Makes 4 servings
For the teriyaki sauce: 1/2 cup Japanese soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/2 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rough-chopped yellow onion
5 thin round slices peeled ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
For the dish:
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, breasts, or a mixture of the two
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
11/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (recipe included)
1. Make the sauce: Combine the ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for about 8 minutes so the aromatics have a chance to infuse their flavors into the liquid. Strain, discarding the solids. (The sauce keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.)
2. Prepare the dish: If you are using chicken breasts, place a breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound it out to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining breasts. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until it shimmers. To avoid crowding the skillet, cook the chicken in 2 batches until deep golden brown on one side, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate as it's cooked.
4. In a small container, stir together the cornstarch and 11/2 teaspoons water until smooth. Return half the chicken to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Pour in half of the teriyaki sauce, let it bubble, and drizzle in 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch mixture. Cook, flipping over the chicken often, until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken well, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and repeat with remaining chicken.
5. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then cut into bite-size pieces. Serve right away or keep refrigerated in an airtight container and serve it in your bento box the following day.
- From Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, by Masaharu Morimoto (Ecco, 2016, $45)