Recipe for Sautéed Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce by Rika Yukimasa

This dish is inspired by one of the chef's childhood memories: her mother would regularly make it to go in her bento boxes.


WordsClémence Leleu

© “Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking” by Rika Yukimasa, Rizzoli New York, 2020. Photography © Teruaki Kawakami.

In her book Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking: Simplifying Authentic Recipes, the chef shares recipes that are easy to reproduce even for beginners in the kitchen and for those living outside of Japan. Some of the dishes are staples in Japanese cuisine, like ramen and fried chicken, while others are directly inspired by Rika Yukimasa’s life. One example of the latter is this recipe for sautéed chicken with teriyaki sauce, which, the author explains, was one of her mother’s favourite dishes that she would include in the bento boxes she and her sister took to school every day. 

This fond childhood memory is centred on an ardent love of teriyaki sauce, made from mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar. ‘I love teriyaki sauce so much that I used to sidle up to my mother and whisper, “Put more sauce in my bento”‘, Rika Yukimasa states before sharing her recipe. She also explains that there are two ways of making this dish: first, by sautéing the meat until tender, before adding the sauce and reducing it (this is the approach detailed in the recipe to follow), and second, by reducing the sauce alone first, then marinating the meat before placing it on the barbecue or grill. Rika Yukimasa recommends accompanying this dish with a Gewürztraminer, a dry white wine from Alsace, or a pinot noir from Oregon.

Serves 4


2 boneless chicken thighs (skin on)

3 tbsp (45 ml) soy sauce

3 tbsp (40 g) sugar

3 tbsp (45 ml) cooking sake

3 tbsp (45 ml) mirin

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

Freshly ground sansho or black pepper, to taste


Remove any visible fat from the chicken thighs and prick both sides evenly with a fork. Score the underside of the thighs so that they flatten to a uniform thickness.

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake, and mirin.

Pour some oil in a skillet and place the chicken in it skin-side down, and place over medium heat. Cover and cook for four minutes.

Remove the excess oil from the chicken using kitchen towel, turn the thighs over and cook over a low heat for three minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the skillet. Simmer until the sauce reduces and glazes the chicken.

Cut the chicken into slices. Sprinkle with sansho and serve immediately.


Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking: Simplifying Authentic Recipes (2020), a recipe book by Rika Yukimasa, is published by Rizzoli.

Rika Yukimasa is a chef who presented the show Dining with the Chef, broadcast on NHK to over 150 countries. She has also released numerous recipe books in Japanese; Rika’s Modern Japanese Home Cooking: Simplifying Authentic Recipes is her first to be written in English. 

© Rizzoli