Ethnic Splurges, On The Grill

The Perfect Teriyaki Sauce

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I love chicken breasts. They are so versatile and affordable so I cook with them at every possible opportunity. One thing I love to make, and the kids all approve of, is teriyaki chicken. We often used a store bought marinade, but after awhile the taste just was not right. I wanted a more naturally tasting teriyaki flavor. For many years I have played around with ingredients and have FINALLY found the right mix for the Perfect Teriyaki Sauce.

It has just the right combination of tangy and yet sweet, along with a nice hint of ginger.

You can use this for chicken or beef. In fact, we plan on making some teriyaki beef next week. However, for the sake of this blog post we decided to make Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs. (I will post an alternate way to cook this if you don’t want to make kebabs). It is best to make this mid day so that the meat has time to marinate and really absorb all of that yummy goodness.

I start with a large saucepan or deep skillet. To this I add everything needed for the sauce: soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, corn starch, ginger & garlic powder, pepper, blended pineapple, and sesame oil. This all gets whisked together and simmered for about 15 minutes to allow the brown sugar to melt in and slightly thicken. The sauce won’t be very thick, but it will have a slightly more thick consistency. 

During this time I cube the chicken breasts as well as the rest of the fresh pineapple. The pineapple gets set aside for the kebabs (or veggie stir fry). When the sauce is ready it goes into the fridge for 15 minutes to cool. After, pour sauce over the chicken until it is all coated and mixed into the cubes. Allow marinade for a minimum of 1 hour. Of course, the longer the better!

Teriyaki Sauce

The rest of the sauce is saved for extra sauces on the side, brushing the kebabs, and the veggie side dish. It is at this time that I soak the kebab sticks in water to avoid them burning up on the grill.

On to the kebabs

This is my favorite part. Any type of food that involves getting your hands dirty means it is going to be delicious! To prepare everything, I halve the mushrooms, cut up an onion, gather those pineapple chunks, and cut carrots into 1/2 inch circles. The carrots get cooked in boiling water for 2 minutes to allow them to soften just enough for the kebab stock to pass through.

You can then assemble the kebabs in any order you wish. Typically I keep 4 pieces of chicken per stick. I feel like this allows the perfect amount of vegetables to be added. There will be sauce left in the bowl that had the chicken so you can brush this over the kebabs- why waste it right? 

You will most likely have left over veggies as well. These will make the perfect side dish. Simply chop up some broccoli to go along with the leftovers. In a skillet, add 1 TBSP of butter and 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. When the butter has melted throw in all of the vegetables and saute until they are the desired softness. We like our broccoli a little crunchy so I only saute this for 7 minutes on medium/high.

Teriyaki Chicken

Grillin’ time

We grilled these kebabs over an open fire made from juniper wood. However you choose to grill them will depend on what you use. Typically we opt for charcoal and they taste delicious! We turn them often and brush them with some of the left over teriyaki sauce as we go. Still, we save some of the sauce to be served with dinner. Your kebabs should come out of the grill sticky and full of flavor!

Teriyaki Sauce ON Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs

Another cooking option

When I cook this dish on the stove, the steps are slightly different. First off, I cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. They get marinaded the same way as the cubed meat described above. To cook, I simply heat a deep skillet and then add in all of the chicken and juices that were marinading. This is cooked until the chicken is done. All of the vegetable stir fry are cooked in a second skillet in 2 TBSP of butter and 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce.

Other vegetables

Some other vegetables we will add if we have them on hand are red bell peppers, green zucchini, bean sprouts, and sugar snap peas. Some of these can be added to a kebab while others will have to be added to the vegetable stir fry side dish.

Chicken Kebabs

This is all paired perfectly on top of a bed of rice!

Teriyaki Chicken

The Perfect Teriyaki Sauce

This sauce is sweet & tangy. The perfect balance without the over powering flavor of the vinegar. Pairs wonderful with many types of meat.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword teriyaki
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • Choice of Meat
  • 2 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 C Soy Sauce Low Sodium
  • 3/4 C Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 C Pineapple Blended
  • Vegetables for Stir Fry
  • Rice for Serving


  1. Slice meat as desired- set aside.

  2. Combine all sauce ingredients into a large saucepan. (except stir fry veggies, rice, and meat)

  3. Whisk & Simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. Cool sauce in fridge for 15 minutes.

  5. Pour enough sauce over meat & marinade for at least 1 hour.

  6. Save the rest for: extra sauce on the side, brushing over grilled meat, stir fry veggies.

  7. Cook as desired- grilled, baked, or in a skillet.

  8. Serve with a side of vegetables over a bed of rice.

Teriyaki Sauce

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