Butter Shoyu Chicken バター醤油チキン

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  • Glazed with delicious soy-butter sauce, this easiest and tastiest Butter Shoyu Chicken recipe will win your family’s heart!

    A white plate containing butter shoyu chicken.

    Once in a while, I get stuck in the rut with menu planning and I don’t know what to cook.  As my children love chicken, my easy solution often comes to this Butter Shoyu Chicken (バター醤油チキン).  The flavor is similar to Teriyaki Sauce, but everything is homemade, and with the addition of butter the sauce is creamier and even a bit sweeter.

    Butter & Soy Sauce – Butter Shoyu Chicken

    If you have never combined these two ingredients together, you will be pleasantly surprised how delicious these two flavors bring to a dish.

    In Japan, you will see many dishes flavored with butter and soy sauce flavor (butter shoyu aji, 醤油バター味 – Shoyu means soy sauce in Japanese). Japanese-style pasta is often seasoned with soy sauce and butter and a popular street snack, grilled corn flavored with soy butter (バター醤油コーン), is absolutely addicting too.

    Butter adds a rich wonderful creaminess and sweetness to the salty savory soy sauce, making the combination a great sauce and glaze over meats, vegetables or even noodle dishes.

    A white plate containing butter shoyu chicken.

    Chicken Thighs for Juicy, Tender Result

    Instead of using chicken breasts, I prefer to use chicken thighs. Fattier than lean meat, they are less likely to turn dry on the heat. This inexpensive cut is best for a recipe like this. You get tender juicy chicken meat and crispy skin that is seared on the hot pan, which means perfection. 

    The ingredients for the butter shoyu sauce is short, but it’s packed with flavor. You want to spoon any remaining sauce in the pan over the chicken before serving.

    If you are thinking of cooking chicken tonight, definitely give this recipe a try. There is no need to marinate the chicken, and you can finish cooking in 30 minutes! Serve the Butter Shoyu Chicken with steamed rice alongside a vegetable dish and you’ve got a delicious meal for the family.  

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    4.69 from 22 votes
    A white plate containing butter shoyu chicken.
    Butter Shoyu Chicken
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    25 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins
    Glazed with delicious soy-butter sauce, this easiest and tastiest Butter Shoyu Chicken recipe will win your family's heart!
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: chicken
    Servings: 3
    Author: Nami
    • 2-5 chicken thighs (I prefer to use boneless chicken thighs with skin - the skin will be crispy and adds another flavor and texture)
    • kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt)
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    • 3 Tbsp sake
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1. Gather all the ingredients.  Lightly sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides of the chicken.

    2. In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. If the chicken has skin, cook from the skin side first.

    3. When the bottom side is nicely browned, flip over and reduce heat to medium heat.
    4. Add sake and cook covered until liquid is almost gone.
    5. Remove the cover and cook until the chicken is almost cooked. Then wipe off excess oil on the frying pan with a paper towel.

    6. Add the sauce and coat the chicken well with the sauce using a spoon.

    7. When the sauce gets thicken and small bubbles appear in the pan, add the butter. Spoon the sauce over the chicken When the butter is melted, serve the chicken onto a plate. Pour some sauce over the chicken.
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: Picture is updated in March 2012.

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