Hawaiian Style BBQ Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

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Yummy grilled savory-sweet chicken

teriyaki chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Getting ready for the beach was always the best part of the weekend. Pack up the cooler full of ice for the food and drinks. Load up the truck with the family and enjoy the good vibes at the beach!

We occasionally used the beach park’s grill by loading it with charcoal and started grilling either khalbi ribs, hamburgers, or teriyaki chicken. After swimming we’d like to eat the good grindz and jam to some local tunes.

teriyaki chicken

Why I love Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is the most versatile sauce! Here are some few reasons on why I love Teriyaki Sauce:

  • Multiple uses – I like to use this teriyaki sauce for all sorts of meats and dishes like; beef, fish, and stir fry.
  • Easy – It’s super easy to make and store for future use.
  • Ingredients – It has pretty basic ingredients that’s usually in your pantry
marinated teriyaki chicken

What’s in Teriyaki Sauce?

The base of Teriyaki Sauce is just shoyu (soy sauce) and sugar. You can leave it at that but I like to add in a little bit more to give it that “oomph!”

Some optional additions I like to add in it is:

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ajinomoto (MSG)
  • Green onions

Most of this is what you usually find in any typical asian recipe. This has such a beautiful array of umami flavors.

teri ingredients

Is MSG safe?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is clarified to be safe by the FDA. MSG was given a reputation due to the hype of the media and for the fear against Chinese restaurants (Chinese restaurant syndrome, CRS).

Some are sensitive to MSG but it is not harmful. If you are sensitive to MSG, please omit it.

MSG has been used for centuries and can be found in most processed foods like chips, canned foods, salad dressings, etc. It is used mostly as a flavor enhancer.

teriyaki chicken

How to prep the Teriyaki Chicken

Making Teriyaki Chicken is super easy:

  • Combine all of the ingredients but the chicken in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir until the sugar has dissolved
  • Add in the chicken to marinate for 4-24 hours
  • Grill or fry the chicken
grilled teriyaki chicken

Can I use Teriyaki Sauce for other recipes?

You sure can! You can use it for teriyaki beef, teriyaki stir fry, teriyaki salmon, teriyaki spam musubi, teriyaki burgers, etc.

You name it! Use this sauce to whip up a quick and onolicious meal for the family.
Give this onolicious recipe a try! If you did give it a try, please leave a comment with a star rating below. Mahalo!

teriyaki chicken

Video Tutorial

Check out this video to help you gain more insight on how to make Teriyaki Chicken. Also, subscribe to my YouTube to help support me so I can continue making more of these contents. Mahalo!

teriyaki chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Nothing beats a good BBQed Teriyaki fresh from the grill with a side of rice and mac salad. Brought to Hawaii from Japan, this recipe has been adopted by the islanders. Teriyaki is most commonly marinated with chicken thighs and beef.
Prep Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hawaiian, Japanese
Servings 10 chicken thighs


  • 2-3 lbs skinless and boneless chicken thighs

Base Teriyaki Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1 cup sugar

Other optional additions:

  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ajinomoto (MSG)
  • 2 stalks green onion


  • Combine the shoyu, sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, MSG, and green onions in a large mixing bowl. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add in the chicken thighs and make sure most of it has been covered in the sauce. Marinade for up to 4-24 hours covered in the fridge.
  • Grill or fry each side for about 4-5 minutes or until it has been cooked thoroughly.
Keyword asian, bbq, charcoal, chicken, chicken thigh, grill, marinade, marinate, smokey, teri, teriyaki

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5 stars
Aloha Tani,

I made your Teriyaki Chicken and we loved it!!!❤

I used white sugar, but want to know if I can also use light brown sugar?



Can I substitute half the sugar with a half cup of mirin?


Great recipe and I’m looking forward to trying more. I do hope you do more research on msg though. It is a neurotoxin for all but for the sensitive it is poison and causes my son to have major problems. I know there is debate on it but I just don’t want people to assume it’s safe now. Everyone should do their research and come to their own conclusions. I would definitely avoid it if have neurological problems, autoimmune issues, or are on the autism spectrum for sure. mahalo

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