One amazing perk of growing up overseas was the access to all sorts of amazing Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine. I remember one restaurant my friends and I would frequent called Happy Teriyaki. So many teenage memories. I thought I would adapt my stovetop teriyaki sauce into a slow cooker chicken teriyaki recipe and it’s a winner.
The star of this recipe is the mirin, a Japanese sweet rice wine that’s a little tart and gives the sauce more depth. It’s not for drinking, just cooking.
I prefer to use brown sugar in this teriyaki sauce because it gives a richer, more molasses flavor. You can substitute it with raw turbinado sugar or plain granulated sugar if you’re in a bind.
This recipe is forgiving, super easy to prepare, and freezer friendly. If you want to freeze it, simply place the raw chicken and marinade ingredients into a freezer safe bag and thaw it completely in your refrigerator before cooking.
- 2lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (6-8 pieces)
- ¾ cups reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup mirin
- ⅛ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root (minced or grated)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional garnish)
- sliced scallions (optional garnish)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Place chicken in the slow cooker in a single layer.
- Mix the soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugars, garlic, and ginger together until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and make sure some of the sauce gets under each piece to prevent sticking.
- Cook the chicken thighs for 4 hours on low.
- When the slow cooker is finished, remove the chicken and set aside.
- Carefully ladle the remaining sauce into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
- Stir cornstarch and cold water together and whisk into the teriyaki sauce.
- Let the sauce bubble for four more minutes, remove from heat and add the chicken thighs to the pan. Coat each piece with the thickened sauce.
- Serve over rice and add extra sauce and garnishes if desired.
Don't have rice vinegar? You can substitute apple cider vinegar.
Don't have mirin? You can substitute it with sherry.
This is great with some steamed broccoli and cabbage on the side. Unfortunately for us, we’re going through a “no green stuff” phase with the little ones.My previously adventurous eaters are becoming a little more picky these days. Anything sister does, little brother does too. Double trouble. I got serious stink eye for adding scallions for these pictures. C’est la vie. At least they devoured two servings of the chicken and rice. Small victories.
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