Chicken Teriyaki

Teriyaki is a lovely Japanese grilling glaze, but it is sticky because of the sake and mirin – dry and sweet rice wines-and burns easily. It is therefore important to start grilling the meat with nothing on it but salt and pepper, before brushing with the glaze. Both sake and mirin can be bought from Oriental markets. One of the nicest things to grill teriyaki-style is chicken.


  • 675 g/ lb mixed skinless and boneless chicken thigh and breast meat
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp sake
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 3-cm / -inch piece of ginger, peeled, chopped and cut into tiny dice
  • 8 spring onions, cut across into quarters
  • sunflower oil for brushing
  • salt and pepper


The day before, start by boning out the thighs, then cut the thigh and breast meat into rectangles about 3 × 2 cm / 1¼ × ¾ inch in size. Put into a zip-lock bag with the lemon juice, soy sauce, sake and mirin. Shake well to coat and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, pour the marinade into a pan. Add the ginger and bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool, strain through a sieve to remove the ginger.

Wipe the chicken with a damp cloth and thread on 8 wooden satay skewers which have been soaked in water (to prevent burning), putting a quarter of a spring onion between each piece.

Preheat a grill or barbecue. Brush the chicken with a little sunflower oil and season with salt and pepper. Put to cook 15 cm / 6 inches away from the heat. Brush on the marinade after 2 minutes and turn. Brush the other side and turn back after a further 2 minutes. Repeat, giving them a total of 6 minutes each side. They should be a burnished mahogany colour outside and cooked all the way through, but still moist and tender within.

Serve with steamed fragrant rice.