Sweet, salty, and sticky, teriyaki chicken is perfect for any weeknight dinner. The word teriyaki has Japanese origins and refers to grilled foods seasoned with soy sauce by way of a marinade or a basting or dipping sauce. Teriyaki as Americans know it has Japanese American roots and typically includes more sweetness from sugar or mirin, plus aromatics and occasionally fruit juice. For our homemade teriyaki sauce, we turn to fresh ginger, garlic, green onions (save the darkest parts for garnish!), soy sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar to achieve that beloved flavor with a touch of tang. (If you don’t have low-sodium soy sauce on hand, reduce the amount of regular soy sauce to ⅓ cup.)
Thinly slicing skinless, boneless chicken thighs or skinless chicken breasts against the grain results in tender meat that cooks in a flash. Plus, there’s no need for marinating in advance, cutting down on prep time: Just stir-fry the meat and set it aside, then pour the sauce ingredients into the pan to deglaze, making sure to scrape up every bit of flavor. Once the sauce thickens, the cooked chicken pieces return to the pan to get coated and warmed through.