This Air fryer Teriyaki Chicken is a terrific dinner, ready in under 30 minutes. Made with an easy homemade teriyaki sauce, it so much better than takeout!
In this air fryer teriyaki chicken recipe, I combine boneless thighs with a simple sweet ginger-garlic-soy glaze. An easy to make recipe with succulent meat, with a balance of umaminess from the rich and flavorful sauce.
This is hands down a flavorful air fryer teriyaki chicken and it is made without any bottled sauces, mirin, and yet it tastes just as good - Almost like the one from Panda Express. Looking for a vegetarian version? Try the Tofu Teriyaki recipe.
Marinade or Sauce? Sauce is usually served along with the main course, as a condiment to be drizzled, if needed. Whereas marinade is much thicker and is used to marinade the chicken, pork, fish or shrimp. This teriyaki sauce recipe is used as both marinade and sauce to be glazed later.
Why you'll love this?
Umami or savory flavor is triggered by glutamates, which is essential amino acids found in protein rich foods. It's what that makes your taste buds crave for something!
The homemade teriyaki sauce has a sensation of sweetness triggered from sugar, and then the soy sauce made from fermented soy beans, acquires high levels of glutamates from soybeans themselves and bacteria used to ferment it.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Chicken - My favorite is to use boneless skinless thighs (just like this grilled chicken thighs recipe), because it has more connective tissue surrounding the muscles than white meat, contains collagen and fat, cooks up moist, juicy and practically impossible to overcook.
- Soy sauce - Regular salt soy sauce adds the perfect saltiness to the sauce.
- Sugar - When sugar is exposed to high heat, it quickly breaks down and rapidly caramelizes resulting in a beautiful deep, rich brown color.
- Cornstarch - It thickens the sauce, adding viscosity.
- Ginger - It adds a pungent, sweet and spicy aroma.
- Garlic - Grated garlic loses most of it's pungency and develops an intense sweetness in the cooking process.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1.Make sauce - Stir together sugar, soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic and ground black pepper, until sugar is almost dissolved.
2. Marinate chicken - Toss chicken thighs with half the teriyaki sauce and let marinade for about 30 minutes, if possible.
Tip: There's really no need to marinade for more than half an hour. The most effective method is to apply the sauce, halfway through cooking and again when done. This coats the entire surface and delivers big flavor with each bite.
3 & 4. Air fry - Place chicken thighs (smooth side down) in a pre heated 400 degree air fryer. Cook for 7 minutes, brush with sauce, turn over, brush with more sauce and continue cooking for an additional 6 to 7 minutes. Finish with another coating of sauce.
Tip: If using breasts, cook at 380 degrees for 6 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 6 minutes, or until completely cooked.
Thicken sauce - Mix cornstarch along with remaining sauce and bring to a boil over low heat. Cook for about 30 seconds and then remove from heat (it will thicken as it cools).
Pro tip: You'll notice the sauce thicken dramatically as it begins to boil. For cornstarch to thicken properly, it must be brought to a complete boil to reach the optimal swelling size.
Storage and reheating
Leftover teriyaki glazed chicken can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 4 days. If you'd like to meal prep, place cooked white rice in meal prep containers, along with chopped teriyaki chicken and cooked vegetables. Re heat in microwave before eating.
- To freeze - This air fryer teriyaki chicken, can be frozen for up to a month, thaw completely at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in microwave, until hot.
- Re heat in air fryer - Place air fryer teriyaki chicken thighs in a pre heated 375 degree air fryer and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
- Soy sauce - Use regular soy and not light/dark.
- Be careful not to over cook the chicken or it will start to dry out.
It takes about 14 minutes at 400 degrees for boneless chicken thighs to cook in an air fryer.
No! The sugar is balanced with salty soy sauce and spices, so it does not taste sweet.
More Chicken Recipes in Air Fryer
Air fryer Teriyaki Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Stir all teriyaki sauce ingredients together in a bowl or measuring cup, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until most of the sugar is dissolved.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and place in a medium bowl. Add about half the teriyaki sauce and toss to coat thoroughly. Let it marinade for about 30 minutes, if possible or cook after 5 minutes.
- In the mean time, add remaining sauce into a small sauce pan along with cornstarch (stir to dissolve) and bring to a boil over low heat. Let cook for 30 to 40 seconds and remove from heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F for 7 minutes. When hot, place chicken thighs (smooth side down) into the air fryer basket and cook.
- When cooking time is done, open air fryer, brush some teriyaki sauce all over the chicken, turn them over (using tongs) and brush the other side with sauce.
- Continue cooking for an additional 6 to 7 minutes, in the same temperature.Tip: If using breasts, cook at 380 degrees for 6 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 6 minutes, or until completely cooked.
- When cooking time is done, brush additional sauce on the top.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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