There was nothing more exciting to me as a child than a big plate of fried rice and Teriyaki Chicken from the Hibachi Grill at our local Japanese haunt. What is so delicious about that meal that stuck with me? And how is it that I would somehow eat a whole plate of vegetables only if they were covered in teriyaki sauce? My parents should have caught on earlier. Was it just the MSG or the toasty rice in sesame oil? That’s going to have to be the title of my memoir. Was It Just the MSG?
But the best thing I’ve discovered in adulthood about Teriyaki Chicken is that you can make the whole dish, vegetables and all, for just ten bucks. Not too shabby! This cheap dinner is comforting to me, and it’s a delicious alternative to takeout. My husband still doesn’t understand the concept of takeout. He always says that if we’re there, why don’t we just eat there. And the answer is because I want to wear my pajamas while I watch Poldark on TV and eat my rice.
Here’s our grocery list for this Ten Dollar Meal:
- Teriyaki Sauce $2.49
- 1 lb Chicken Breast $3.16
- 2 Zucchini $1
- Broccoli Crown $1
- Onion $1
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame oil or vegetable oil
- Sesame Seeds (optional)
- Kosher Salt
- Brown Sugar
- White Rice
Let’s make this recipe! Here’s how you do it. Start by prepping your veggies. I like to slice the zucchini into long sticks. Then I slice the onions thinly and cut the broccoli into florets about an inch around. You could also throw in some mushrooms or last time I made this, I put a cubed boiled potato in there. Sounds weird, but it tastes good. Maybe carrots are your thing! I’m sure any of those would be amazing.
I slice the chicken into thin crosswise slices and marinate them in 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Get a wide and deep skillet and put it over high heat with a tablespooon of sesame oil. Add the chicken and juices to the hot pan and spread it out in a thin layer so it cooks evenly. Then after about three minutes turn them over and brown the other sides until all the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. You can remove the chicken along with the remaining pan juices to a plate for later.
Use the same pan to cook your veggies. First, mix together the remaining three tablespoons of teriyaki and brown sugar. In the pan, add another tablespoon of sesame oil and then add the onions, stirring until the onions begin to soften and become translucent. Add the zucchini and the teriyaki mixture. Cook while stirring until the zucchini starts to brown and soften. Add the broccoli and soy sauce and stir while you cook until the broccoli is bright green but slightly soft.
Add the teriyaki chicken back to your pan and give the pan a stir.
Serve with white rice and sprinkle with sesames seeds. See the full recipe below!
- 1 lb chicken
- 5 tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil or neutral oil such as vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 zucchini
- 1 broccoli crown
- 1 yellow or white onion
- sesame seeds (optional)
- kosher salt
- Cooked white rice for serving
- Slice the chicken into thin slices, crosswise, and place in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of the teriyaki sauce and 1 tbsp of the soy sauce and stir to coat. Set aside. Cut the zucchini into 3 inch long strips. Slice the onion into thin slices. Cut the broccoli into one inch florets. Set aside.
- In a large deep skillet or wok, add 1 tbsp of the sesame oil over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and juices and spread out evenly across the pan in one layer. Sprinkle salt over all the chicken lightly. After 2-3 minutes, flip the chicken over and salt the other side, cooking for another 3 minutes or until all the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve on a plate with the juices.
- Mix together the remaining 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce and the brown sugar in a small bowl. To the same pan the chicken was cooked in, add another tablespoon of sesame oil over high heat. Add the onion, stirring frequently until the onion becomes translucent--about four minutes. Add the zucchini and add the teriyaki brown sugar mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini begins to brown and soften. Add the broccoli and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt to season. Cook, stirring, until the broccoli is bright green and just starting to soften.
- Add the reserved chicken and stir. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with cooked white rice and a little extra teriyaki sauce on the side if needed.