Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken is a flavorful dish of juicy chicken coated in a tasty sauce that is both sweet and savory. With this recipe, you can have a delicious dinner on the table in just 20 minutes. The perfect recipe for busy nights!
What is Teriyaki Chicken?
Teriyaki Chicken is a flavorful and tender dish with a salty-sweet flavor. Teriyaki sauce is popular in Asian and Polynesian cultures, where sweet and spicy flavor combinations are common. The Teriyaki sauce originated in Japan and is made a little different across the regions, depending on the available ingredients.
Most teriyaki recipes have a base of soy sauce, combined with something sweet, as well as something acidic. This recipe uses maple syrup and pineapple juice, along with fresh ginger and garlic for a super flavorful sauce!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy: This recipe is great for busy weeknights! The chicken takes just 10 minutes to cook in your air fryer, and the sauce uses simple ingredients and is made while the chicken is cooking. Cut the meat ahead and pair it with a bag of microwaveable white rice a super-fast meal!
- Flavorful: The sauce is bright and tangy, with a sweet and savory combination that both kids and adults love! It coats the juicy chicken to make a delicious teriyaki dinner that is better than takeout!
- Versatile: Almost all of the ingredients in this recipe have substitutions that work well. So you can probably make this with what is already in your pantry! No need to go to the grocery store. You can even swap out the breasts for another protein, like pork or salmon.
- Chicken: Cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into cubes, or use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Soy Sauce: This adds an umami flavor to the dish. For a gluten-free sauce, coconut aminos or tamari can be substituted in equal amounts.
- Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice is commonly used in Polynesian versions of teriyaki sauce. It gives acidity to the sauce, along with the rice wine vinegar. It also adds sweetness and a bright flavor. Orange juice can be used instead of pineapple if desired.
- Maple Syrup: I love to use maple syrup in this sauce for a sweetener that is unrefined. But an equal amount of brown sugar or honey works just as well!
- Ginger & Garlic: Using fresh spices will give you the most flavorful sauce. But if you do not have any on hand then you can use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to make a thick sauce. You can also use an equal amount of arrowroot starch.
This recipe uses the same steps to make the chicken as this Orange Chicken recipe and is made unique with the simple homemade teriyaki sauce!
Step One: Beat Eggs:
- Whisk the eggs in a shallow dish. I like to use a pie plate.
Step Two: Coat in Egg:
- Place chicken pieces into the egg and turn to coat completely.
- Remove pieces and allow the excess egg to drip off.
Step Three: Toss in Flour
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl. You can also use a large Ziploc bag for less mess.
- Add the meat and toss or shake to coat completely.
Step Four: Cook
- Place the chicken into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Work in batches, if needed, so that you can leave a little bit of space between each piece.
- Cook at 380°F (190°C) for 5 minutes, then use tongs to flip the pieces over and cook for a few more minutes.
Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- While the chicken is cooking, place all of the ingredients, except for the cornstarch, into a small saucepan.
- Whisk the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and mix until smooth.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick.
- Pour over the cooked chicken and toss immediately.
- Sprinkle with white sesame seeds, if using.
- Serve with some steamed white or brown rice, cauliflower rice, or Asian noodles.
- For a vegetable, this pairs wonderfully with steamed broccoli. You can also stir fryer sugar snap peas or mixed vegetables.
- Add a little spice by sprinkling some crushed red pepper onto the chicken. You can also add a little chopped green onion for more flavor and texture.
- Dry the raw chicken with a paper towel before coating it in the egg. This will help the egg stick to the meat.
- Leaving a little bit of space between each piece will help to make them crispy as the air circulates around each piece.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It is fully cooked once it reaches 165°F (74°C).
- It is important to mix the cornstarch with water before adding it to the sauce. This allows it to mix in without making the sauce lumpy.
- Use this simply homemade teriyaki sauce as a coating for wings, or drizzle it on air fryer salmon.
- Double the recipe to make extra teriyaki sauce and save half of it to use as a dipping sauce for a future meal.
Yes, it's easy to make this recipe in the oven! Just place the coated chicken on a sheet pan and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15-19 minutes, flipping once.
Frozen nuggets or grilled chicken pieces can be used instead of chicken breast pieces. Follow the package directions for cooking frozen nuggets in the air fryer, as they may need a few more minutes of cooking time.
The teriyaki sauce ingredients can be mixed up in the morning and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook the sauce. You can also cook the sauce up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate it until ready to use.
Your leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat the chicken in the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for 3-5 minutes. You can also reheat your leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.
More Air Fryer Recipes
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Air Fryer Teriyaki ChickenRecipe by:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs diced into 1-2 inch cubes
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (130 grams)
- avocado spray or olive oil spray
- ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce (79 ml)
- ⅓ cup pineapple juice (79 ml)
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup (75 ml)
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar (23 ml)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves (minced, about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water (15 ml)
- Optional toppings: sesame seeds, green onions, red pepper flakes
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F (190°C).
- Use a paper towel to pat the chicken pieces dry.
- Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in a separate shallow bowl.
- Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, tossing to coat. Allow the excess egg to drip off then place in the flour and coat thoroughly.
- Spray the air fryer basket with avocado oil spray. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket leaving a little bit of room between each piece. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your basket. Spray the chicken lightly with oil.
- Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 2-5 minutes, or until the outside is crispy and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- While the chicken is cooking place all of the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water, in a medium saucepan. Whisk cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
- Cook the sauce over medium heat until it begins to boil, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Continue cooking, while stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and cool slightly while the chicken finishes cooking.
- Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired, and serve immediately.
- Leave space between each piece of chicken in the air fryer to allow the air to circulate. This helps the pieces to crisp up nicely.
- Mixing the cornstarch with water until it is smooth will help prevent a lumpy sauce.
- See the post for information on substitutions.