I call this a “westernized” recipe because I have watched my mother make real teriyaki sauce before and the ingredients list looked NOTHING like this. However, we’ll do that recipe (which is equally easy, but requires a pantry with more Asian ingredients than I have at the moment) some other day, if only for the sake of comparison. The version I give you now is fairly good at achieving something similar-looking to classic teriyaki (which by definition just means “stuff to make your grilled meat shiny” anyway) and is made from stuff that’s easier to pick up at any old supermarket. It also has a sweeter taste that appeals to kids and people who are used to eating Asian cuisine from fast food courts at the mall 😉 Hey, I joke. Mostly.
Used the AR Baked Teriyaki Chicken recipe with a few slight tweaks.
The cast of characters: corn starch, white sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, minced garlic, ground ginger, ground black pepper, and chicken.
Over low heat, stir together 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 1 tablespoon of cold water. The starch thickens the sauce to a gooey, sticky texture.
Stir in 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of soy sauce. I would suggest light soy sauce for this just so the extra salt in there doesn’t overpower the taste. Also, using the full amount of sugar *will* result in a rather sweet sauce, so if you’re not into sweet stuff as much, feel free to cut it in half.
Stir in 1/4 cup of cider vinegar, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground of black pepper. As always, I prefer using reconstituted dried minced garlic because it’s less messy – 1/4 teaspoon of that is the same as one clove of fresh garlic. The cider vinegar here replaces the cooking wines normally used, I suspect. Ground ginger is much easier to use than fresh grated ginger, but I’m sure the fresh stuff would smell much better.
Stir it all together thoroughly, making sure to get out any lumps from the powdered ingredients. See how talented Keva is at stirring? *g* Keep going until the sauce is simmering.
Eventually, all that simmering and stirring will reduce the sauce. Keep stirring until it thickens and starts to bubble, like it is doing here. In the meantime, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. The original recipe calls for 425, but cooking it that high tends to result in a very dry chicken. The one time I tried it that way, the boy was horrified when he tried to re-heat it in the microwave and found it had dried to jerky. So let’s keep our chicken moist, eh?
Place your chicken pieces in a foil-lined dish that will accommodate all of them in one layer. I suggest foil because it makes cleaning up all that sticky sauce so much easier afterwards. I used 12 chicken tenders, but you can also use skinless thighs like the original recipe states. If you do go with larger pieces of chicken, though, I would suggest doubling the sauce recipe because this amount of sauce was just perfect for my smallish and thin pieces of chicken — it would never have covered the same number of whole thighs. Brush the chicken with sauce, turn over, and brush again. Cover your chicken with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, covered. Then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn the pieces over and baste with the glaze every 10 minutes, if you have the time. I’ve done this both with and without turning over the pieces and tending them — you will definitely get a much better looking glaze if you keep turning them over, but it’s just as edible (but not as pretty) if you just flip them over once when you’re taking off the covering foil.
And there you go, chicken! Serve over rice or in a sandwich, if you’re lazy 🙂