My Japanese Sarku Rice Bowl is a copycat recipe that’s similar to a dish you can get in many mall food courts. It has a rich flavorful sauce, sautéed vegetables, and marinated chicken.
If you’re missing the days where you spent most of your weekend at the mall and refueled with Chicken Teriyaki from Sarku Japan, you’ll be sure to love this Japanese Sarku Copycat Rice Bowl. It has a deep and flavorful sauce, sautéed vegetables, and marinated chicken so it’s full of flavor.
You can serve it over steamed rice or lo mein noodles, making it even more versatile.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
- What is Sarku Japan?
- Chicken Breasts Or Chicken Thighs For Teriyaki?
- Chicken Marinade
- How To Make Sarku Japan Teriyaki Chicken
- Sarku Teriyaki Sauce
- What Vegetables Should You Use?
- Get More Asian Flavors
- Podcast Episode About Making Japanese Sarku Copycat Rice Bowl
- Japanese Sarku Copycat Rice Bowl Recipe
What is Sarku Japan?
Sarku Japan is a popular fast food restaurant that is often found in the food court at malls. They serve a variety of dishes, but chicken teriyaki is something they’re really well known for. If you find yourself craving these delicious bites of chicken, now you can prepare it at home!
Chicken Breasts Or Chicken Thighs For Teriyaki?
Either works. The original dish is so tender and juicy that we do think they use chopped chicken thigh meat. Chicken thighs tend to have a higher fat content than chicken breasts which helps keep in the flavor and moisture.
You can absolutely still use chicken breasts though. It’s a good option if you’re looking to make more health-conscious decisions or if dark meat just isn’t your thing.
This tasty marinade is part of the reason the chicken has so much flavor. The marinade is made up of a few different ingredients like cooking sherry, vegetable oil, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder, and baking soda. Then we finish the dish with a teriyaki sauce that adds another layer of flavor.
Cutting the chicken before it’s marinated also gives more surface area to really allow for each piece to capture those flavors. If you’re able to, letting it sit overnight will give you the full flavors and tenderness from the marinade.
If you cut it short on time, you should try to give the chicken at least two hours to marinate.
How To Make Sarku Japan Teriyaki Chicken
After marinating the chicken, add the pieces of chicken to large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
This will get added to your vegetables and sauce to come together for a delicious meal.
Sarku Teriyaki Sauce
The sauce for this copycat Sarku chicken is a more developed teriyaki sauce. It’s made up of chicken stock, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, dried ginger, and garlic powder. Each bite has the perfect combination of bright flavor and saltiness – an umami – that’ll make you crave this dish often.
You’ll want to make sure you give enough time to simmer the sauce so all the flavors blend together and the sugar dissolves. Then once the flavors are all combined you’ll add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it. This will help the sauce stick to the chicken, vegetables, and rice even more.
What Vegetables Should You Use?
A stir fry blend of broccoli florets and carrots is a good option to use for this dish. Sliced cabbage is also a great addition to add a little more crunch and flavor.
If you’re looking for a few different options, chopped bok choy or daikon could also be added.
Get More Asian Flavors
If you love this teriyaki chicken recipe, try some of these other great recipes with Asian flavors.
Podcast Episode About Making Japanese Sarku Copycat Rice Bowl
Listen to our editor, Christine Pittman, explain briefly about how to make this recipe, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. sherry cooking wine
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 and 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ginger powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 10 oz. finely sliced cabbage
- 8 oz. carrots, diced
- 12 oz. broccoli florets
- 1/2 onion, diced
- Add chicken pieces to a large gallon-sized zip top bag.
- In a small bowl, add water, sherry cooking wine, vegetable oil, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder, and baking soda.
- Add marinade to the gallon bag and massage to ensure all chicken is evenly coated.
- Let sit in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add in chicken pieces from marinade and cook until done, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, add chicken stock, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic powder.
- Bring to a boil and stir to make sure the sugar dissolves. Once boiling, lower heat and bring down to a simmer.
- In a small bowl, add cornstarch and water and combine to make a slurry. Slowly drizzle into the saucepan and stir to incorporate.
- Let simmer for another 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken. Set aside until ready to add to vegetables.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add sesame oil. Once heated through, add cabbage, diced carrots, broccoli florets, and diced onion. Stir and let cook through until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Pour in sauce and add cooked chicken then stir to ensure everything is combined and coated. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add steamed rice then the chicken and vegetable mixture. Top with a few diced green onions and enjoy.
This post originally appeared in September 2020 and was revised and republished in September 2023.