Maybe Midwesterners have a reputation for bland food, but it’s totally not the truth. We love spicy food! This is not a Japanese teriyaki because I don’t usually have “sake” or “mirin” in the house. But there’s always Svedka vodka!
True teriyaki is made with equal amounts of mirin, sake, sugar, and soy sauce. And to be authentic, the meat should be grilled. Since the temperature only got into the single digits today, there’s no way I’m going outside to fire up the grill!
Teriyaki should be sweet and spicy, and carmelized on the meat. But it shouldn’t be a heavy sauce to pour over meat. This has just the right amount of sweet and heat, and none of the gross ingredients found in bottled teriyaki sauce.
I use a fine grater for the ginger. It becomes almost a paste, so there is no risk of biting into a chunk of ginger. Mix together the ginger and salt and pepper.
Coat the chicken thighs with this mixture. That’s right! Get in there, get your hands all messy, and rub it all over. Then cover and let the chicken stand for at least an hour.
Make the teriyaki with soy sauce, vodka (or sake, if you have it), honey, sugar, garlic, and a little oil. Allow that to stand for an hour so the flavours can mingle.
Heat a large skillet and add some oil. Fry the chicken in batches, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Plan on about 4 minutes per side to get a nice colour. Remove the browned meat to a separate plate while frying subsequent batches.
This will splatter and make a disgusting mess on your stove. One of the things I love about my induction cooktop is how easy it is to clean! No removing and wiping grates, pulling apart burners and knobs, etc. Just give it a swipe with the rag and it’s clean!
Return all the chicken to the pan. Add a little more vodka/sake, splashing it on the sides of the pan so it sizzles. Quickly cover the pan and allow the chicken to steam for 8 minutes.
Carefully remove the cover. With a paper towel, sop up most of the grease and liquid.
Pour all the teriyaki over the chicken, turning the meat to coat it with sauce.
Continue to cook on medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated and the teriyaki has carmelized. It’s totally okay for the meat to begin falling apart. You don’t really want huge chunks anyway.