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Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale

Teriyaki chicken is one of my favourite chicken dishes! This recipe uses boneless skinless chicken thighs and a homemade teriyaki sauce.

By adding a carb (rice) and a vegetable (kale), it makes an easy-to-make, healthy, and filling meal option!

I hope you enjoy this filling recipe for Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale!

How do you make this recipe?

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions available in the recipe card down below)

Overhead view of fresh green kale, garlic cloves, and a small bowl of brown rice.

I like to start cooking the rice (cook according to package directions) before marinating the chicken.

You can use whatever type of rice you prefer.

  • I used brown rice since we have a bag in our house that will never run out. Not only are most dried rice varieties affordable, it also makes quite a bit once cooked.
  • Feel free to make more or less rice according to your rice bowl preferences.

While the chicken is marinating and the rice is cooking, I like to cook up the kale.

If you have looked around my site, you’ll realize that I eat a lot of kale.

This recipes calls for 1 1/2 pounds (or around 2 bunches) of fresh kale. It may look like a lot, but like spinach, as the kale cooks (all together it will be less than 10 minutes), it will wilt, become tender, and decrease in amount.

  • Not only do I like the flavour, but kale is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, high in fibre, and has zero fat. So I decided to complement the tasty chicken and rice with a quick sautéed garlicky kale.
Six pan-cooked chicken thighs covered with teriyaki sauce in a skillet.

Making delicious teriyaki sauce (which also doubles as a marinade) is so simple, you won’t need to buy a bottle from the store anymore. So what’s in this stuff?

This teriyaki sauce only uses the following:

  • Soy sauce: Gives it a nice salty, umami flavour.
  • Mirin: A sweet Japanese (rice wine) cooking sauce that adds a layer of flavour. It’s a perfect pairing with soy sauce for that salty and sweet combination.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a little bit rich sweetness
  • Garlic: Adds a nice strong, pungent flavour
  • Ginger: Gives the sauce a little heat and zing
  • Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce as it cooks

Whisk it together and you’ve got a very flavourful combination that’s sweet and savoury.

Marinade the chicken for 20 minutes in a large ziploc bag before cooking to impart flavour and tenderize the meat.

As the marinated chicken cooks on the stovetop in a large skillet, I like to spoon the sauce over the chicken, which allows the chicken thighs to form a shiny “crust” of teriyaki sauce on the outside. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.

Look at the saucy teriyaki sauce coating each chicken thigh.

Side view of a bowl of teriyaki chicken with green sauteed kale, and brown rice.

Assemble bowls or place in lunch containers for meal prep.

Finish by sprinkling some sesame seeds and furikake on top if you like. Furikake is a Japanese mixed seasoning that is made from a variety of dried ingredients.

  • It usually has mostly a savoury, a little sweet, and a little earthy flavour to it.
  • I like to use nori komi furikake, which contains seaweed flakes, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar.
  • Other furikake flavours may include salmon, wasabi, shiso, and/or bonito (fish) flakes as well as other ingredients.
Overhead shot of a bowl of teriyaki chicken with garlicky kale and brown rice, a plate of teriyaki chicken thighs, a bowl of brown rice, and seasonings.

I hope you enjoy this Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls recipe!

Side view of a teriyaki chicken rice bowl with garlicky kale with chopsticks on a wood slab.
Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A healthy, flavourful, and easy-to-make rice bowl with scratch-made teriyaki chicken thighs and leafy green kale with garlic! Everything is ready in less than a hour too.


For the rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice* (see first note)
  • water** (see second note)

For the teriyaki chicken:

  • 6 (3-4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the garlicky kale:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ lb. (2 bunches) kale, stems removed and chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt and pepper

Optional toppings:

  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)


  1. For the rice. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  2. For the teriyaki chicken (Part 1). As the rice cooks, in a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and cornstarch until well combined.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in a large ziploc bag and pour the sauce over the chicken. Squeeze out excess air before sealing the bag. Gently squeeze the bag with your hands, making sure that the marinade coats the chicken.
  4. Place the bag flat on a baking sheet and marinade the chicken in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  5. For the garlicky kale. As the chicken marinades and the rice cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet to medium heat, add vegetable oil, and stir in garlic until lightly golden. Add in kale and water, and carefully stir to combine until the kale starts to wilt. Cover and let it steam for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the kale is tender, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. For the teriyaki chicken (Part 2). Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Place the chicken thighs (along with the marinade) in the skillet so that they are not touching.
  8. Cook the chicken, spooning the marinade (sauce) over the chicken occasionally and flipping once, about 6-8 minutes on each side or until completely cooked through.
  9. Remove the chicken from the skillet onto a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  10. Assemble the bowls. Evenly divide the ingredients into separate bowls or containers***(see third note). Sprinkle chicken and kale with sesame seeds and rice with furikake if you like. Serve immediately or let it cool completely before sealing with a lid for meal prep or leftovers.


  • *1 cup uncooked brown rice yields about 3 cups cooked rice. Check your rice package instructions and make the amount of rice you desire.
  • **Cook rice according to package directions. Water amounts may vary based on type of brown rice or other rice used. Brown rice typically takes between 45-55 minutes to make.
  • ***One small meal = 1/2 cup of brown rice + 1 chicken thigh + divided sautéed kale. This makes 6 meals total. Or slice the chicken first before evenly dividing to make 4 larger portions.
  • Nutritional calories represent one serving (excluding optional toppings) with six servings total.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 374Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 46.8gProtein: 30.3g

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Thursday 25th of February 2021

Excellent recipe, thank you! Loved the furikake seasoning, great addition. I had never heard of it before and was surprised my local grocery store had it.

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Thank you for the wonderful review, Julie! I'm glad you loved the seasoning too!


Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

My husband and I enjoyed this recipe. It was quick enough for a week night meal. Teriyaki sauce has a lovely touch of sweetness from the miren.

Marie | Yay! For Food

Thursday 3rd of May 2018

Maria, I'm so happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this meal! Thank you!


Wednesday 13th of December 2017

Oh the sound of that garlicky kale has me drooling!

Marie | Yay! For Food

Wednesday 13th of December 2017

Thanks! it's a great fast side dish!


Tuesday 12th of December 2017

Do you have to buy furikake or can you make it?

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 12th of December 2017

I buy pre-made furikake, but you can make your own. There are many recipes available online if you Google it. :)

Jessica Robinson

Monday 11th of December 2017

This dish looks absolutely delicous! Thanks for sharing a healthy inspired recipe!

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 12th of December 2017

Thanks Jessica!

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