Yakitori Chicken is a delicious Japanese street food. Pieces of chicken on bamboo skewers are grilled over a charcoal fire and basted with “tare”, a teriyaki-style glaze. It is a staple at most Japanese festivals and especially eaten for Hanami (picnics under the cherry blossom trees)
Yakitori is not just for chicken! See variations below.
Chicken and marinade:
- 400 – 500g Boneless Chicken pieces – thighs and/or breast are best
- 3 tablespoons dark Soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Sake
- 8 to 10 Bamboo skewers, soaked in water so as they don’t burn
- Toss the chicken piecse in a bowl with the soy sauce and sake marinade ingredients. Set aside for at least 15 or 20 minutes.
- Mix the tare ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Thread the chicken pieces on the soaked bamboo skewers, leaving an inch or two free at each end and brush lightly with oil.
- Grill the chicken over hot charcoal or grill in the oven, turning part way through to cook both sides. When the chicken begins to brown, spoon over or brush with some of the tare.
- When the chicken is cooked through, give the skewers another brush with the tare and serve while still hot.
Alternate the chicken on the skewers with Japanese leeks or shallots (negima yakitori). In fact many ingredients can be grilled in this way for yakitori. Try beef, pork or duck meat or vegetable skewers with mushrooms and peppers etc.
Use the same tare sauce (above) brushed on chicken breast, thighs or wings (traditionally boneless but with the skin left on), or salmon, before grilling, griddling or barbecuing. Serve with more of the tare sauce poured over. Sometimes ginger or garlic is added to the tare whilst cooking and the dish is served garnished with spring onions or sesame seeds.
DrinkServe warm Sake out of a beautiful Sake set
Make a night of itServe with Sekihan Rice, add some Japanese music. For an fun and easy Japanese evening why not get a Sushi kit and get everyone having a go at making their own?
Take a look at some of our Japanese festivals (Matsuri), go to town and theme anything from the wildest party or most select dinner party around one of these colourful celebrations.
Other Japanese recipes