You’ll love this easy teriyaki chicken recipe that rivals your favorite teriyaki restaurants. The chicken is best when marinated for a while (we like to marinate overnight), but you can get away with a shorter marinating period if you’re short on time.

In our recipe, we’ve shared the ingredient amounts to make one batch of teriyaki sauce, which is perfect for 1 1/2 pounds of chicken. We highly recommend making a larger batch of sauce (it’s that good). You can find the instructions for a larger batch in our teriyaki sauce recipe (click here for the recipe). The recipe makes 2 cups, which provides enough sauce for two batches of chicken. The sauce stores for weeks in the fridge. If you make the larger quantity, you will need to use about 1 cup of the sauce for 1 1/2 pounds of chicken.
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6 medium thighs)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sake (Japanese rice wine), see notes for alternatives
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger, see notes



  1. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake, vinegar, and ginger in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Transfer about 6 tablespoons of the sauce to a resealable plastic bag or container and add the chicken. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once, for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
  2. Add the remaining sauce to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer and cook until the sauce reduces slightly and looks shiny; 3 to 5 minutes. If it reduces too much, add a bit of water to bring it back to a pourable consistency. Cool, and then save this in the refrigerator to use as a sauce for the cooked chicken.


  1. Position an oven rack towards the top of the oven, about 6-inches from the broiler. Heat the broiler to high.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil, and then arrange the chicken so that the side that would have had skin is facing down. Spoon a bit of the marinade that was with the chicken on top and discard the rest. Broil for 5 minutes. Stay close to the oven to keep an eye on the chicken as it cooks.
  3. Flip the chicken, and then if there are any juices or sauce pooling on the pan, spoon or brush it back onto the chicken. Doing this a few times during cooking helps to add a shiny, browned crust to the chicken. Alternatively, you can steal some of the sauce saved for serving to spoon or brush over the chicken. Broil another 5 to 10 minutes or until the outside of the chicken looks brown and caramelized and the inside is cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, reheat the sauce from earlier, adding a bit of water if it seems too thick. (This is the sauce that has not touched raw chicken, not the sauce used to marinate.)
  5. To serve, slice the chicken into strips, place onto plates and drizzle with the warmed sauce. Leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks (I like drizzling it over rice and vegetables)


  • Depending on your oven, broil times may differ. Keep an eye on the chicken, if it looks or smells like it is burning, move the sheet pan down a rack. If the chicken seems to be cooking slower than expected, continue to broil until cooked through.
  • For the ginger, we use a Microplane rasp grater, which helps the ginger to “melt” into the sauce. You can finely mince, but you will be left with bits of ginger in the sauce.
  • Substitute for Sake: We love the delicate flavor of sake for teriyaki sauce, but if you cannot find it there are some alternatives. Mirin is a sweeter version of sake. You can either swap it for the sake and leave the sugar amount as is or pull back on the amount of sugar slightly to accommodate the extra sweetness. Dry vermouth or dry sherry can also work as a substitute. As a last resort, you can leave it out altogether, but keep in mind that this will change the taste of the sauce dramatically (taste the sauce before using as you may find that without sake/mirin, you will need to adjust with additional vinegar or sugar).
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. You will likely have leftover sauce, so the actual nutritional data may be less.

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