Recipe Update: 3/31/22
Learn how to make spicy chicken teriyaki served with sticky rice. With a homemade spicy teriyaki sauce this recipe bursts with flavor with just enough spice to keep you coming back for more!
This recipe is inspired from an Asian restaurant in Seattle, Washington. My family and I lived in Seattle for a little over a year and experienced some of the best cuisine around. They offered a spicy version of traditional Chicken Teriyaki, and I am certain I will eat it this way moving forward.
Traditional teriyaki sauce is sweet and sticky. To explain, it is made with a base sauce of soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. You may know teriyaki sauce mostly served with chicken and is one of the popular food items in every food court at your local mall!
Teriyaki stems from two words; teri meaning "shine" and yaki meaning "grill". To clarify, teriyaki is a cooking method used in Japanese cooking.
SPICY CHICKEN TERIYAKI
This recipe reigns true to traditional Chicken Teriyaki made with boneless skinless chicken thighs drenched in a rich sauce. With attention to the addition of spice, this recipe tastes just as good, if not better than any store-bought sauce!
In this recipe, chicken thighs are first quartered and chunked and stir fried until par cooked. Next, a quick marinade is prepared using ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red chilies, gochujang (hot pepper paste) and sesame oil. Finally, the chicken thighs are married with the homemade spicy teriyaki sauce cooked at high heat in a wok.
You only need a few ingredients to make this recipe. Pair spicy chicken teriyaki with sticky sushi rice or jasmine rice and add your favorite vegetables.
Here is what you will need:
- Chicken. Chicken thighs work best with this style recipe. Surely you can use chicken breasts but if you want to stay true to the traditional style, boneless skinless chicken thighs are the best way to go!
- Oil. Grapeseed or Avocado Oil works best.
- Soy Sauce. I tested this recipe with soy sauce and liquid aminos, use whatever you have on hand.
- Garlic. Fresh works best, simply mince the garlic.
- Ginger. Fresh is better again but use what you have on hand. In this recipe, I used ginger paste.
- Gochujang. This spicy paste holds so much flavor and can be found in any Asian market.
- White sugar. With the saltiness of the base ingredients, the sugar helps to balance the flavors.
- Brown sugar. Helps to enhance the flavors and provides as a thickening agent for the teriyaki sauce!
- Chili Peppers. This ingredient is optional but will add serious spice!
- Red Pepper Powder. There is serious spice in this recipe but satisfying and delicious.
- Rice Vinegar. As mentioned earlier, there is a slight tang to the sauce and the rice vinegar provides that flavor.
- Sesame Oil. Most Asian inspired dishes will require sesame oil, do not omit this ingredient.
TOPPINGS FOR SPICY CHICKEN TERIYAKI
- Sesame Seeds
- Green Onion
- Broccoli (or your favorite vegetable)
HELPFUL SUBSTITUIONS TO MAKE TERIYAKI SAUCE
As mentioned, you can find the listed items on most international aisles or any Asian market such as H-Mart. If you cannot locate some of the listed items, try these instead.
- Gochujang-Garlic Chili Sauce. Also, read here as this blog post has amazing substitutions for this ingredient!
- Chili Peppers- Cannot find the small red spicy peppers? Use red pepper flakes or even fresh jalapenos.
- Red Pepper Powder- Cayenne or ground red pepper works just fine!
- Rice Vinegar- This ingredient should be easy to find but use white wine or apple cider vinegar.
HOW TO MAKE SPICY CHICKEN TERIYAKI
PREP THE INGREDIENTS
First thing to remember when preparing this recipe is by prepping the ingredients, this recipe can come together in just under twenty minutes. At this instant, prep the chicken thighs by trimming any excess fat and chopping the chicken into bite sized pieces.
It is important to note, the chicken needs to be dry. Simply pat the thicken with paper towels or lay on a kitchen safe towel while the other ingredients are being prepped.
Now, chop the fresh garlic, ginger, red chilies and green onion. Set aside.
Finally, measure the remaining sauce ingredients, set aside and now it is time to prepare the spicy chicken teriyaki!
