Yakitori is one of the oldest and most popular traditional Japanese dishes. It’s a casual dish, great for after work with a beer or for a laid back party. Bite-sized pieces of chicken, chicken parts, meat or vegetables are skewered and cooked over a charcoal grill or an open flame, and glazed with a sweet teriyaki sauce.
If you’re looking for a tasty festive recipe – something to throw on the grill and enjoy with family and friends, yakitori chicken is a great choice!
In Japan there are restaurants totally devoted to yakitori. At these ‘Yakitorias’ you’re likely to find a variety of skewered offerings, with yakitori chicken being the main attraction – not just the meat – all the parts of the chicken, from the tongue to the cartilage to the uterus.
Yakitori skewers are flavored with a tangy sauce called a ‘tare’ or salt ‘shio’. Condiments like sansho and 7 spice chili powder are traditional accompaniments for sprinkling on top.
  • 8 12-inch or 16 8-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1/2 hour or more
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup saki
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (regular) soy sauce
  • Chicken and Scallions
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized (3/4-inch) pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions (the thicker the better) cut crosswise, into 3/4 inch pieces
  • Optional garnish:
  • Ground sansho pepper
  • Japanese 7 spice powder
  • * if you can’t find sancho or 7 spice, you may have better luck finding szechuan pepper. In a pinch, a sprinkling of salt and fresh ground black pepper will do.
  1. Heat the grill. Thread chicken and scallion pieces onto the skewers, alternately
  2. Make the Sauce: In a small pot combine the saki, mirin, garlic, ginger, red pepper, sugar and soy sauces. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until sauce is reduced by about one quarter.
  3. Grill the skewers for 2 minutes. Brush with sauce and turn, brush with sauce on the other side. Grill for 5-8 minutes more, brushing with sauce every 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and glazed.
  4. Serve yakitori with sansho and 7 spice to sprinkle on top.
More Delicious Recipe YAKITORI

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