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An Easy, Achievable Traditional Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki chicken bowl is probably one of the most famous chicken recipes out there and this is no surprise because it can easily be made in various kitchen equipment like instant pot, slow cooker, and regular stove.  you might have tried searching “teriyaki chicken bowl” only to drown in contradicting information on how to make an authentic teriyaki, so let me help you in uncovering the history of Teriyaki Chicken that will surely aid you in the making of the best teriyaki sauce. 

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Truth about Teriyaki

Teriyaki chicken (照り焼きチキン) is a combination of words Teri (照り) which is Japanese for shiny and Yaki (焼き) meaning grilled and together, it would translate to “shiny grilled chicken.” This is why you will notice authentic Japanese Teriyaki Chicken shows just a glaze from the teriyaki sauce instead of the famous saucy teriyaki dish we encounter in the US.

Teriyaki is famous for being a Japanese method of cooking which is cooking meat and fish in a mix of soy sauce and sugar. But before it was known as Teriyaki, it was called Amakarayaki (甘辛焼き), meaning sweet and salty grill and also Kanroni (甘露煮), which can mean candied (chestnuts); sweetened boiled fish in English.

A Teriyaki Chicken bowl has 3 basic ingredients: soy sauce (this is responsible for the dark color of teriyaki and there are lots of soy sauce brand but try to use Japanese soy sauce as much as possible); sugar (to make the best teriyaki sauce, you need its signature sweet and savory flavor and sugar is the one responsible for the sweet part and it is also what gives the glaze effect on the dish); sake (you need to add this not for the alcohol content but the amino acids from fermentation which gives the ultimate umami taste). If you have been on the search for the best teriyaki sauce, you might have encountered an article or recipe mentioning mirin, but that is extremely hard to find, even in Japan. Mirin is originally what adds the umami flavor with more sugar and less alcohol content and truly made for cooking. If you get to find one, use it instead of sake and of course, there are other substitutions for this, but they differ in taste and if you are looking to get as close to an authentic Japanese Teriyaki chicken bowl as possible, a quick run to an Asian store near you wouldn’t be such a bad idea. 

With teriyaki chicken bowl becoming a world-famous dish, there are a lot of variations and a lot of options to do it, but sometimes, it makes it a completely different dish. Some of us would add garlic, scallions and ginger to our cooking but you have to be careful and grate it, so it would not add a different zing to your teriyaki sauce. Another rookie mistake is using vinegar. This is normally suggested as a replacement to sake and though it does make your dish delicious, it is not gonna make the best teriyaki sauce but your dish will taste like Chicken Adobo which is Filipino food. Sesame seeds are great for garnish but never use sesame oil for cooking your teriyaki sauce, not only because it is expensive but it would make the taste very far from teriyaki. Starch and juices are also a no, no. Some people want to explore the “healthier side” and tend to replace sugar in their dishes, but the main thing that makes teriyaki sauce thicken is the proper caramelization of sugar so if you see that your sauce is not getting thick, you probably do not have the right measurements. 


Chicken Terayki Bowl
bowl of teriyaki chicken
bowl of teriyaki


It’s As Easy as T-R-Y-K!

Once you have all the ingredients for the best teriyaki sauce, mix the ingredients in a pan and wait for it to boil until thick. For your chicken, salt it first then grill it and before it is completely cooked, brush a glaze of your teriyaki sauce. Flip it repeatedly as necessary and reglaze until you get that glossy finish. 

That’s it! You are now free to use your extra sauce, not just in chicken but also in fish, pork, lamb or beef! It is a very versatile sauce and can be used in multiple types of meat and it is a perfect topping for rice and you can add some green veggies like broccoli or cauliflower on the side. It will give you a mouthful of freshness and goodness.

Teriyaki sauce can be made separately from the cooking of teriyaki chicken bowl. This means that you can make a batch and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months and now and then when you are craving for an Asian experience, you can simply pop it out of the freezer and glaze it in your preferred meat. Furthermore, you may simply order a Japanese-inspired Teriyaki Chicken bowl in Char’d Kitchen which is conveniently located in Mansfield, Fort Worth and Richardson. You can also visit our website at https://chardkitchen.com/menu/ to contact us for an order.


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