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This teriyaki chicken marinade is quick and delicious, with just 6 ingredients! Make a batch tonight and use it for grilled or baked chicken.
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This Teriyaki Chicken Marinade is one of my favorite chicken marinades. It is perfectly sweet, salty, and savory. It works great for chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Sometimes we even make a teriyaki salmon with it. Plus, use my trick of boiling the marinade after you marinate the chicken to make a delicious sauce!
Teriyaki Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- Soy Sauce – you can use regular or low sodium soy sauce. For a gluten-free alternative, use tamari or coconut aminos.
- Brown Sugar – you can also use half brown sugar half honey.
- Water – for a tropical twist, use pineapple juice instead of water.
- Worcestershire Sauce – just a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce gives this marinade a little zing. You can also use rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, mirin, or even a little sake!
- Fresh Ginger
Cooking Teriyaki Chicken and Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Our favorite way to cook teriyaki chicken is on the grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat and grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. You can also cook it in the oven. Add the chicken and half of the marinade to a baking dish. Bake at 425 for 50 minutes, brushing the marinade from the pan onto the chicken every 10 minutes. To make the the homemade teriyaki sauce, place the remaining marinade into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then simmer for 10 minutes, whisking frequently. Don’t skimp on the simmer time – it is important to cook off any bacteria from the raw chicken. For a thicker sauce, mix a few tablespoons of cornstarch with water to create a slurry. Then add to the sauce and stir until it thickens.
What to Serve with Teriyaki Chicken
The most common way we serve teriyaki chicken is on a bed of white rice or brown rice with steamed broccoli. We also top the bowl with chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and teriyaki sauce. Sometimes I slice the chicken into strips and make a stir fry with broccoli and carrots.
Frequently Asked Questions about Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
Between 6 and 24 hours is usually best. Less than 6 hours and the chicken won’t fully absorb the flavor. More than 24 hours and the marinade can start to break down the fibers of the chicken and mess up the texture.
Since the marinade is poured over raw chicken, you need to boil it in order for it to be safe to eat.
Teriyaki sauce is thicker and is used to flavor cooked chicken. Marinade is thinner and is used to flavor chicken before it is cooked.
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How to Make Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1.5 pounds chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour over chicken in a ziplock bag. Marinate for 6-24 hours.
- When you are ready to cook DO NOT DISCARD MARINADE. Grill chicken on medium high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- While chicken is grilling, add remaining marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve chicken as desired and top with warm sauce.
- Make sure to simmer the sauce for a full 10 minutes to kill any bacteria from the raw chicken.
- For a thicker sauce, mix a few tablespoons of cornstarch with water to create a slurry. Then, add to the sauce while it is simmering and stir until it thickens.
- Try this marinade on salmon for a delicious teriyaki salmon!
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