There are many different teriyaki recipes out there, all of which call for soy sauce with sugar and mirin. The mirin is key to making the teriyaki sauce glossy, although depending on how much sugar you put into the sauce it can end up pretty glossy. In keeping with the healthy theme, I decided on a chicken breast for the teriyaki. I usually shy away from white meat when it comes to teriyaki because I think dark meat is tastier and stays moist, whether it’s in a frying pan or a grill, but I wanted to be able to come up with a good recipe for cooking the chicken breast without burning the teriyaki sauce. In fact, in Japan, most people prefer dark meat over white meat. White meat is the cheap meat and dark meat is the expensive meat. I thought the store made a mistake when I first compared prices because I was so used to chicken breast being more expensive in the United States. I called my mom from the store and she confirmed that dark meat is the more coveted meat. Can meat be coveted? What about a meat dress? Uhhh…so anyway
On to the recipe. I tried this recipe a number of ways, especially testing for the best cooking technique and I found that the best way to cook teriyaki chicken breast is the same as you would treat a regular chicken breast. All you have to do is sear it and then finish it off in the oven. That way, you get a nice sear without burning the soy sauce and the chicken stays juicy and moist inside. I know that sounds funny but I was convinced that you could just add water to the pan, cover it and let it steam. This method was the fastest and easiest but the chicken ended up a little overcooked. I just realized another reason why dark meat is great, it’s less finicky and there’s no need to finish it off in the oven…but I must remember that we’re focusing on health…BUT I might add that when cooked perfectly, white meat is wonderful and tasty.
Ingredients (Servings 2)
2 medium chicken breast (approx. 200 grams each)
1/2 tsp. grated garlic
1.2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Mirin
1 tbsp sake
1.5 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
1) Add the grated garlic and ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, nutmeg and sesame seed oil into a bowl and mix well.
2) Add the chicken to the marinade and marinate for about 15-20 minutes. Marinating overnight will make white meat really tough. If you use dark meat, you can marinate for longer but it will still toughen up depending on how long you marinate it.
3) Sear the chicken in a frying pan until the chicken has a beautiful color on both sides. Fight the urge to flip the chicken numerous times. You should only flip the chicken once.
4) While the chicken is cooking, reduce the marinade by slowly simmering it. Keep an eye on it because it can over boil and burn easily. Burnt soy sauce has a bitter and icky taste.
5) Once the chicken is seared, put the chicken in a preheated oven at 400F for 8 minutes.
6) Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.
7) Plate and serve with the teriyaki sauce over the chicken.