I've always loved trying new things, especially from another culture. When I've had enough of Western food selections, it is fun experimenting with Asian food, like Japanese, Korean, Indian and Chinese.
Apart from their popular raw foods, Japanese cuisine is uniquely sweet and sumptuous. Whenever I eat at a Japanese restaurant, my personal pick is the Sarku Japan Chicken Teriyaki.
So, I decided to cut out the hassle of going out and to try to cook it at home instead (I also have those bad weather lazy days, you know). And besides, it gives me full control over the amount of ingredients that I use.
Feel free to change any amount of the ingredients that you desire, which will depend on the number of people you are going to serve!
Before you start, here are the things you need to prepare:
1/2 lb. raw boneless, skinless, chicken thighs.
(Note: I prefer the thighs because I believe they have more meat than legs or wings).
- For the sauce
- For the marinade
- 1 cup of chicken broth.
- 1/2 tbsp. of dark/gluten-free soy sauce.
- 1 garlic clove.
- 1 1/2 tbsp. of water.
- 2 slices of ginger.
- 1/2 tbsp. of tapioca starch.
- 2 tbsp. of brown sugar.
(Note: This provides a contrasting taste to the soy sauce, which is why chicken teriyaki is sweet and salty at the same time).
- 1/3 tsp. of baking soda.
(Note: It may sound weird, but this helps to tenderize the meat more! Don't worry, it won't affect the taste at all).
- 1/2 tbsp. Shaoxing wine.
(Note: Shaoxing is made from China. It may sound like an ingredient that's as rare as a diamond, but you can actually buy it at any Asian market store near you).
- 1 tbsp. of soy sauce.
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
- 1/4 tbsp. of tapioca starch.
So let's get our hands working!
- First of all, let the boneless, skinless chicken thighs dry. If you want other chicken parts, it's up to you. I prefer the thighs because they are more juicier and meatier.
- Next, cut them into smaller pieces that are half the size of a matchbox (or about 1-inch by 1-inch). The smaller the pieces are, the shorter cooking time.
- Mix the sliced chicken, baking soda, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and tapioca starch in a large bowl.
- Combine them well together and then leave them in the fridge for at least 24- 48 hours. Yes, patience is a virtue. You need to soak the chicken this long, so they'll end up being tender and tasty, just as you like!
- Meanwhile, in a separate sauce pot, pour the reduced chicken broth, chopped garlic cloves, and ginger. Heat until boiling, then let it simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- Incorporate brown sugar and dark soy sauce. It's up to you on how much amount you add.
- In a separate small bowl, mix tapioca starch with cold water. Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce pot where the broth was mixed. Mix them well until they thicken. You can prepare this ahead of time if you want.
Mixing and Cooking
- Let the chicken cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Set a non-stick pan on high heat, then add a tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure that the olive oil is generously spread all over the pan before adding the chicken.
- Don't fill the pot too full of chicken pieces. All of them need to get a nice searing. Continue cooking until the chicken pieces turn white at the edges. Press the chicken bits from time to time using a spatula, which will give them a further sear.
- Flip the chicken pieces over once they have been seared. How long this takes depends on if you like your chicken to be crispy or not. You can always adjust according to your preference. It took me 3 minutes per side. Not bad, isn't it?
- Once it's cooked, turn the heat off. Get the sauce mixture you prepared a while ago and mix it with the chicken.
- Serve while hot! If you want, you can add some mixed fried vegetables as a side dish.
Voila! Our homemade Sarku Japan Chicken Teriyaki recipe! You don't have to go all the way to your nearest Japanese restaurant or a thousand miles around the globe just to experience Japan. Because you can now get to experience a Japanese kind of pleasure for your tastebuds in your own home. Arigato! Enjoy cooking!