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17 June 2019

This quick and easy teriyaki chicken recipe builds flavor with a simple 10-minute marinade, then is drenched in homemade teriyaki sauce. Cooks up in 10 minutes!

Coming at you with another super quick and easy recipe, my friends, because it’s been crazy busy around here. I know you have those crazy-busy days, and on days like those, you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

However! That doesn’t mean you want to just kick it all off and order a pizza, or swing through the fast food drive through. No! You want something healthier and homemade, something that satisfies that spicy craving, yet doesn’t take long to make.

This is the recipe! It checks all those boxes. I bring to you…

Sweet and Spicy Teriyaki Chicken.

Yes!

What I Love About this Chicken Teriyaki Recipe 

  1. It cooks up fast!
  2. It’s huge on flavor.
  3. It’s homemade.
  4. It’s customizable, so you can adjust it to your own heat and flavor preferences.

There are other reasons, but hey, I could go on forever. What’s not to love!

Recipe Breakdown

We can break this recipe down into 3 simple components:

  1. The Marinade
  2. The Teriyaki Sauce
  3. The Cooking

Teriyaki Marinade Recipe

The homemade teriyaki marinade is a simple mixture of ingredients you may already have on hand in your kitchen. Here is what you need to make it:

Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic (or use garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (or use powdered ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons chili flakes (omit if you don’t want extra spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional for extra sweet)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar (rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar are great choices, too)

Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients

Basically just whisk together the ingredients in a large bowl, then add your chicken to marinate. You only need 10 minutes to marinate the chicken, however, you can marinate for longer if you’d like.

Teriyaki Chicken marinating in a bowl

In fact, you’ll get more flavor penetration if you marinate for 2 hours. I like to whip this marinade together the night before cooking and marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator. Just be sure to cover it up with a lid or plastic wrap.

A good 8 hours will build in a lot of extra flavor, but 10 minutes is just fine.

Check out my teriyaki marinade recipe post for further discussion.

The Teriyaki Sauce – How to Make It

The homemade teriyaki sauce is made from the same ingredients as the teriyaki marinade. Using the marinade recipe, simply separate the marinade in half.

Marinate your chicken as described in the recipe with one half. With the other half, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer in a small pot.

Next, swirl together 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup water, then swirl it into the simmering sauce. Stir until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

The sauce will thicken up nicely and will add in a lot of flavor to the final dish. It pours right over the chicken.

Let’s put it all together, shall we?

How to Make Teriyaki Chicken – the Recipe Method

  1. First, whisk together the following in a large bowl – soy sauce, 1 cup water, brown sugar, jalapeno, green onions, minced garlic (or garlic powder), minced fresh ginger (or powdered ginger), chili flakes, honey, sesame oil, and white vinegar.
  2. Next, pour half of the marinade into a separate container and seal. Set it aside for now.
  3. For marinating, chop 1 pound of chicken breast or chicken thighs into bite sized pieces. You can marinate them whole if you’d like, though be sure to adjust your cooking times appropriately.
  4. Submerge the chicken completely in the marinade in a bowl, or seal it with the marinade in a plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes until ready to cook. If you want more flavor penetration, marinate for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 10 minutes, stirring a bit, until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, pour the reserved marinade into a small pot and heat to a simmer. Swirl together the cornstarch with ¼ water, then swirl it into the simmering sauce. Stir until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Pour the sauce over the cooked teriyaki chicken. Garnish with fresh herbs and chili flakes. Top with some sesame seeds!
  8. Serve over rice, if desired, or enjoy it on its own. 

BOOM! Done! Pretty easy, right? Overall, the recipe takes 30 minutes with marinating time. You can probably make it faster than I can if you’re quicker on prep.

Nice and fast. I love fast. I’m such a slow cook in the kitchen. I can’t help it.

Recipe Tips

  • Strain to Thin. If you’d like a thinner sauce for pouring over the finished chicken, strain it out first. You’ll still get much of the flavor.
  • Heat Factor. If you’re concerned about the spice and heat level, skip the spicy chili flakes. You can also core out the jalapeno pepper and remove the innards, or replace it with a milder pepper. Bell pepper is just fine for this recipe.

Recipe Notes and Variations

I’ve opted to chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces for ease of cooking, and to cut down on the overall cooking time. However, you can marinate the chicken breasts or chicken thighs whole and either bake it over grill it until it is cooked through. Then, pour the finished teriyaki sauce over them.

If you do this, I suggest poking some holes in the chicken with a knife to allow deeper penetration of the marinade into the chicken flesh.

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your quick and easy (and sweet and spicy!) teriyaki chicken. Great recipe here.

TRY SOME OF MY OTHER POPULAR CHICKEN DISHES

Teriyaki Chicken in a pan, ready to serve

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Sweet and Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

This quick and easy teriyaki chicken recipe builds flavor with a simple 10-minute marinade, then is drenched in homemade teriyaki sauce. Cooks up in 10 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: chicken, recipe, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 375kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can use chicken thighs as well)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chili flakes omit if you don't want extra spicy
  • 2 tablespoon honey optional for extra sweet
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar

FOR THE TERIYAKI SAUCE

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water

FOR SERVING

  • Cooked white rice fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes

Instructions

  • Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour half of the marinade into a separate container and seal. Set it aside for now.
  • For marinating, submerge your chicken completely in the marinade in a bowl, or seal it with the marinade in a plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes until ready to cook. If you want more flavor penetration, marinate for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 10 minutes, stirring a bit, until the chicken is cooked through.
  • While the chicken is cooking, pour the reserved marinade into a small pot and heat to a simmer. Swirl together the cornstarch with ¼ water, then swirl it into the simmering sauce. Stir until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the cooked teriyaki chicken. Garnish with fresh herbs and chili flakes.
  • Serve over rice, if desired, or enjoy it on its own.

Notes

You'll get GREAT flavor with this sauce based on the ingredients combination alone, but the heat factor is adjustable by the inclusion of chili flakes.
Use hotter peppers to really up that heat factor, or sprinkle in a spicy chili powder to your preference. You can lower the heat by skipping the chili flakes altogether.
Calories are estimated without rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 3451mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1315IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2.8mg
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