Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sesame Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

There are many versions of Teriyaki sauce readily available at the grocery store and if I'm being honest, I have to admit that I do use them from time to time when I need to get dinner on the table quickly. However, when I'm not terribly busy, I love to make my own Teriyaki and it takes nearly no time to do, not to mention that it's cheaper in the long run. This recipe is specifically geared towards chicken served with white rice, which I find requires a bit more sauce than say fish or beef. Generally if I'm making fish for two to four people, I half this recipe, however when making beef, a stickier Teriyaki sauce is needed. What's great about this recipe is that you can whip up the sauce and keep it in the fridge, or even better, have the chicken marinating in the fridge all day - it will be ready to cook as soon as you're home from the office!

I use this recipe when I'm cooking for 2, however you could definitely get by with the same amount of sauce for 4 and it might actually stretch to 5 or 6 if you need it to. The recipe as follows is for 2 people, but if you have more to feed you need only add more chicken & rice.

Also, I don't have space at my home for an outdoor grill, however if you do, these skewers are perfect for the BBQ. I would suggest serving them alongside some grilled vegetables instead of rice in this instance and discarding the leftover sauce after removing the uncooked chicken for safety reasons.

The Recipe

8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
6 Tablespoons Honey
4 Tablespoons Mirin
10 Tablespoons water
2 chicken breast fillets or 1 package sliced or cubed chicken breast
White Rice (approximately 1 cup uncooked for 2 people)
Sesame Seeds (about a handful)


1. Combine the liquid ingredients in a small or medium saucepan, stirring before putting on high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl and stick in the refrigerator to cool.

2. Meanwhile, you have time if you are serving the dish right away to toast the Sesame Seeds. Of course if you are marinating for a long time or just preparing sauce to keep in the fridge, you don't need to do this step now, so skip ahead. But, if you're serving immediately, get a non-stick frying pan and toast approximately a handful of Sesame Seeds over high heat.

Lift and shake the pan gently to prevent the seeds from burning. 

As the seeds start to heat up, it may be necessary to stir them with a rubber spatula. Once they start releasing a nutty aroma, it's time to remove them from heat.

Put the seeds in a bowl and set aside.


3. Once the Teriyaki sauce has cooled slightly, remove it from the refrigerator and put the chicken into the bowl. This is a good time to soak your skewers in water - soaking them for about 10 minutes will prevent the wood from burning when you're ready to cook the chicken.

Return the bowl to the refrigerator to marinate for 20 to 30 minutes or longer if you prefer.

4. When the chicken has marinated to your liking, it's time to cook it. Meanwhile, cook your rice as per the instructions on the package. Normally about 1/2 cup or 100 grams per person is a good, hearty serving size. If you like, you can cook the chicken in the sauce stovetop, however I prefer to grill it (or broil it if you're in the US) and I find it easiest in this case to use skewers. If you have a grill pan, you can also do this stovetop.

5. Thread the chicken pieces on skewers any way you like. I generally put about 3 pieces on each, but it's up to you.

6. Put the chicken on a grill pan or baking sheet on the highest grill or broiler temperature. Cook for about 4 or 5 minutes on each side or until the fattest pieces of chicken are cooked through completely. Cut into a large piece to ensure they're cooked properly before removing from the oven or grill pan.

7. Meanwhile, put the rest of the sauce/marinade into a saucepan and boil on high heat until reduced to a sticky syrup. It's important to make sure you cook this well as it's been exposed to raw chicken. I recommend bringing it to a rolling boil on high heat, continuing to boil for 5 minutes and then at least an additional 5 minutes on medium-high heat.

8. Serve the chicken skewers on a bed of white rice and drizzle the syrupy Teriyaki sauce all over. If I'm after something quick and filling, I'll stop at this - it's very good! However, if I'm trying to be good and healthy, green beans are great on the side, or I'll add some edamame to the rice.

9. Finally, sprinkle the chicken & rice with the toasted Sesame Seeds to your liking and enjoy!

*It's important for your safety to cook chicken and anything that touches raw chicken properly. Make sure to test that chicken is fully cooked and to boil the sauce appropriately.

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