Teriyaki Fried Chicken Tenders

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Crisp & sticky teriyaki fried chicken tenders! These are brined in buttermilk, deep fried then finished with teriyaki sauce, sesame & chilli.

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teriyaki glazed chicken tenders

Super crispy fried chicken tenders, glazed in a sticky, homemade teriyaki sauce!

We’re making these tenders fried chicken style, with a tangy buttermilk brine & a seasoned flour dredge. Cooked in a deep fat fryer until they’re incredibly crisp, these chicken tenders are then glazed in teriyaki sauce then finished with toasted sesame seeds & sliced chilli.

Tender, crisp & sticky, this chicken dish is surprisingly easy to prepare & makes for a next level appetizer, lunchtime snack or main course!

Take a look at our ever growing collection of main course recipes for more dinner inspiration!

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken Fillets – Also called tenderloins. These come off the breast & can be found in most supermarkets & butchers. If you can’t get any, you can cut chicken breasts into 2-3 cm wide strips instead.
  • Buttermilk Brine – Using a buttermilk brine makes the best, most tender fried chicken! There’s not really a substitute for buttermilk in this recipe but it is available in most supermarkets. We’re flavouring our brine with sesame oil, ground ginger, garlic granules & salt.
  • Teriyaki Sauce – Homemade teriyaki sauce is much better than shop bought so we’re making our own! To make this, you’ll need soy sauce, mirin (rice wine), light brown sugar, honey, garlic, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar & cornflour (to thicken the sauce).
  • Flour Dredge – Before frying, the chicken tenders are coated in a flour dredge. This consists of plain flour, cornflour, smoked paprika, garlic granules & salt
  • Garnishes – For even more flavour, we’re garnishing these tenders with toasted sesame seeds & thinly sliced chilli. If you’ve got some spring onions, they’d also work well.
teriyaki glazed fried chicken

How To Make Teriyaki Fried Chicken Tenders

The full, printable recipe card for these chicken tenders can be found at the bottom of this post!

  1. Buttermilk Brine
    First, we need to brine our chicken fillets. To do this, we mix buttermilk with sesame oil, garlic powder, ground ginger & salt. We then add in the chicken & refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Flour Dredge
    This is the coating for our fried chicken. We make this by mixing together plain flour, cornflour, smoked paprika, garlic powder & salt. The dredge can be made well in advance & stored in an airtight container.
  3. Teriyaki Sauce
    This homemade teriyaki sauce is super easy to make! All we do here, is place soy sauce, water, light brown sugar, mirin, honey, garlic & ginger into a pan then heat, to dissolve the sugar. Next, we bring the sauce to a simmer then thicken with cornflour (mixed with water). The sauce then needs to cook out for a couple of minutes then we take it off the heat & stir in rice wine vinegar.
    I’d recommend making the sauce just before you fry the chicken. That way, the sauce will still be warm & you’ll get better coverage when you glaze the chicken tenders.
  4. Frying
    Depending on the size of your fryer, you’ll probably need to cook the tenders in batches. To cook, take 3 or 4 pieces of chicken out of the buttermilk, toss in the flour then immediately (and carefully) place into a deep fat fryer (preheated to 180°c/356°f).
    Now we fry the chicken until the coating is crisp & golden & the chicken is cooked through (a digital food probe comes in handy here!) The chicken’s internal temperature should be at least 75°c/167°f. Once cooked, the chicken is drained on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  5. Glazing
    Once all of the tenders are cooked, we transfer them into a mixing bowl then pour over half of the warm teriyaki sauce. The sauce & chicken then get tossed together, to coat then we sprinkle over toasted sesame seeds & thinly sliced chilli. Once glazed, the chicken should be served immediately with the remaining sauce.

What To Serve With Teriyaki Chicken Tenders

These fried chicken tenders are great served on their own but would work great with a batch of homemade fried rice, some triple cooked chips or in a sandwich!

Fried Chicken Tenders Tips & Tricks

  • For the most tender & flavourful fried chicken, brine the meat in buttermilk for at least 4 hours.
  • Use a deep fat fryer to fry the chicken until it’s golden brown & super crispy.
  • For perfectly cooked chicken, check the internal temperature with a digital food probe.
  • Use cornflour in the dredge, for a crispier coating.
  • Drain the fried chicken on a piece of kitchen paper to stop it going soggy.
  • Use the glaze whilst still warm for better chicken coverage.
homemade teriyaki sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a deep fat fryer to make fried chicken tenders?

For the best fried chicken, you will need a deep fat fryer. You could also use a pan of oil, heated up to 180°c/356°f on the stove. Make sure to do this really carefully though!

How long do chicken tenders need to brine in buttermilk for?

