Rare is the person who can turn down teriyaki chicken. There’s nothing fancy about it, but the combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and a hot grill is kind of extraordinary. I love that the marinating time can be short or long, and that all these ingredients are sitting in the fridge and pantry right now just waiting to be put to work. Because fresh ginger tends to burn on the grill, I use the powder instead. Serve with basmati rice, grilled corn, or a pile of green beans. Or use it as the chicken component of spicy peanut and lime noodles with chicken.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: about 1 hour


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili-garlic sauce (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1½ pounds (675 g) boneless, skinless chicken (about 3 breasts or 6 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey (optional)


  1. Whisk the soy sauce with sugar, rice vinegar, chili-garlic sauce (if using), ginger and garlic in a shallow dish (such as a glass pie plate) that can accommodate all the chicken in a single layer.
  2. Cut the chicken into 2-inch cubes. Add to the marinade and stir well to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, soak 4 bamboo skewers in warm water for 15 minutes. Preheat the grill to high.
  4. Thread chicken pieces onto each skewer, snuggling them up against each other fairly tightly. Reserve the marinade.
  5. Grease the grill very well, then add the skewers. Grill, with the lid closed, 2 minutes. Brush chicken with some of the reserved marinade, then flip, close the lid and grill another 2 minutes. Baste one more time, then reduce heat to medium-low, close the lid and grill another 12 to 16 minutes or until cooked through and springy to the touch. Take skewers off the grill and drizzle with honey, if using. Serve immediately.

Tip: Rice vinegar is often sold “seasoned,” which means it has added sugar and salt. Tasty, but unnecessary in this application. But if seasoned rice vinegar is all you have, feel free to use it.

Make ahead: Marinate the chicken in the fridge for up to 1 day. Serves four.

Reprinted with permission from Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.