Updated: Jul 25
Yakitori is a common dish found throughout Japan. Shops specialise in selling this umami bomb by using various parts of a chicken to create different types of skewers. The key to making delicious Yakitori is a good infused Tare and good quality Chicken. There are many types of Yakitori but for this recipe I wanted to show you 3 different types of skewer's only using chicken thighs. Ideally the best way to cook Yakitori is by grilling on a Hibachi grill, however I will show a much easier way of cooking Yakitori by pan frying or by bbq. Lets make Yakitori...
To serve 4
8 Chicken thighs
8 spring onions
Shichimi pepper or wasabi (optional)
75ml light soy
2 spring onions
2 chicken wings or thigh bones
Start this recipe by making the tare. Begin by roasting the chicken wings until nice and brown, then add sliced ginger and spring onion to a pan and dry fry until charred. Now add 200ml of sake and 200ml of mirin to a pan and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol then add the chicken wings, spring onion and ginger. Turn the heat down to a medium low and let simmer for 5 minutes to allow the chicken to infuse.
2. Add 30g of sugar and 75ml of light soy and continue to simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat. When ready drain off the tare into a small container and set to one side. This tare can be kept for months and the longer you store it the more intense the tare becomes.
3. Now to prepare the chicken, if preferred you can choose one way to make the skewers but for now I will show you 3 ways of preparing the chicken thighs. Start by removing all the thigh bones of the chicken by carefully cutting around the bone. now slice the chicken thigh into 3 equal strips roughly 1 1/2 inches thick.
4.Next step is to slice spring onions also into 1 1/2 inches thick then begin to neatly layer the spring onion and chicken thigh onto the skewers. The skewers should pierce the chicken strips twice make a small thigh shape again. (The easiest way to skewer is by preparing the skewers on a chopping board to create a tidy skewer). When each skewer has 2 pieces of chicken and 3 spring onions they are ready.
5. For the 2nd way to skewer, remove the skin from the thighs and place to one side. Slice the thighs this time into smaller strips approximately 1/2 an inch thick. Now using a weave technique build up the skewers again using the chopping board to assist the shape.
6. Last skewer to prepare is a skewer using only the chicken thigh skin. Weave the skin the same way as the skewer above and build up the skin until it is nice and tight. When ready place all the skewers to one side and prepare to cook.
7. To cook the yakitori in a pan begin by lightly seasoning the skewers with a pinch of salt. Now add a small drizzle of oil to a pan and place onto a medium to high heat. Add the skewers and place a lid on top and cook for approximately 8 minutes turning the skewers over every 2 minutes to ensure they cook evenly. After 6-8 minutes of frying dip the skewers into the tare that we made earlier then repeat this process 2-3 times adding back to the pan after each glaze. After around 10 minutes of total cooking time the skewers should be cooked.
8. Now to serve, if you want to add more of a charred aroma to the skewers you could lightly blowtorch to enhance the flavour. Now add the skewers to a serving plate and sprinkle some shichimi pepper or wasabi on the side and nourish. Hope you all enjoy making yakitori!
You can also add the skewers to a bbq or if you are lucky enough cook on a hibachi grill. To ensure the chicken is cooked you could check by piercing the chicken with a spare skewer and check to see that the juices run clear. You can try this recipe with tofu, beef, chillis or mushrooms if you would like, still using the same tare. Have fun and enjoy...