For the best flavour & texture, fried chicken tenders should be brined in buttermilk for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Any longer than this & the texture of the chicken can start to be affected.

How will I know when the chicken tenders are cooked?

The best way to check if you’re chicken is cooked, is to use a digital food probe to take the internal temperature. Once cooked, chicken’s internal temperature will be at least 75°c/167°f.

What type of chicken is used to make tenders?

To make chicken tenders, you’ll need to use chicken fillets/tenderloins, that come from the breast. If you can’t get these, you can slice chicken breasts into 3-4cm wide strips.

How long will homemade teriyaki sauce keep for?

Stored in the fridge, teriyaki sauce will keep for up to a week.

What is teriyaki sauce?

Teriyaki sauce is a sticky, soy based sauce originating from Japan. Used for marinades, glazes & as an accompaniment, teriyaki sauce is made with soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, fresh ginger, sugar & sometimes honey.

Equipment Used

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More Main Courses To Try!

What’s For Dessert?

Want to finish your meal with a next level, homemade dessert? Here’s what we’d recommend…

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Teriyaki Fried Chicken Tenders

Crisp & sticky teriyaki fried chicken tenders! These are brined in buttermilk, deep fried then finished with teriyaki sauce, sesame & chilli.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Brine Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 35 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Servings: 3 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Deep Fat Fryer
  • Digital Food Probe
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Saucepan

Ingredients

  • 400 g Chicken Fillets See Notes

Buttermilk Brine

  • 300 g Buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Table Salt

Flour Dredge

  • 170 g Plain Flour
  • 30 g Cornflour
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Table Salt

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 150 g Water
  • 80 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 75 g Light Soy Sauce
  • 30 g Mirin
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1" Piece Of Fresh Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

To Serve

  • 2 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds See Notes
  • 1 Red Chilli Thinly Sliced

Instructions

Buttermilk Brine

  • Place the buttermilk, sesame oil, garlic powder, ginger & salt into a mixing bowl then whisk together.
  • Add in the chicken fillets then mix well, to fully coat each piece.
  • Cover with clingfilm then leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 12.
    If you've used a metal mixing bowl, transfer the chicken to a plastic container then refrigerate. This is to prevent the brine reacting with the metal.

Flour Dredge

  • Place the flour, cornflour, garlic powder, paprika & salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine then set aside.

Tereiyaki Sauce

  • Add the water, sugar, soy sauce, mirin & honey into a medium saucepan then grate in the garlic & ginger. Set over a medium heat.
  • Warm the sauce, stirring to dissolve the sugar then bring to a simmer.
  • In a bowl, mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp of cold water then whisk into the sauce. Continue cooking the sauce for 2-3 minutes, until thick & cooked out then take off the heat & stir in the rice wine vinegar.
    If the sauce seems too thick, whisk in a splash of water.
  • Set the sauce aside whilst you fry the chicken.

Frying The Chicken

  • Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°c/356°f.
  • Take 3-4 chicken fillets out of the buttermilk then toss in the flour dredge, making sure that they are fully coated.
    Don't worry about letting the buttermilk drain off the chicken!
  • Carefully place the dredged chicken into the hot oil & cook until golden, crispy & cooked through.
    This will take around 5 minutes. If you take the internal temperature with a digital food probe, it should be above 75°c/167°f. Repeat the dredging & frying process with the remaining chicken fillets.
    Depending on the size of your fryer, you might be able to cook more than 4 chicken tenders at a time. Make sure not to overcrowd the fryer though! Keep the chicken warm in an oven between batches or serve straight away.
  • Once cooked, transfer the fried chicken to a plate lined with kitchen paper & leave to drain for a minute or so.

Glazing

  • Transfer the cooked chicken tenders into a large mixing bowl then pour over two thirds of the teriyaki sauce.
  • Toss to coat then top with the sesame seeds & sliced chilli. Serve immediately with the remaining sauce.

Notes

1. Chicken Fillets – You’ll need 400 grams of chicken fillets for this recipe. This equates to roughly 9 fillets. If you can’t get chicken fillets, cut chicken breasts into 2-3 cm wide strips.
2. Deep Fat Fryer – For the best results, a deep fat fryer should be used for cooking the chicken. If you haven’t got one, a pan of oil heated up on the stove will work, just make sure to do this carefully!
3. Storage – The deep fried chicken fillets should be served as soon after cooking as possible. The teriyaki sauce can be made up to a week in advance & kept in the fridge. Reheat the sauce over a low heat before pouring over the chicken (this makes the sauce coat the chicken better).
4. Toasted Sesame Seeds – To toast the seeds, place them in a small frying pan then cook over a medium heat until golden. You can use either white or black sesame seeds or a mix of both.

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