Growing up, teriyaki beef or chicken on a stick was my go to order at the Chinese restaurant. The meat is so incredibly flavorful and tender, it’s hard not to love. Lately. I’ve been trying to find a way to recreate it at home and I’ve got it down almost perfectly.
This is a great source of protein to add with a side of carbohydrates (I usually opt for white rice) and some vegetables (whatever you like).
You can also bring this as a side dish to a barbeque or get together with friends. It’s always a crowd pleaser because it’s pretty much impossible to dislike.
Ingredients for Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick
The recipe is pretty simple and you likely have many of the ingredients already in your pantry or refrigerator.
- Chicken: breast or thighs can work for this recipe
- Soy sauce
- Minced garlic: I use the stuff in a jar, but fresh works great as well
- Brown sugar
- Grated ginger
- Cornstarch: arrowroot starch will also work
- Sesame seeds: optional, for topping
- Green onions: optional, for topping
What type of chicken works best?
I personally like using chicken breast for this recipe, but if you want a more tender, flavorful chicken on a stick, I recommend using chicken thighs.
Personally, I use chicken breast because it’s leaner and a bit higher in protein, plus it’s not as rich as chicken thighs, which I personally like.
I recommend using whatever you prefer for this recipe. Don’t use a type of chicken you dislike just because it’s what you “feel” is right. If you are unsure, try out both and see which one you like better.
What soy sauce is the best?
I personally am a huge fan of Kikkoman. I’ve been using this soy sauce since childhood and haven’t found one that is better or even as good.
The low sodium soy sauce is usually what I prefer, but let’s be honest, the regular, full sodium soy sauce tastes better. As a dietitian, I try to limit sodium wherever it makes sense and to me, a small downgrade in flavor is worth the benefits.
This is the exact soy sauce that I use and recommend (affiliate link):
Is Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick good for you?
Chicken is a wonderful source of protein and is typically lean (low in fat). While fat isn’t all bad, it’s best to limit saturated fat, which can cause elevated LDL cholesterol and increase your heart disease risk.
Three ounces of chicken breast contains about 150 calories, 26 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat. Most of that fat comes from unsaturated fat, while about 1 gram comes from saturated fat.
Chicken breast is an excellent source of vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), phosphorus and selenium. It’s a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and zinc.
Compared to chicken thighs, chicken breast is similar in calories, but lower in fat (about 1 gram less) and higher in protein (about 2-3 grams more). The difference really isn’t huge, so choose the one you prefer.
How to make Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick
Make sure to plan ahead when making this recipe because it does require some marination time before cooking.
Step 1: Cut chicken into long, thin strips. Aim for about 10-20 strips in total.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and cornstarch. Whisk until combined.
Step 3: Add chicken strips to the bowl and submerge. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 8 hours.
Step 4: Once chicken is done marinating, remove from the bowl and add to skewers in a snake like pattern (refer to images).
Step 5: Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add light layer of oil (I use a spray). Add chicken once preheated.
Step 6: Air fry for 8-10 minutes. While cooking, heat remaining marinade in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Set aside.
Step 7: Once chicken skewers are done cooking, brush the marinade over the chicken to add some extra flavor. Then enjoy!
What skewers should I use?
You can use metal skewers for this recipe, or wooden skewers (my personal favorite). These are pretty inexpensive and you can find them at most grocery stores.
I get them off Amazon because they are cheaper and I can buy them in bulk for whenever I may need them. Here is the specific brand I purchase (affiliate link):
What goes with Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick?
I love pairing this teriyaki chicken on a stick with white rice and some steamed or roasted veggies like broccoli or green beans.
When creating a balanced meal, I always focus on four main categories: protein, carbohydrate, fiber and fat.
Protein and fat would come from this chicken on a stick (protein from the chicken, fat from the oil used to cook them). Carbohydrates would come from the white rice and fiber would come from the veggies.
I always try to get my fiber from a fruit or vegetable source, usually having fruit for breakfast and a snack or dessert and veggies for lunch and dinner. Of course it’s up to you how you split it up!
Overally, this formula is a great way to ensure you are getting a balance of nutrients at each meal and preventing any nutrient deficiencies by ensuring you are getting in a variety of foods from multiple food groups.
If you tried out this recipe and liked it, please comment below and share. Also remember to tag me on Instagram and TikTok!
Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick
- 1 large chicken breast
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp minced garlic fresh or jarred
- 1 tsp grated ginger fresh or jarred
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- green onions optional
- sesame seeds optional
- Cut chicken into long, thin strips. Aim for about 10-20 strips in total, depending on how thick you want them.
- In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cornstarch and brown sugar. Whisk until combined
- Add chicken strips to the bowl and submerge. Marinate for at least 30 minutes (ideally 8 hours)
- Once chicken is done marinating, remove from the bowl and add to skewers in a snake like pattern (refer to images).
- Line air fryer with a light layer of cooking oil (I use spray). Add chicken skewers to the air fryer once preheated.
- Air fry on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.
- While chicken is in the air fryer, heat the remaining marinade in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once chicken skewers are done cooking, brush the marinade over the chicken to add some extra flavor. Top with sesame seeds and green onion if desired.