Chicken Teriyaki Lo Mein

Asian cookery isn’t one of my strongest areas, so I have a tougher time dissecting flavors. Teriyaki sauce, one of those universal favorites, has always eluded me. The only way I could have it would either be by buying a bottle from the grocery store or having some haute cuisine on a toothpick at the mall. If this sounds familiar, I imagine you’ll be surprised by how simple Chicken Teriyaki can be.

I was originally inspired to try this after seeing some delicious looking Salmon Teriyaki over at Closet Cooking and I was almost shocked by how simple the basic teriyaki sauce was. It almost seemed too easy, but I figured why not just give it a shot. Tasting each component of the sauce individually, I dunno, I still had my doubts. But mixed all together, it was amazing–this was teriyaki! It was shockingly good for something so shockingly easy. Sweet, tangy, salty–it was just that wonderful familiar flavor. I tried to expand on this base sauce with some additional sweeteners and spices–honey, apricot, ginger, garlic–just to keep things interesting.

Technique-wise, I’m sure this was by no means authentic. For instance, I’d picture judicious use of a big wok with minimal dirty dishes, compared to me broiling, boiling, and sautéing. Did I probably do a little more work than I needed? Sure. But it was still done in under 30 minutes and tasted surprisingly authentic, so I’m certainly not complaining. The dish was light, sweet, tangy, and just felt like healthy, summery food.

I’d certainly be happy to hear any feedback on ways to streamline this though–if anything, the success of this dish has reminded me how much I love Asian-styled food and that I need a lot more of it on my dinner plate! I’d served this chicken tossed with various vegetables (use whatever is in season and/or suits your fancy–I cooked them all minimally so they still tasted crisp and fresh) as well as some lo mein noodles, hence htis being my entry in this week’s Presto Pasta Nights.

  • Sesame oil
  • ~2 lbs chicken thighs
  • Teriyaki sauce/marinade
    • 1/2 cup soy
    • 1/2 cup mirin
    • 1/2 cup sake
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp apricot preserves
    • 4-5 cloves garlic
    • 1 inch chunk of ginger
  • 8 oz lo mein noodles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 can baby corn
  • 1/4 lb sugarsnaps
  • few scallions
  • Optional: sesame seeds

The first step is to prepare the marinade (which will ultimately become your sauce). This is quite simple, but is something you should prepare several hours in advance so that you can give the chicken ample time to marinate in it.

Begin by finely mincing up the garlic and ginger and briefly (under a minute) sauté them in a dab of sesame oil. Then, simply mix in the remaining marinade ingredients, simmering and stirring until all of the sweeteners are dissolved and incorporated into the liquid.

Set this aside to cool down for a bit. While you wait, trim and chop up the chicken to bite-sized pieces, and once the marinade is no longer warm, put all of the chicken in the marinade, seal it up, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When its around the time you’d like to start cooking, take the chicken out of the fridge and strew the pieces of chicken about in a very lightly oiled roasting pan (in a single layer), reserving the marinade in a saucepan. Let this sit so the chicken can warm up a bit while you do the rest of your prep.

Speaking of prep, its delightfully easy. Julienne (long thin strips) the pepper, pull off that little strip on the inner-edge of the sugarsnaps (or just sliver it off with a paring knife), snip the scallions, and hardest of all: open the can of baby corn, dumping off the liquid. Also, get the broiler cranking at 450°F and two pots of water boiling (one for veggies, one for noodles).

Put the pan of chicken pieces under the broiler for 15-20 minutes, turning the pieces once during the middle. The goal now is to finish everything else before the chicken comes out of the oven so it can all be hot and ready to go at the same time. The chicken should come out with a nice, crisp, tacky, somewhat glazed exterior.

So as for everything else: get that saucepan of marinade warmed up over medium-high heat. After all, it had raw meat in there. As it begins to really get bubbling, you can start skimming the scum off of the surface with a spoon–it takes away from the clarity of your sauce and will leave a greasier mouthfeel than you’d like. Drop the heat to a slower simmer though after a few minutes though as you do want some sauce to remain (the amount I listed won’t yield extra)! Figure 10-15 minutes total on the heat. If you do suspect you cooked too much off, you can always mix in equal amounts of sake, mirin, and soy sauce later on as a quick fix.

Meanwhile, you should also cook the veggies. I sautéed the pepper, but feel free to cook this however you please (boiled, broiled, roasted, raw). Boil the baby corn for about a minute or two and set them aside. Follow this up with the sugarsnaps for about 2-3 minutes. Finally, boil the noodles per the package directions–for me, this meant boiling for about 3 minutes. Time flies!

Due to your amazing time management skills, everything is done at the same time. So with the noodles drained, in a large bowl, simply toss the chicken and veggies with the noodles, pouring in the sauce and tossing until everything is uniformly coated. This will allow every component to maintain its own flavor while also having a consistent taste of teriyaki accentuating each item.

Once everything is well mixed, plate to your liking and top it off with a few chopped scallions and maybe some briefly toasted (in a dry pan) sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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31 Responses to “Chicken Teriyaki Lo Mein”

  1. tommy Says:

    As teriyaki is Japanese and not Chinese, a wok is not the traditional medium of cooking so I think you did fine (with all the extra steps). Interesting idea of adding apricot preserves, I might try that out.

