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Teriyaki Chicken (with easy homemade teriyaki sauce and cucumber pickles)

  Posted in: recipes

Happy wednesday everyone,

Today I give you: teriyaki chicken! ^.^ Most people will probably have eaten some form of teriyaki chicken in their life, maybe you even made some teriyaki chicken or stir-fry yourself, however, have you ever made your own sauce? If you haven't, please try this recipe. Homemade teriyaki sauce is so simple and it tastes ten times better than the bottled stuff, I promise!

I used to study Japanese (I actually have a BA degree), and a lot of my favourite recipes come from the time I studied in Nagasaki. Dining out doesn't have to be expensive in Japan, but I also loved cooking my own food, and saving some money at the same time. Honestly, most of that money went to Starbucks dates with my friends, cause the Japanese Starbucks specials are simply the best (Sakura Latte <3), but back to the food haha. I've been cooking since I was about 9 years old, but now I got to try new cooking techniques, experience new ingredients and flavours and I got to realise that cooking and everything foodrelated really makes me happy. As an added bonus, I could share my happiness (and food) with others. A lot of the recipes I now make regularly, recipes that have become favourites in this house, I learned or encountered during my time abroad.

I love making this dish for friends and family. It is hearthy, salty, crispy, sweet and fresh at the same time. To me, this is something I consider comfort food. A few weeks ago I made this dish for my lovely friend Roxy when she came over to help me with my logo. I absolutely love the little cat, the coffee cup and the onigiri she drew for me. I think they are so cute.. me in a few doodles :). Afterwards, she said she totally loved this teriyaki chicken and was looking out for the recipe. Therefore, I decided that this teriyaki chicken deserves to be one of my very first posts as a dedication to Roxy and to thank her again and again for her help.

Teriyaki Chicken (with easy homemade teriyaki sauce)

makes enough for 3-4 people


  • 4 large boneless chicken thighs with skin on (see notes for alternatives)
  • 3 spring onions
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

cucumber pickle

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

teriyaki sauce

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) sake (cooking wine)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) mirin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • optional: two tsp cornstarch mixed with 2-3 tbsp cold water


  1. Mix up the pickling juice in a bowl by combining the vinegar, salt and sugar. Add the thinly sliced cucumber and stir well to evenly coat the cucumber slices. Leave to rest (preferably in the fridge) for at least half an hour.
  2. For the teriyaki sauce, combine soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and add the cornstarch mixture while stirring. Leave the sauce to simmer for 3-4 minutes until the required thickness. The sauce should be glossy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour into a serving mug or set the pan aside for later.
  3. Rub a little bit of oil on the surface of your skillet with a tissue; this to prevent the chicken from sticking. You don't need a lot of oil, for the chicken skin will render enough fat. Heat your skillet on medium heat. Pat dry your chicken thighs and season the skin side with a generous amount of black pepper and a little bit of salt. Then put the thighs skin down in the skillet and brown and crisp up the skin for 5-6 minutes. Refrain from lifting your thighs too much as this will lead to a less crispy skin. While the skin is crisping up, thinly slice long strips of spring onion. After 5-6 minutes, when the skin is golden brown, flip the chicken thighs and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and leave to rest skin up for a few minutes.
  4. After a few minutes, slice the thighs into strips, sprinkle with the spring onion and serve with some fluffy rice, the cucumber pickle and the homemade teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!


  • A good way to check if your sauce has the required thickness is to see if the sauce coats the back of a spoon nicely. Dip your spoon into the sauce and look at the back. Trace a line with your finger across the back. If the sauce stays fairly put on each side of the line, your sauce is thick enough and not too runny.
  • You can skip the step using the cornstarch. Your sauce won't be as thick and glossy, but delicious nonetheless. Just bring the first 4 ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat and let the sauce reduce and thicken for 4-5 minutes.
  • I personally love the crispy chicken skin, I think it adds an extra dimension to this dish, but, of course, you could make this recipe with skinless chicken thighs as well. Thighs with the skin on are not usually sold in Dutch supermarkets, but most poulterers and butchers will make them for you.
  • The teriyaki sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week and can easily be re-heated in the pan or microwave.
tags:   Lunch, Dinner, Chicken, Rice, Asian