PREPARE AND COOK THE CHICKEN THIGHS
Place soy sauce, water, garlic paste, sugar, ginger, mirin (optional), sweet chili sauce, garlic chili sauce (optional) in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Consequently, there are two methods to preparing spicy chicken teriyaki. If you have the time to marinate, the chicken, follow the instructions below.
HOW TO MARINATE AND COOK SPICY CHICKEN TERIYAKI
Place chicken thighs in sauce and marinate for thirty minutes to one hour. In a medium size skillet, preferably a wok on high heat, add cooking oil and sear chicken thighs on high heat (being careful not to burn) turning every two to three minutes until browned and cooked through.
As chicken cooks, add one to two tablespoons of water to release charred bits, sauce will begin to thicken. Baste chicken thoroughly by using a spoon to coat chicken with sauce. Serve immediately for best results!
STEPS IF OMITTING MARINATING CHICKEN
If you are in a time crunch, you certainly do not have to marinate the chicken. Simply sear the chicken thigs on high heat in a wok. Add in the chopped garlic and red pepper powder and continue to stir.
Once the chicken thighs are almost cooked through, remove from the heat and set aside.
Now, pour the spicy teriyaki sauce into the hot wok and stir occasionally until sauce thickens. As sauce begins to thicken, place par cooked chicken thighs back into the wok with the sauce.
Finally, simmer the chicken thighs and sauce until cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened.
HOW TO SERVE SPICY CHICKEN TERIYAKI
It is important to note, you can serve this dish however you would like. Here are a few ideas on how to best serve this dish!
- Serve with sticky sushi rice, jasmine or basmati rice.
- Add your favorite green veggies for crunch.
- Pour extra sauce over the chicken thigh chunks and rice.
THE SAUCE IS THIN, HELP?
This step is optional but understandable if you are wanting a thicker sauce. Luckily, this is an easy fix.
Simply add one tablespoon of cornstarch or flour to small bowl. Next, add one to two tablespoons of water and stir until well combined.
Add this slurry to the sauce as it simmers and allow a few minutes for the sauce to thicken.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
This recipe is great for meal prep and will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Simply store the spicy chicken teriyaki with the chicken only (and sauce) in an airtight container.
If you have additional toppings such as the rice and veggies, store those separately.
To reheat, simply microwave for up to one minute until heated through. You can certainly reheat in a pan on low, allowing the sauce and chicken to warm until heated through!
Spicy Chicken Teriyaki
- 1 teaspoon Cooking Oil
- 2 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Spicy Teriyaki Marinade
- 1 cup Soy Sauce
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1.5 teaspoon Fresh Ginger or ginger paste
- 2 tablespoon Gochujang
- ½ cup White Sugar
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Red Chili Peppers
- 1 tablespoon Red Pepper Paste
- 2 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- ¼ cup Green Onion
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
How to Marinate and Cook Spicy Chicken Teriyaki
- Trim access fat from chicken thighs and set aside.
- Place seasonings and marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Adjust taste and spice to your liking.
- Place chicken thighs in sauce and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In a medium size skillet, preferably a wok on high heat, add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil.
- Sear chicken thighs on high heat (being careful not to burn) turning every 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- As chicken cooks, add leftover marinade to wok and continue to cook.
- Baste chicken thoroughly by using a spoon to coat chicken with sauce.
- Allow chicken to cook through thoroughly and allow sauce to thicken (see blog post for additional tips).
- Serve immediately for best results!
How to Cook without Marinating Spicy Chicken Teriyaki
- Place soy sauce, sugars, ginger, mirin, gochujang, sesame oil and rice vinegar in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Sear the chicken thigs on high heat in a wok or medium to large sized skillet.
- Add in chopped garlic, red pepper powder and stir.
- Once the chicken thighs are almost cooked through, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Now, pour the spicy teriyaki sauce into the hot wok and stir occasionally until sauce bubbles and thickens.
- As sauce begins to thicken, place par cooked chicken thighs back into the wok with the sauce.
- Finally, simmer the chicken thighs and sauce until cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened.
- Serve spicy chicken teriyaki with rice and green veggies.
- Top each plate with green onions, sesame seeds and additional sauce (if desired).
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