my Teriyaki Sauce post :)

  31. Thank you so much, I feel like you saw that I was searching for this recipe on your site a while ago. I didn’t see one at the time, but I’m so glad to see it now. I will definitely try it as soon as possible. 

  32. I have a pack of chicken I need to use, so this is what we’re having for dinner tonight- thanks for sharing!5 stars

  33. My husband and I love this recipe! Most teriyaki sauces are made with a ton of unnecessary sugar. I love that we can use honey as we are trying to eat more local honey to help with allergies!5 stars

    1. Great! Authentic teriyaki sauce definitely doesn’t use too much sugar and in my opinion, tastes much better than American versions :)

  34. This looks so good!! Can you share where you found those pretty serving bowls, by the way? I’ve been looking for something similar for our wedding registry!

    1. Hi Kate! – Thanks so much! I actually got these from a more local vendor so they’re not available for sale :(

  35. So thankful to have come across this recipe right now while my family practicing some social distancing. We had everything we needed in the refrigerator and it was delicious!5 stars

    1. Hi Kacey- Amazing! It’s definitely a pantry friendly meal that requires a few staple ingredients.

  36. OMG! This Teriyaki Chicken looks phenomenal! This is the perfect easy meal for the entire family! I so need to make this!5 stars