Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken

Craving for something sweet and savory for dinner or lunch? We have just got the right thing for you. No one can say no to the sweet yet salty with a dash of garlicky goodness that teriyaki brings. What is teriyaki sauce most paired with? That has to be chicken! Whether as a dipping sauce or combined with chicken, teriyaki and chicken have been a hit for many years.

Although there is a lot of controversy about the actual origin of the sauce, the term teriyaki is believed to have originated from Japan. In Japanese culture, teri means shine which is achieved from the glaze you get from the sugary sauce, whereas yaki means the cooking method of grilling. This sauce is traditionally made with soy sauce, sake or mirin, and sugar or honey. Several adaptations of this sauce are available all over the world. 

The sauce is made by boiling it down until a slightly thick consistency is achieved. At times, starch is added to thicken the sauce quickly, but the thing is this technique will lead to a lack of flavor. Reducing the sauce slowly helps form flavors. Teriyaki is either used as a marinade and cooked with the meat or as a dipping sauce. In this recipe, we will maximize the flavors of teriyaki by using it both as a marinade and a sauce.

Variations which stray away from the Japanese version may have ginger or even lemon. In the absence of lemon, pineapple is sometimes used as a substitute. When used as a marinade, this sauce can whip up a tender chicken because the soy sauce and acidulant help break down the protein and speed up the process. Soy sauce alone can do this job, but will work better with an acidulant. Perhaps the other most famous addition to this sauce are scallions and fried garlic. These ingredients undeniably boost the flavors of your teriyaki sauce.

Other adaptations use wine instead of sake and add sesame seeds on top. On burgers, steaks, over vegetables, and especially on fried chicken, teriyaki sauce works wonders! Try this recipe for a teriyaki-infused, air fried chicken and drench it in sweet and savory teriyaki sauce of your choice. 

Air Fryer teriyaki chicken recipe

Recipe by Maverick CharlestonCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Chicken breast – 200 g

  • Chicken thigh – 200 g

  • Onion – 1 pc.

  • Garlic – 2 cloves

  • Teriyaki – 3 tbsp.

  • Salt – 2 pinches

  • Ground black pepper – 2 pinches

  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp.


  • Prepare all the food you need. Peel the onions and garlic. Wash and dry the chicken with a napkin.Ingredients
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces. When cutting, you can trim off excess fat or cartilage. Place the chicken in a bowl.Diced chicken breast and thigh
  • Dice the onion and grate the garlic. Place the vegetables in the chicken bowl.
  • Chopped onion and garlic added to the chickenChopped onion and garlic added to the chicken
  • Add salt, black pepper and teriyaki. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. If you have time, it is best to cover the bowl with cling film and let stand for half an hour.Added teriyaki, salt and pepper to the chicken
  • Grease the grill of the air fryer with vegetable oil. Arrange the chicken pieces in one layer. Set the mode for chicken or just 200 degrees for 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes you see the chicken is not ready, increase the time to 20 minutes.Teriyaki chicken in an air fryer
  • Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and serve hot. Top up the portion with fresh vegetables and herbs. You can choose not to serve any sauces with the chicken, or you can only serve teriyaki so as not to mix up the many flavors.Cooked teriyaki chicken

Tips and tricks

  • To make teriyaki chicken really tasty, you need to use the freshest ingredients. Try not to buy already frozen chicken, but choose chilled – so that you can appreciate its freshness. The chicken should have a faint pink color. The smell is either absent or very weak. There should be no unpleasant odors!
  • Place the remaining chicken after the meal in a food container and refrigerate. Preheat the chicken in the microwave, oven, or air fryer before eating. But it’s best not to cook large amounts of teriyaki chicken unless you plan on eating it right away. Freshly cooked chicken tastes much better than reheated chicken.
  • This recipe is perfect for a keto diet or a protein diet. If you work out and chicken breast is a frequent part of your diet, use this recipe to try something new.
  • If you are not up for a store-bought teriyaki sauce, you can always make one by adding soy sauce, brown sugar or honey, and sake. You can season the sauce with some pepper and garlic. 
  • When air frying your chicken, make sure to pat them dry before popping inside the air fryer. This step will help you get a crispier exterior.
  • The smaller or thinner slice you cut the chicken portions into, the faster the marination process will be. This type of cut will also make the tenderizing effect of teriyaki more effective and infuse more flavors into the chicken.
  • Adding a  subtle amount of lemon or lime juice to the teriyaki sauce will help tenderize the meat faster and can even give the recipe some twist.
  • Unfortunately, the traditional teriyaki sauce is not keto-friendly. Try making your own by substituting the sugar component with other sweeteners such as monk fruit syrup, keto-friendly maple syrups, or stevia sweetener and substitute the solids with xanthan gum.
  • You can also make the bite-sized chicken slices crispy by lightly coating them in starch. Add texture to the coating by mixing in a bit of pork rind. 
  • Longer marinating time does not always mean a more effective process. Because this recipe calls for small slices of chicken, maximum marination time may be achieved at less than 12 hours.

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