20 Minute Teriyaki Chicken
An easy 20-minute Teriyaki Chicken recipe that the whole family will love. This recipe reminds me of the addicting foodcourt teriyaki. It has simple ingredients and is great for meal prepping or a quick dinner!
Homemade teriyaki loaded with tender chicken, a sweet-sticky-salty-umami-laden sauce, and al dente broccoli florets. All served on a bed of fluffy, aromatic rice.
The same teriyaki chicken that takes twenty minutes to make from start to finish and requires simple, mostly pantry staple ingredients? Yes, please!
Growing up, a trip to the mall was never complete without stopping at the Japanese restaurant at the food court for a quick shrimp teriyaki bowl. It usually comes with steamed rice, cabbage mix, sautéed on the flat top, and of course, tender protein covered in teriyaki sauce. Though I hardly ever eat it anymore, it does bring back tons of memories from working at the mall back when I was in college.
So after years of consuming that stuff, I wanted to come up with a recipe that reminded me of the flavors of said mall teriyaki but one that I could put together on a weeknight with minimal effort for dinner. This one not only fits that bill, but it’s also easy enough for almost anyone to do.
Seriously. It’s practically effortless.
What you need to make 20 minute teriyaki chicken:
- Boneless chicken: you can use chicken breasts, tenders, or even thighs for this recipe. Just be sure to chop them up into 1-inch pieces
- Baking soda: Baking soda acts as a natural tenderizer in this recipe. It is my secret ingredient for take-out recipes as it gives the chicken a tender texture even if you marinate it for just a few minutes.
- Seasonings: we’re using salt, white pepper, and some garlic powder for seasoning the chicken
- Broccoli florets: I used fresh broccoli florets from the grocery store, but you could also use frozen broccoli here. Just be sure to steam the broccoli lightly before adding it to the recipe. You want it to remain crisp but not raw.
- Low sodium soy sauce: the soy sauce is the base for the sauce. Make sure you do not use regular soy sauce as it would be way too salty for this recipe.
- minced garlic + ginger: the aromatics lend tons of flavor to the overall recipe
- Rice vinegar: the vinegar helps balance out the salty and sweet notes in teriyaki chicken.
- Dark brown sugar: I recommend using dark brown sugar as the molasses in brown sugar gives it a deeper, more rich flavor. If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can also use light brown sugar for this recipe.
- Cornstarch: is used as a thickener for the sauce
- Toasted sesame oil: the toasted sesame oil adds a sweet, nutty flavor
How to make teriyaki chicken from scratch:
- Marinate the chicken. In a bowl, combine the salt, white pepper, garlic powder, and baking soda. Add a tablespoon of water to help make the seasonings into a marinade. Then, add the chicken and toss. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 5 minutes, and if you can allow 30 minutes, that even better; however, that is entirely optional.
- Make the sauce. Now, make the sauce. You need to add all the sauce ingredients to a mason jar, or you could even do it in a bowl with a whisk. Add two tablespoons of cold water to the sauce to help dissolve the cornstarch, cover and just shake the jar.
- Make chicken teriyaki. Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet and allow for it to get very hot but not smoking. Then, stir fry the chicken until it browns evenly on all sides and is almost cooked through. Then, add the steamed broccoli and toss everything in the sauce. Allow the chicken to cook all the way through and for the sauce to thicken. Then, just top with scallion or toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately!
Can I use other veggies instead of broccoli?
You can leave out the broccoli entirely if you wish, or you could add lightly sautéed mushrooms. You’ll want to sauté them ahead of time in the pan and remove before you cook the chicken and add them back later. You could even just sauté a bag of shredded cabbage mix and serve that on the side!
How long does leftover chicken teriyaki last?
Okay, so here’s the thing: leftover teriyaki chicken was even better than the day I made it! So I love making a big batch and having it to eat throughout the week. You can store leftovers for up to 4 days, but I do think it tastes best on days 1-3.
Other take out dishes to try at home:
- 15 Minute Fried Rice
- Garlic Noodles (they would be delicious alongside this recipe)
- Sweet and Tangy Thai Cucumber Salad
- Instant Pot Korean beef Bowls
- The Best Pepper Steak Stir Fry
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Weeknight Dan Dan Noodles
- Cashew Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs or tenders), cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon EACH: kosher salt AND baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: white pepper AND garlic powder
- 12 ounces broccoli florets (steamed or blanched)
- Oil, for cooking
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons EACH: rice vinegar AND dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 2 teaspoons EACH: grated ginger, cornstarch, AND toasted sesame oil
- Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- MARINATE: Add the kosher salt, white pepper, garlic powder, baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of water to a medium bowl. Stir in the chicken and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 5 minutes (if you have 30 minutes, that would be even better!)
- TERIYAKI SAUCE: In a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, dark brown sugar, ginger, cornstarch, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes (if using), and 2 tablespoons of water. Cap the jar and shake until combined.
- CHICKEN TERIYAKI: Heat a generous tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken stirring occasionally so that it browns evenly on all sides. Add in the steamed broccoli. Pour in the sauce and allow to cook for a minute or so until it thickens, stirring occasionally so the sauce does not stick to the pan. Top with sliced green onions, or sesame seeds as desired. Serve with freshly made steamed rice and additional sautéed veggies.