Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken

If you went to any Japanese-American festival, carnival or restaurant, for that matter, would Teriyaki Chicken be on the menu?

I think so!

Teriyaki chicken must be a Japanese-American dish. My Japan relatives say teriyaki chicken or teriyaki beef is not Japanese food, it is American food.

Funny, huh.

Teriyaki Chicken is on the menu today!

Today we're having it skewered with green onions (con cebolla, as we'd ask for it at the taco truck).

I remember first having it this way at my uncle & aunt's house in Fountain Valley for a Fourth of July party. I thought it was the tastiest thing I'd eaten, and had to go home and make it.

These are a bit of work, skewering the meat and onions, but they are always a hit at our house.

'Hope they'll be a hit at yours, too!

Here's what you'll need:

Chicken Thighs 
(yes, I said thighs)

Green Onions

Bamboo Skewers
(get the short ones)

Teriyaki Sauce

Okay. Do we need to talk about thighs vs. breasts in the chicken department? 

I can hear it now...'But honey, you're not going to like that. It's got FAT!' 

You can certainly use the breast. But it's gonna be dry. (I know someone who HATES dry chicken :) 

Tell 'em Sue!

(Sorry about the inside jokes... :)

About teriyaki sauce:

You can use the Yoshida Sauce that they have at Costco. Robert says it's really good and super simple. That container will probably last you the rest of your life. 

Just kidding. But it's Costco, right?
(They have small jars of Yoshida sauce at the grocery store, I'm sure.)

Or, you can use my neighbor Hiro's (yes, he lives next door!) Red Shell Teriyaki Sauce. It's good. (Have you tried his Miso Salad Dressing? It's the best!)

I like to put it on the table for those that like to put it on their rice (and you know who you are, Rick Godinez!).

Or, the next time Dick Koga makes his delicious teriyaki sauce by the vat at the Community Center, you can ask him for some.

Or, you can use my recipe:

Karolyn's Teriyaki Sauce

1 Cup Shoyu

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Mirin

1 Clove Garlic, smashed

1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated

(and here's my secret ingredient...)

1 Jalapeno
(peeled & seeded if you don't like the heat)

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until the sugar & jalapeno are dissolved. Store in the refrigerator.

You'd be surprised how it comes in handy, teriyaki sauce in the pantry.

(Doesn't that sound like a new FOODjimoto page? In The Pantry.
Things You Should Always Have On Hand.)

On to the prep.

Soak your bamboo skewers in water. That way they won't immediately burn up on the grill.

Cut the chicken thighs into pieces. Make them a little bigger than bite-sized--they will shrink.

Cut the green onions into about 2 inch pieces.

Skewer the chicken, alternating with a green onion.

If you are over 50, you might have this Tupperware.

(Wow, that's telling, isn't it! Let me change that.)

If you are over 20, you might have this Tupperware.

Drizzle a half-cup of the teriyaki sauce of your choice onto the chicken.

If you don't have time to do the skewering, marinate whole pieces of chicken, that works too.

With the lid on, flip the Tupperware a couple of times so the sauce is distributed evenly.

Marinate for about 20 minutes.

20 minutes won't give you a strong taste, just a nice, subtle flavor. For those that like a stronger shoyu taste, you can add more sauce at the table.

If you want to make Korean beef, add more garlic & ginger, a half teaspoon of sesame oil and marinate overnight.

Oil the grill and grill on medium heat. You want a nice sizzle when you put them down on the grill.

Or bake it in the oven. My cousin Reiko makes killer baked chicken teriyaki in the oven. She broils it for a couple of minutes at the end to give it a nice color.

It doesn't take long, about three minutes (or so) on each side with the lid on.

(See if you can find any volunteers to check to make sure it's done.)

And they're done!

Here! Have a bite.

For those of you that are going to ask, "Did YOU eat that?!"

(Love you, Kelly!)


I didn't eat that.

It looked and smelled so good.

This is what I ate.

Barley Brown Rice with Umeboshi, Grilled Peppers, Salted Cucumbers & Tofu

(Are there any fellow umeboshi lovers out there?)

A very simple meal.

That comes next week.


  1. Hiya, Karolyn!
    Yes, I will admit that I have that tupperware! And it's great!
    LeighAnn told me about this delicious blog that you and Karen are doing. I know I will be trying some of these recipes and also shopping at Nijiya more often!
    So did your neighbor have the Red Shell Restaurant on Nogales and Colima, too? We used to go there a LONG time ago and loved the miso dressing.
    Good eats, Karolyn and Karen!

  2. Thanks you, Karolyn. OK, so I made your teriyaki chicken, and the boys really enjoyed it. They are hoping you'll inspire me to cook.

    And I use to have the same Tupperware, except I had to throw it out because part of it melted when I placed it too close to the burner.

  3. here's a trick i learned from the xinjiang meat stick vendors: get a pair of those short stubby scissors like these:
    and use them to trim off all of the burnt parts of the meat and the burnt tips of the skewers as they're grilling and the flavor of the meat's not tarnished by the yucky charred parts.

  4. Yes, I am a umaboshi fan! When I have a stomach ache it is one of the foods I have. A bowl of hot rice with umaboshi, then pour hot tea over them and enjoy. I also keep smaller umaboshi with me in the car when I am driving long distances. The Japanese say it will help you stay awake.