How to Make Yakitori
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yakitori is a type of Japanese skewered chicken that involves skewering chunks of meat with kushi, a skewer typically made of bamboo, steel, or similar materials. It is then seasoned with tare (sauce) or salt and traditionally grilled over a binchotan charcoal fire. Yakitori is designed for portability and convenience, making it common street food.
The seasonings used to flavour yakitori are divided into two main types: Shio or Tare (salty or sweet sauce). The salty version typically uses plain salt as its main ingredient, while the sweet alternative uses a special sauce (Tare) consisting of chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
Yakitori uses many parts of the chicken, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Many recipes call for bite-sized pieces of thighs, breasts, liver, skin, and even innards. Some popular types of yakitori, such as nankotsu, are made using the cartilage from the keel bone located between the chicken breasts. This gives the dish a crunchy texture.
How to Make Yakitori
This tasty recipe features bites of chicken and spring onions glazed in a sweet and savoury sauce. Yakitori is excellent for grilling outdoors.
- 225g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 5 spring onions or baby leeks
- Neutral-flavoured oil
How to make Yakitori Sauce
1. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes to prevent burning.
2. Prepare the yakitori sauce by combining mirin, soy sauce, water, sake, brown sugar, and the green section of one scallion into a small saucepan. For added flavour, grill chicken wings until fully cooked. Then add to the sauce before heating. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Reserve one-third of the sauce for a final coating. If using chicken wings, these can now be removed to make a super tasty extra snack.
3. Cut the light green and white part of the spring onions or baby leeks into 2.5 cm pieces.
4. Cut the chicken thighs into 2.5 cm cubes.
5. Insert each piece of chicken onto the skewer at a 45-degree angle. In between each piece of chicken, add a piece of scallion. Each skewer should hold about four chicken pieces and three spring onions/baby leeks pieces.
6. Grease the wire rack or bbq grill to prevent the chicken from sticking. Place the skewers on the rack/grill. Set the grill to high and grill for six minutes.
7. Put about 30 ml of the yakitori sauce into a separate bowl for brushing to avoid cross-contamination. Brush the sauce on each side of the meat after six minutes. Continue to grill for an additional four minutes or until the sauce has caramelized.
8. Place the skewers onto a serving plate. Use a clean brush to brush the chicken with the reserved yakitori sauce.