Teriyaki Sesame Chicken x

The sweet flavors of teriyaki chicken can be easily made healthy at home. Traditional take-out teriyaki can use rancid frying oils and overly sweet sauce, causing inflammation and weight gain. Removing these ingredients makes a dish that can help reverse your diabetes, not worsen it. The short ingredient list means you can quickly prep this in the morning to slow-cook your dinner throughout the day.

The teriyaki options at fast food restaurants are pretending to be healthy. Jack In The Box®, for example, offers a teriyaki bowl. At first glance it seems good for you. Digging into their nutrition facts reveals a whopping 135 grams of carbs and 35 grams of sugar per serving. That’s more than an entire day’s worth of carbs in one meal. The vegetables and meat are also not organic. Jack In The Box® has received an F-rating from independent sources on their quality of meat and antibiotic use. Their “healthy meal” will spike your blood sugar levels and encourage weight gain and inflammation from the ingredients.

Allergens and substitutions: To avoid soy use another recipe. To avoid dairy use olive oil instead.



Chicken has high levels of vitamin B along with being a high source of protein, the building block of muscles. Only buy chicken (and all other poultry) that is raised without antibiotics to get truly healthy meat. Read the ingredients on the sausages. Food manufacturers can hide some horrible ingredients in tube meat. If you cannot pronounce it or recognize the ingredient, it’s best to not eat it. Honorable mention goes to Applegate Organics meats for producing real food available widely in the US. It’s not cheap, but real food raised properly seldom is.


Broccoli is in the same family as cabbage and kale. This sturdy vegetable is an immune system booster and rich in vitamin C, not to mention healthy fiber. Of importance to diabetics, broccoli is high in carotenoids, specifically lutein which promotes good eye health. Broccoli can block the growth of some cancer cells and repair DNA.


Ginger is another powerful anti-inflammatory root. It is widely used to treat upset stomachs and indigestion. This familiar flavor is not just limited to ginger ale and provides the most healing benefits in its fresh root form. Most spice sections in grocery stores at least carry the dried powder version. Ginger can increase insulin release in diabetics – which is a good thing.



Follow the instructions below to make this savory meal. Look for fresh pre-shredded broccoli and carrot slaw in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s. It’s a great time-saver. Simply open the bag and add it to the recipe when ready. Pre-made sauces can either be time-savers, like this San-j Teriyaki sauce shown below, or packed with low-quality, inflammatory ingredients. Search for this San-J brand or read the label closely (shoot for 4g of carbs in a 1tbsp serving). Whenever any of the San-J sauces go on sale at our grocery store, I stock up on this shelf-stable flavor factory.

It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.

Teriyaki Sesame Chicken Ingredients

This recipe works with any cut of chicken. Here I am using a bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh. I prefer bone-in for crock pot recipes since it adds flavor, nutrients and is cheaper than the bone-less chicken. A bone-in hind quarter or chicken breast could be substituted. If you’re short on time or just do not want to deal with the bones or skin, use boneless, skinless thighs instead. The breast is the leanest but usually the most expensive cut. The skin can be left on the chicken to cook in the crock pot, but that can lead to a greasier mixture after some hours. My preference is to remove the skin with a paper towel and a sharp knife. The skin can be discarded, saved in the freezer to be used for broth or optionally spiced and baked for a crunchy topping. See below for the “meat candy” recipe. Note: The calorie and fat nutrition counts below include eating the skin. Skip the skin if you want to trim a few extra calories from this meal. It can help jump start your weight loss.

Removing Chicken Skin

Trim any excess fat from your pieces of chicken and discard. The thighs and hind quarters usually have a little to be trimmed. The breast rarely has any excess fat to remove.

Mix the teriyaki sauce, water, ginger powder and optional red chili flakes. Stir to combine before pouring into the crock pot.

Teriyaki Sesame Chicken

Optional: Bring a skillet up to medium heat on your stove top. Add 1 tbsp of butter or ghee and allow to melt. Add your chicken pieces skin side down. If you removed your skin, place that side that was in contact with the skin down. The skin side will be the smoother side of the meat. Allow to brown for 5-7 minutes. The chicken can still be pink and undercooked since it will finish cooking in the crock pot.

Place your [browned] chicken in your crock pot and pour the sauce over it. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. After your chicken has cooked for hours, add the broccoli slaw, sesame seeds and scallions to the crock pot. Mix well and allow to cook for another 15 minutes.

To make the boats for your chicken filling, remove one leaf at a time from the romaine hearts. Trim the lower 1-1.5″ of the white from the bottom of the leaf. That white area can be bitter. Place a second leaf in the opposite direction to the first for a structurally sound vessel. Add the chicken filling then cover with some optional chicken skin.

Browned Chicken in a SkilletServing Size: Once cooked, split the chicken mixture evenly 3 or 4 ways. The 1,500 calorie plan gets 4 servings and the 2,000 calorie plan has 3 servings. Store romaine leaves in a separate container and do not assemble these until the last minute. The leaves will get soggy if in contact with the chicken for too long.

Optional: Baked Chicken Skin Recipe

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Remove the chicken skin by gripping it with a paper towel and pulling, as needed. Use a sharp knife to cut it away from the meat. Stretch the skin out on a cookie sheet. Season with whatever spices you have on-hand. Here I used Chinese Five Spice and some sea salt. Blackened Seasoning, without salt, would work well for a Mexican spiced dish. If you have neither, just use a pinch of sea salt. Place a flat baking pan or another cookie sheet on top of the skin to keep it flat. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then use a spatula to work it free. Crumble and serve on top of the teriyaki chicken boats.


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The sweet flavors of teriyaki chicken can be easily made healthy at home. Traditional take-out teriyaki can use rancid frying oils and overly sweet sauce, causing inflammation and weight gain. Removing these ingredients makes a dish that can help reverse your diabetes, not worsen it. The short ingredient list means you can quickly prep this in the morning to slow-cook your dinner throughout the day.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: ¾ servings
  • Chicken Thighs, NO ANTIBIOTICS, 1.5lb
  • Butter or Ghee, 2 tbsp
  • Teriyaki Sauce, 1 cup
  • Water, ½ cup
  • Sesame Seeds, 3 tbsp
  • Broccoli/Carrot Slaw, 5 cup
  • Scallions, Sliced, 5X
  • Ginger, Powdered, 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Flakes, 1 tsp
  • Romaine Hearts, 1 package
  1. If using bone-in chicken, remove the skin. Save or discard the chicken skin for later use.
  2. Optional: Brown the chicken over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, skin side down. in the butter.
  3. Place the chicken in the crock pot.
  4. Mix teriyaki, ginger, red chili flakes and water.
  5. Pour marinade over chicken.
  6. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  7. Mix in the sesame seeds, broccoli slaw mix and scallions in the crock pot for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  8. Serve over lettuce wraps with optional baked chicken skin.
  9. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  10. Chicken Skin Recipe
  11. Preheat oven to 400F.
  12. Place the chicken skins flat on a cookie sheet.
  13. Season with sea salt+Chinese five spice or salt+TJ's 21 season salute or just sea salt.
  14. Bake in the oven until golden brown and the fat has rendered, around 30 minutes.
  15. Crumble and serve over chicken wraps.


Photo by Fotolia and liz west (broc).

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