This quick, easy teriyaki chicken recipe builds flavor with a simple 10-minute marinade, then drenched in homemade teriyaki sauce, so sweet and spicy.
Coming at you with another super quick and easy recipe, my friends. I know you have crazy-busy days, and on days like those, you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
That doesn't mean you want to just kick it all off and order a pizza, or swing through the fast food drive through. Nope. 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. I love homemade teriyaki chicken because it cooks up fast, is huge on flavor, and it's completely customizable so you can make it as spicy as you prefer.
The recipe is comprised of 3 simple components: The Marinade, the Teriyaki Sauce, and the Cooking.
So let's get it going, shall we? Let's talk about how to make Teriyaki chicken.
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 Chicken Ingredients
- FOR THE TERIYAKI MARINADE & TERIYAKI SAUCE
- Soy Sauce. Low sodium soy sauce is good if you'd to use it.
- Sweet Factor. Brown Sugar and honey.
- Chili Flakes. Optional, for a nice spice factor.
- Sesame Oil.
- White Vinegar. Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar are great choices, too.
- Cornstarch. Optional, if you'd like to thicken the teriyaki sauce.
- FOR THE TERIYAKI CHICKEN
- Vegetables. Jalapeno, green onion, garlic, ginger.
- Chicken Breast. Skinless and boneless. You can also use chicken thighs.
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken - the Recipe Method
Make the Teriyaki Marinade. First, whisk together the following in a large bowl - soy sauce, brown sugar, chili flakes, honey, sesame oil, and white vinegar.
Check out my teriyaki marinade recipe post for further discussion and ways you can vary it up.
Marinate the Chicken. 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.
Submerge the chicken completely in the marinade in a bowl and cover, or seal it with the marinade in a plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 to 20 minutes until ready to cook. If you want more flavor penetration, marinate for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Sometimes I added fresh chopped peppers, garlic and ginger to the bowl for extra flavor.
Cook the Peppers. Heat oil in a large pan or wok to medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook 4-5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and minced ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Cook the Chicken. Add the chicken, reserving the marinade, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring a bit, until the chicken is cooked through.
Teriyaki Sauce. Pour the Teriyaki marinade over the cooked teriyaki chicken, which will become your sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
NOTE: For a thicker sauce, swirl in a slurry of 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons water, then simmer to thicken.
Serve Up Your Teriyaki Chicken! Garnish with fresh herbs and chili flakes. Top with some sesame seeds! Serve over white rice, if desired, or enjoy it on its own. Brown rice is good, too.
Or, make a stir fry with steamed broccoli and other veggies, or make a teriyaki chicken bowl with lots of veggies and rice!
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. I hope your family loves this recipe as much as I do.
Recipe Tips & Notes
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.
The Chicken. 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. You might also love my Teriyaki Salmon Recipe!
If you enjoy cooking Chinese or other Asian cuisine, I recommend these books for a lot of easy and iconic recipes. I've learning a lot from them and have been inspired to make many spicy dishes.
- 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes - by Chef Jet Tila
- Easy Chinese Cookbook, Restaurant Favorites Made Simple, by Chris Toy
- Essential Wok Cookbook, by Naomi Imatome-Yum
Try Some of These Popular Chinese Recipes
Try Some of My Other Popular Chicken Dishes
- Honey-Sriracha Chicken
- Grilled Harissa Chicken Legs
- Chicken Vindaloo
- Chicken Enchiladas Verdes with Cheese
- Quick and Easy Chipotle Chicken
- The Juiciest Shredded Chicken
- Korean Chicken
- Korean Fried Chicken
- BBQ Chicken Marinade
- Chicken Satay
- Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
- Chicken Adobo
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
- 1 pound chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can use chicken thighs as well)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
FOR THE TERIYAKI MARINADE & SAUCE
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons mirin or use white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey optional for extra sweet
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes omit if you don't want extra spicy
- 1 teaspoons sesame oil
- Fresh chopped herbs, sesame seeds, spicy chili flakes for serving
- Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Submerge your chicken completely in the marinade in a bowl and cover, 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-high heat. Add the peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
- Add the chicken, reserving the marinade, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring a bit, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
- Serve over rice, if desired, or enjoy it on its own. Garnish with fresh herbs, sesame seeds and chili flakes.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 2/11/22 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 6/17/2019.