  2. grace Says:

    first of all, baby corn has to be one of the freakiest things i’ve ever seen. it tastes nothing like corn!
    secondly, i’ve just been given some apricot preserves, so how fortuitous that you’ve posted this awesome use for them! :)

  3. noble pig Says:

    Okay yes baby corn was freaky but I rememember being pregnant with my first child (when it’s your first everyone does whatever you ask of them, it’s awesome power really)…I remember yelling, nicely of course, that if someone did not bring me some baby corn RIGHT then I was going to have some kind of a pregnant woman attack! Three people ran across the street to a salad bar restaurant and came back with styrophone containers filled with Baby Corn…I was so happy becuase I really didn’t know what a pregnant woman’s freak attack was.

    I know you really wanted to hear about all of that. This dish looks awesome AS USUAL and has sent into a food-craving frenzy.

  4. pam Says:

    This sounds really good. I would have probably just stir fried the chicken and the veggies, but then again, I’m pretty lazy.

  5. Stacy Says:

    Glad to hear such good things about the teriyaki sauce. I’ve been looking for the right recipe for a long time so that I could make a teriyaki rice bowl. I’ll give this one a try.

    Your lo mein looks delicious!

  6. Ivy Says:

    Mike, I love the look of your new site and even best when I was about to comment I found all information in the reply box ready for me to post. This is awesome. Sometimes I hate writing over and over again my name, my e-mail and my URL.
    This looks like a very delicious and healthy recipe.

  7. Peter Says:

    Mike, after reading the first paragraph and your conundrum with Asian dishes, I was thinking, “Mike should check-out Kevin’s blog”…and you have!

    Beyond hitting the Asian market, it’s easy-peasy and this looks very easy on the eye…well done, Sport-O! LOL

  8. Nora Says:

    Looks delish, Mike. I usually make a broiled version. That is, marinade the chicken in a sauce similar to Kevin’s (i simply microwave the marinade till the sugar dissolves, or use sweet soy sauce instead). In a hot wok, I brown the chicken pieces, then set aside. In the same wok, I broil the onions, garlic and carrots, with teriyaki sauce (& a bit of hot water) till all the flavours are well blended and the carrots wilted. Then I add the chicken and it’s pretty much done. This base can then be used for the rice dish oyakodon. Or baised noodles.

  9. Helene Says:

    My kind of meal. I like the idea of adding the apricots preserves. It probably gives a kick. Thanks for sharing.

  10. the caked crusader Says:

    I love teriyaki and hadn’t realised it had so few ingredients – fascinating post, thanks!

  11. Raquel Says:

    Sounds great, Love the addition of the apricot preserves! I love teriyaki, but sadly I am the only one in my house who does!

  12. nina Says:

    One big bowl of SLURP!!!! i would just love it……. I also love the addition of the apricots…

  13. cakewardrobe Says:

    I think you cook better Asian than I do (and I’m asian!)

  14. dp Says:

    My first inclination is to cook everything in a wok, including Mexican and Italian food, but clearly it can be done without :-) The one advantage I find with a wok is you can toss everything without it getting all over your stovetop. Your teriyaki looks great. I’m loving the sugar snap peas!

  15. Jacqueline Says:

    And, perhaps, a shot of sake on the side of this? Looks delicious 😉

  16. Kevin Says:

    That looks really tasty! Teriyaki sauce is nice and simple and really good! I am going to have to try it with apricot preserves!

  17. giz Says:

    For someone who’s strong suit isn’t Asian food, I think you provided a restaurant quality dish. I would be happy if it were served to me.

  18. Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet Says:

    Yum, this looks great. We dont cook enough Asian noodle dishes at home. I’m tucking this away in my brain to make soon!

  19. kittie Says:

    Sounds great! I love teriyaki – especially as a salmon marinade then wrapped and put on the grill!! yum!

  20. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) Says:

    I haven’t tinkered with Asian cuisine in years.

    After the birth of my first child, I experimented with Asian cuisine a lot: it was easy to fix, tasted great and helped me loss the baby weight and then some. Of course, walking 5 miles a day didn’t hurt either.

    In the years since, I’ve done myself a great disservice by forgetting to make it all. I love Asian cuisine and need to get back into the groove. Thanks for the push!

  21. Jan Says:

    That looks so yummy Mike!

  22. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    The thing about Asian cooking is just to plunge right in, and not try to duplicate the recipes you’re served in restaurants. The owner of a Singaporean restaurant told me once that we’ll never be able to duplicate the recipes, because our home stoves don’t get hot enough. And he’s right — the highest BTU burner on my stove is 15,000; in restaurants, it’s more like 50,000. So just make dishes the way you enjoy them, with any ingredients that work for you.

  23. Ruth Says:

    Great dish – thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. It looks absolutely perfect as is.

  24. shayne Says:

    great post thank you. we make our own asian dishes at our house about once a week and I am now getting good at it. Tonight chicken fried thai rice. I will have to try yours here too

  25. Happy Cook Says:

    Delicious noodles.
    I love this will try to make them.
    Love the variety fveggies u have added in it

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    Fred’s Cooker Parts

    Chicken Teriyaki Lo Mein from Mike’s Table

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