Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs

Sticky and savoury Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs which will become a family favourite! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

Teriyaki Chicken meatballs in white skillet

Teriyaki Chicken

I’m a big fan of Japanese cuisine and, after some years of relentless persuasion and bribery, I recently succeeded in convincing my children to eat sushi. With raw fish. And now we have an expensive food addiction, but at least it’s healthy, right?

But before salmon maki and tuna nigiri became a thing in our home, teriyaki chicken was right up there on our list of favourite Japanese dishes.

Teriyaki Chicken meatballs in pan sprinkled with chives

Teriyaki Meatballs

For something a bit different, I love to make Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs. It takes a bit more time than if you were to cook just sliced chicken, but who can resist meatballs?

These teriyaki meatballs are deliciously tender and juicy, and heady with Asian flavours such as ginger, garlic and sesame oil.

They are perfect tossed through the sticky teriyaki sauce and served on a bed of steamed rice. Comfort in a bowl.

Teriyaki Chicken meatballs in skillet on white table

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

These days, it is so easy to buy a bottle of ready-made teriyaki sauce. But making your own teriyaki sauce from scratch is just a matter of mixing together a few Asian sauces which you might already have in your pantry. Plus, you can control the sweetness and/or saltiness to your liking.

I use the teriyaki sauce recipe below when stir-frying chicken to make Teriyaki Chicken, but it also works well with stir-fried beef and pan-fried salmon fillets or salmon cutlets.

How to Make Teriyaki Chicken

Step 1

Place all of the ingredients for the chicken meatballs into a large mixing ball. Use your hands to mix everything together gently.

ingredients for chicken meatballs in white mixing bowl

Step 2

Roll the mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball. The batter is quite sticky, so I recommend wetting your hands every so often to make rolling the meatballs easier.

Place the meatballs into the fridge for about 30 minutes for them to chill and firm.

uncooked chicken meatballs on white plate

Step 3

Heat some vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan or skillet. Cook the meatballs in batches until they are all nicely golden and caramelised all over. Remove the cooked meatballs to a plate.

cooked chicken meatballs in skillet

Step 4

Using the same (unwashed) pan which you used to cook the meatballs, add all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients. Simmer the teriyaki sauce over medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Return all of the chicken meatballs to the pan and toss them through the teriyaki sauce. Simmer gently for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened a little more.

This recipe creates a bit more teriyaki sauce than usual because my family and I like to have some extra sauce to drizzle over our rice.

Teriyaki Chicken meatballs in skillet on marble table

More Japanese Recipes

For more Japanese recipes, you might also like:

Chicken Katsu Curry

Udon Noodle Soup

Yakisoba (Japanese Stir-Fried Noodles)


Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Sticky and savoury Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs which will become a family favourite! Recipe with step-by-step photos.


For the chicken meatballs

  • 600g (1.5 lb) minced chicken
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or other breadcrumbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 34 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the teriyaki sauce

To serve

  • fresh chives or spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • roasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • Steamed Jasmine Rice
  • steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus or cauliflower


For the chicken meatballs

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the chicken meatballs, except the vegetable oil, into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Use your hands to gently mix everything together.
  3. Roll the mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball. I find it easiest to wet my hands before rolling.
  4. Place the meatballs onto a large plate.
  5. Once you have finished making all of the meatballs, place them into the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill and firm.
  6. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Cook the meatballs in batches until they are nicely golden all over and cooked all the way through. Turn the meatballs frequently so that they can achieve an even colour on the outside.
  8. Once the meatballs have cooked, remove them to a plate.

For the teriyaki sauce

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce into a small bowl or jug, and whisk to combine.
  2. Using the same (unwashed) pan which you used to cook the meatballs, add the teriyaki sauce.
  3. Let the sauce come to a simmer over medium-high heat for several minutes, or until it starts to thicken.
  4. Taste the sauce for seasoning.

To serve

  1. Once the teriyaki sauce has thickened slightly, return all of the meatballs to the pan.
  2. Toss the meatballs lightly in the sauce and gently heat them in the sauce for a few minutes. During this time, the sauce will thicken a little more and become sticky.
  3. Just before serving, garnish with chives or spring onions (scallions) and roasted sesame seeds.
  4. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice and steamed vegetables.

Kitchen Notes

These Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs are great served as canapés at cocktail parties or as appetisers. Simply make the meatballs smaller than pictured, about 1 heaped teaspoon each. Cook as per the recipe. I also like to the serve the meatballs directly from the skillet so that they retain their heat better.

The chicken meatballs can be cooked ahead of time and frozen in zip-lock freezer bags. Defrost the meatballs overnight in the fridge before adding them to the sauce as per the recipe above, although you will need to let them simmer in the sauce over low-medium heat so that the meatballs can warm through completely.

Substitute the panko breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Jessica 6 July 2020

    Hi Thanh, I would love to try out this recipe.. is it a tablespoon of garlic or ginger from the list of ingredients? It looks like garlic has been mentioned twice. Thank you

    • Eat, Little Bird 6 July 2020

      Hi Jessica,
      So sorry, my mistake! That should be 1 tablespoon of ginger (and 1 garlic clove). Hope you will enjoy this recipe 🙂

  2. Lynne 23 March 2021

    Wow delicious flavours! The chicken meatballs were so tender and juicy. Can’t wait to make this again.