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Teriyaki Chicken Hand Rolls

A recipe for Teriyaki Chicken Hand Rolls inspired by our visit to Disney World's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Course Main
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword chicken, hand roll, Japan, Japanese, sushi, teriyaki
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 7 -10 Rolls



  • 3 cups Japanese short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons Sake
  • 1 (6 inch, 15 cm) piece of kombu
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Teriyaki Chicken:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin Japanese sweet rice wine
  • 1/2 cup Sake
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

For Wrapping:

  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 15 nori sheets
  • Toasted sesame seeds


To make the rice:

  • Place the rice in a large bowl and fill with cold water. Stir the rice to remove any particles. Pour off water and continue to rinse with more cold water until the water runs clear.
  • To use rice cooker, add the rice to the rice cooker bowl. Pour in 3 cups water. Remove 2 tablespoons water and add 2 tablespoons sake. Add the piece of kombu. Let sit for 30 minutes before turning on rice cooker. If your rice cooker has a sushi setting, use it.
  • If you do not have a rice cooker, place ingredients above in a heavy saucepan and let sit for 30 minutes. Cover the saucepan and place over medium high heat to bring to a boil. Immediately when it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until water has dissolved and the rice begins to crackle. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • While the rice cooks, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Microwave for a minute and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  • Remove the kombu from the cooked rice and pour the rice into Hangiri (large wooden tub) or a large casserole dish. Gently sprinkle the rice vinegar mixture over the rice and carefully fold the rice with a fan directed at the dish on a low setting or fanning the mixture with a fan or piece of cardboard with your other hand. Continue to fold until the rice cools. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside. Do not refrigerate.

To make the teriyaki sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, for 8 minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved. If desired, continue to cook for a few more minutes to reduce the sauce and thicken slightly.
  • Remove from heat and set aside. If not using right away, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To make the teriyaki chicken:

  • Season chicken on each side with salt and pepper. If using chicken thighs, spread out the thighs before seasoning.
  • In a large pan, drizzle oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the chicken and cook until browned on each side and almost cooked through. Pour in 1/4 cup of the teriyaki sauce and cook for another minute per side to coat the chicken.
  • Remove from heat and let chicken sit for 10 minutes before thinly slicing.

To assemble:

  • Cover Makisu (sushi mat) with plastic wrap. Cut one sheet of nori into 1 inch wide strips. Place one strip on each side of the prepared sushi mat, about the length apart as a second piece of nori. Cover the strips halfway with a thin layer of sumeshi (sushi rice).
  • Cut about 1/4 off the top of another piece of nori. Place this piece on top of the rice, evenly matched with the section closest to you. It will be a little shorter at the top than the thin strips of nori. Cover 3/4 of this piece of nori with a thin layer of rice, thinner than the previous layer. Near you, place a thin layer of sliced chicken and carrots across the rice.
  • Use the sushi mat to tightly roll up the hand roll. Cut in half diagonally, place on serving tray, and top with teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds.
  • Serve immediately.