This has to be one of the simplest and tastiest chicken dishes ever. Five minutes of prep plus ten minutes of cooking and you have a guaranteed dinner (or lunch or supper for that matter) winner on your hands.
You'll find teriyaki sauce on the shelves of most supermarkets these days but they tend too be oversweetened and the real thing is an absolute cinch to make yourself. What makes a good teriyaki sauce? In a word, balance. Yes, a teriyaki sauce should be sweet but it should also be a little salty and have a depth of umami flavour bubbling away under the surface. How to ahcieve this? Well, it's really very simple - just four ingredients, one and a half tablespoons of sugar plus two tablespoons each of soy sauce, mirin and cooking sake. A thorough mix and there you are, you've nailed it - a classic teriyaki sauce with all the flavour, richness and depth that you could want in no time at all.
Moving onto the chicken itself, you'll find a lot of teriyaki chicken recipes which use chicken thigh. Personally, I prefer to use chicken breast. I cut the breasts laterally into two thin fillets. This has the advantage of making the cooking time very short. Ah, you might be thinking, a chicken thigh would be more succulent but really you want the teriyaki sauce flavours going into the meat not the meat giving up its juices into the sauce. My hack to keep the chicken breast succulent is to dust the fillets on both sides with some plain flour. This keeps the moisture in the breast and out of the teriyaki sauce.
And that's your prep pretty much done. On to the cooking and things stay pretty simple. A tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium pan and then in with the chicken fillets. Fry for a couple of minutes, turn and fry again. Once the fillets have turned a little bit brown, in goes the teriyaki sauce. The chicken by this time is just about done so the focus turns to thickening the sauce and enriching the flavours. Ideally, you want to reduce the sauce by about half which should take about 3 - 4 minutes over medium - high heat. Keep moving the pan during this phase and turn the chicken fillets again to prevent them from overcooking and to maximise the absorbtion of the sauce flavours.
Once the sauce has thickened, you're ready to serve. I usually serve my teriyaki chicken on a big bed of salad. This works for lunch dinner or supper. For dinner, I often pair this with a serving of french fries - fries? Trust me, it just works...really! But that part is wholly up to you...
If you'd would like to try out my version of this classic Japanese dish, just click on Chicken Teriyaki for the Youtube tutorial or scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 2 servings)
2 chicken breasts
1.5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Japanese cooking sake or sake
2 tbsp plain flour for dusting
1 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
serve with a big green salad, fries or rice
first, make your teriyaki sauce by combining the add the sugar, mirin, cooking sake and soy sauce in a small bowl. mix thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved. set aside
cut each chicken breast laterally into two thin fillets
sprinkle the flour onto a plate, lightly coat the chicken with the flour, so that the chicken will retain some moisture while it's cooking
heat the vegetable oil in a medium/large frying pan. fry the chicken fillets for 2 minutes until lightly browned. turnand fry another 2 minutes with the pan lid on
pour the teriyaki sauce into the frying pan. continue to cook over a medium/high heat until the sauce has reduce by about half. this should take about 3 - 4 minutes. turn the fillets once or twice while the sauce is reducing
once the sauce has reduced and darkened, your dish is ready. serve with some salad, vegetables, fries or rice as you wish