Teriyaki Chicken is a classic bento “okazu” (side dish). Usually made with juicy chicken thighs, slightly charred and coated in a caramelized umami-rich sauce, each mouthful is full of flavor. Here we’ve paired it with the quintessential bento staple: tamagoyaki (rolled Japanese omelette). We’ve also included some vegetable side dishes but you can customize with your own favorite veggies! Besides chicken thigh meat, fish is also delicious in a teriyaki style. We recommend using salmon or buri (Japanese Amberjack).
Teriyaki as a cooking style originated in the 1700s in Japan and its name come from the words “shine” (teri) and “pan-fry/grill/broil” (yaki). In contrast to teriyaki dishes overseas, authentic teriyaki isn’t just about the sauce, it’s about the slightly smoky char and caramelization that happens when broiling the meat/fish. The sauce should also be simple (made only from soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar), which will give it the signature teri shine. As long as you have these ingredients (available at Asian supermarkets), you can make delicious authentic teriyaki at home—it’ll knock the store-bought sauce out of the park!
Bento&co team-member Jeweliann reflects on the difference between Japanese teriyaki and American teriyaki:
I grew up in Japan but would visit America and occasionally ate at Japanese restaurants. I remember trying teriyaki there, and was surprised how different it was from the teriyaki that my mom made. The sauce would be either too thin, or gloopy, sickly sweet, and didn’t have that perfect *shine* and charred bits that makes teriyaki so delicious!
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken Bento (Featuring the Triple Pan)
- 150-200 grams boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 broccoli/romanesco florets
- 1/2 a carrot
- 5 green beans
- Nishiki Kai Goma Furikake | Garlic (Or sesame seeds)
- Yukari Furikake (or furikake of your choice)
- 1/2 Tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
Make decorative carrot flowers
- Slice carrots into 1/2 cm (about 1/4 inch) slices
- Use Japanese Food Cutters to cut flowers
- Slice ends off green beans
- In a small saucepan, boil water, add a pinch of salt
- Add vegetables and cook for 2-3 min
Cook Teriyaki Chicken
- Heat Triple Pan on medium-high heat
- Once pan is hot, place chicken skin side down for a couple minutes until golden brown and then flip to cook more. (If using skinless meat, add a little oil to the pan before cooking chicken).
- Flip chicken several times to thoroughly brown on both sides
- Add soy sauce to chicken, then sake, mirin and sugar and cook until sauce thickens.
- Flip chicken pieces so they are thoroughly coated in the sauce.
- Add a teaspoon of oil to heated tamagoyaki pan
- Pour 1/3 of egg
- Once this layer is cooked 75%, use chopsticks to roll
- Add another 1/3 of egg. Roll.
- Repeat with last 1/3 of egg.
- Remove from pan
Make Garlic Sesame Green Beans (Ingen no garlic goma-ae)
- Drizzle a little oil to third section of pan and add boiled green beans. Pan fry to slightly sear the vegetables. (This step is optional).
- Pour 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 Tbs Nishiki Kai Goma Furikake | Garlic and 1/2 tsp sugar into a bowl
- Add green beans and coat in sesame mixture
- Pack rice into bento (this can also be done earlier to ensure rice properly cools down before packing the other ingredients, which helps with food safety).
- Slice tamagoyaki.
- Fill bento with Chicken Teriyaki, Tamagoyaki, and veggies.
- If you have space, add some cut fruit like an apple slice!
- Add some Yukari Furikake (or furikake of your choice) to rice.
- Wrap bento in a furoshiki and away you go, with a delicious bento!