Spicy teriyaki chicken is a delicious and popular dish that has become a staple in many cuisines around the world. The dish is known for its unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours, combined with a spicy kick that leaves your taste buds wanting more. But, where did mouth-watering teriyaki sauce come from, and what makes it so special?
Teriyaki – a Japanese delight
Teriyaki sauce is a staple of Japanese cuisine. It’s been used for centuries as a marinade, basting sauce, and glaze for grilled or broiled meat, fish, or vegetables. The word “teriyaki” comes from the Japanese words “teri,” meaning lustre or shine, and “yaki,” meaning grill or broil. The traditional cooking technique involves grilling or broiling meat, or fish. The meat or fish is glazed in a sauce of soy sauce, sake, mirin (a sweet rice wine), and sugar. The resulting dish has a glossy, caramelized appearance that is both beautiful and delicious.
This recipe mixes things up a bit. Instead of grilling, the sauce is used as a marinade for chicken which is then stir fried. The remaining marinade is then reduced. I’ve also added chilli (hence ‘spicy teriyaki chicken’), and used honey instead of sugar.
For a more traditional recipe, use sugar, not honey, and leave out the chilli. Reduce the sauce before marinating the meat, then cook the meat on skewers under the grill, brushing regularly.
Origins of teriyaki
The origins of teriyaki sauce are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in the Edo period of Japan (1603-1868). During this time, street vendors would grill and sell skewered meats, brushed with a sweet and savoury sauce made from soy sauce and sugar. Over time, the recipe evolved to include other ingredients such as sake, mirin, ginger, garlic, and green onions, resulting in the teriyaki sauce we know and love today.
Spicy teriyaki chicken is a variation of the classic dish that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The addition of fresh chillies, chilli flakes, or hot sauce gives the dish an extra kick. This makes it perfect for those who love a little heat in their food. The spice works well with the sweet and savoury flavours of the teriyaki sauce. The end result is a complex and delicious flavour profile.
What to serve spicy teriyaki chicken with
When it comes to accompaniments, there are plenty of options that pair well with spicy teriyaki chicken. Some popular choices include steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, and noodles. For a healthier option, try serving the chicken with a side salad, or even with roasted vegetables. It works really well with this crunchy green bean, mangetout and garlic stir fry.
You can find all the required ingredients in any good oriental food shop. You’ll need mirin, rice vinegar, clear honey, sesame oil and a good quality, Japanese-style brewed soy sauce, such as Kikkoman.
Liven-up the traditional sauce a little by adding a chopped red chilli, and fresh ginger. Finish the dish off with spring onions (scallions) and a garnish of sesame seeds.
You can use this teriyaki sauce recipe in all sorts of dishes. It works really well with salmon, and with pork too. It also works well as a dipping sauce. Mix together the sauce ingredients (soy, mirin, honey, rice vinegar and sesame oil). Then, reduce by around half, until the teriyaki sauce is thick and glossy.
Spicy teriyaki chicken is a delicious and versatile dish. It has become a beloved staple in many cuisines around the world. The history and origins of teriyaki sauce are a testament to its enduring popularity. Its unique blend of sweet, savoury, and spicy flavours make it a favourite among food lovers everywhere.
Whether you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine or simply looking for a new and exciting dish to try, this spicy teriyaki chicken is definitely worth a taste.
Shared with: What’s cooking Wednesday #204
Spicy teriyaki chicken
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 600 g chicken thighs skinless, boneless and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp honey clear, runny honey
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 inch cube fresh ginger finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 red chilli chopped
- 1 spring onions large, chopped
- sesame seeds to garnish
- in a large mixing bowl, add the diced chicken thighs, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil and leave to marinate for 5 – 10 minutes
- heat your wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. When it’s nearly smoking, add the chicken thighs and fry them in batches, using a slotted spoon to drain as much of the marinade off as possible. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until browned all over and set aside
- when all the chicken pieces are cooked off, add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the wok and fry for 10 seconds
- pour the marinate sauce in and cook until reduced by half
- add the chicken thighs back into the wok, reduce the heat and stir well, reducing the sauce until it is thick, glossy and the thigh pieces are well-coated
- add most of the chopped spring onion and mix well
- pour the chicken thighs and sauce into a serving bowl, garnish with sesame seeds and the remaining spring onion and serve with boiled rice, noodles and/or a vegetable stir fry