Skewered Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

From grill-master Rockin’ Ron Shewchuk

2018 July/Aug

This is just delicious. You can use bottled teriyaki sauce, but for many years I’ve made batches of homemade, based on Trevor Hooper’s excellent recipe from a great cookbook from 30 years ago called Raku, also the name of a fantastic restaurant he founded in Vancouver. This dish is delicious served simply on a bed of steamed rice with some grilled or sautéed veggies like broccoli or baby bok choy.


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 12 bamboo skewers, pre-soaked in cold water for an hour or two
  • Cherry, oak or hickory wood as a flavouring agent

For home-made teriyaki sauce (Makes about 8 cups):

  • 1-1/2 c. sake
  • 1-1/2 c. mirin
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 4 c. Japanese soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. tamari soy sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 orange, skin on, chopped
  • 1 small pear, chopped
  • 1 small leek, split, washed thoroughly and chopped

For garnish:

  • chopped green onion, toasted sesame seeds
  • teriyaki sauce


Make the teriyaki sauce, which you can do weeks in advance:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a low boil. Cook it until it’s reduced by about 20 percent. Cool it, strain it into a large jar or bottle, and refrigerate it. It stores indefinitely in the fridge.

Prepare the chicken thighs:

Marinate the thighs in two cups of the teriyaki sauce for no more than two hours. Pre-heat your grill for medium-high direct cooking. Remove the chicken
from the marinade and discard the marinade. Using two skewers per kebab, thread the thighs onto the skewers, being careful not to pack them too tightly.
When the grill is hot, place the skewered thighs on the cooking grate and cover the grill. Cook the kebabs, turning often and basting with some extra teriyaki sauce, until they’ve got some nice charring and the internal temperature reads 160°F. Remove the skewers from the grill. To serve, lay a skewer on a bed of rice with some grilled veg on the side, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion, and have some teriyaki available for drizzling on the meat and rice.