Food: Teriyaki Chicken – Healthy, Quick, & Savory

Teriyaki is one of the dishes where I can just look at its appearance. It usually looks very appetizing and can tempt you to eat even if you are already full. Many believe Teriyaki to originally be from Japan and have some Hawaiian inspiration. There are many different methods of cooking teriyaki due to the different ingredients preferred for the caramelization of the sauce or the type of protein used. Fish fillets were popular in many Japanese restaurants and homes before its European influence. European influence on this Japanese cuisine led to the popularity of teriyaki chicken and beef.

            The Kabayaki method of teriyaki is used mainly with seafood such as eel. Kabayaki means ‘Bulrush grilled’ in Japanese. Shoyu, mirin, and sugar are the main seasonings for this method. Another popular Teriyaki cooking method is called Yakitori which literally means ‘grilled bird’ or skewer chicken. In this method the chicken is cut into pieces and arranged in skewers and then grilled over a machine or charcoal. But the seasonings are quite different in this method. It is a more modernized version, but still maintains the sweet taste by using brown sugar or any type of sweet component and soy sauce.

            My recipe is a just a bit different.  Instead of cutting the chicken into pieces I cut the chicken breasts in half and pan grilled them. It’s a quick, easy and savory week night dinner.


  • Soy Sauce = ¼ cup
  • Chicken = 3 Pieces of Chicken Breast cut into halves
  • Brown Sugar = 4 Tsp
  • Garlic = 4 cloves (it’s a lot, but I love the taste of garlic, you can use 2)
  • Ginger = 1 Tsp
  • Black or White Pepper = ½ Tsp
  • Ketchup = 2 Tsp (For a thicker base and a little sweet and sour taste)
  • Bell Peppers = 3 different colors – ½ to a ¼ of each
  • Habanero Pepper = 1 (Optional)
  • Parsley = 2 Tsp
  • Scallions = 4 to 5
  • Olive Oil = 2 Tbsp
  • Corn-Starch = ½ or 1 Tsp


  • Blend or grind the garlic gloves, ginger (if not power), black pepper and the habanero pepper
  • Mix the blended ingredients together with the soy sauce and brown sugar in a container
  • Use half of the marinade to marinate the cleaned chicken and let it sit for half an hour at least, but the longer it marinades the taster it is.
  • Put the marinated chicken in the freezer
  • Cut the bell peppers and put aside

Cooking Time = 25 – 35 minutes

  • Skillet pan for over stove grilling. Heat the oil on medium.  When hot, put the chicken in and let it grill for 5 to 8 minutes before turning to the other side (I covered it at first to make sure that the they are well cooked) for 2 minutes. Then removed it and let them caramelize to give them a beautiful and appealing appearance.
  • Making the Teriyaki Sauce – I put the leftover marinade in a pan and reduced the heat to low because of the sugar content to avoid a smokey house. Add the ½ tsp of corn-starch for more thickening or 1 tsp without the ketchup.
  • I mixed the corn-starch in a sperate bowl with water first to avoid lumps in the sauce.
  • Then let it simmer until caramelized or darkened to your preference and add the vegetables at this moment. Continue for 2 to 5 minutes depending on how you want your vegetables.

Served over rice – rice and peas with 2 tbsp of oil olive

Food For Thought

  • Life is full of sweet and salty moments. Both add flavor and taste to our foods and lives but can also make foods and lives unappealing and cause health issues if in excessive.
  • “One can choose to move back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” (Abraham Maslow)


I am a food lover, and cooking is therapeutic for me; it relaxes me and transports me to a quieter universe away from the noisy, busy modern world. I am a Counseling Mental Health & Wellness graduate student, wife, and stepmother. I love connecting with people from different cultural backgrounds through food, fashion, wisdom, and lifestyle in general. To be continued because I am still in the process of discovering who I am as I continue this journey called life. I promise to keep you all posted in the meantime.

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