Yakitori is super easy to make and so simple, it’s pretty much just skewering up the chicken, grilling it and coating it in the tasty sauce! Let’s start with the sauce which is a tare sauce, a sweet thick soy sauce, similar to teriyaki sauce, with the main ingredients being: soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin, that’s simmered until it has thickened a bit. (There are many variations of the sauce with different flavours and ingredients.) Next up is the grilling and this is typically done over a charcoal fire but you can also ‘grill’ it in a barbecue, in a grill pan, or even under a broiler. I like to marinate the chicken in the sauce before grilling so that some of it caramelizes while it cooks and basting more on after intensifies the flavour! Yakitori is a street food and as such it can be eaten straight from the stick and you can also make more of a sit down meal of it by serving it on a plate/bowl with rice and veggies. (I like to serve it it with grilled pineapple and red bell pepper!)
Updated: July 27, 2020
The yakitori photos above were all ‘grilled’ under the broiler and the ones below were grilled on a BBQ.
Grill with fruit and veggies like pineapple and red bell peppers!
The original photo:
Serve over a bed of rice with grilled veggies!
Yakitori (Japanese Grilled Chicken Skewers)
A Japanese style grilled skewered chicken in a sweet and salty sauce!
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 pound chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite sized pieces
- Bring the soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 minutes, before letting it cool.
- Marinate the chicken in half of the sauce for 20 minutes to overnight.
- Skewer the chicken up!
- Grill* over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-4 minutes per side, basting with the reserved sauce before enjoying!
Option: Use store bought teriyaki sauce.
Option: Add slices of garlic to the sauce as it simmers and remove, to add garlic flavour.
Option: Add slices of ginger to the sauce as it simmers and remove, to add ginger flavour.
Option: Add slices of shiitake mushrooms to the sauce as it simmers and remove, to add mushroom flavour.
Option: Use a different sweetener like brown sugar or honey, etc.
Option: Add 1 tablespoon oyster sauce.
Option: Add 1 tablespoon kecap manis.
Option: Add some heat with chili sauce (like sriracha) or chili peppers.
Option: Add bite sized slices of green onion in between pieces of chicken on your skewers. (Or other veggies, or fruit!)
Option: Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 1 tablespoon water to make a thicker sauce without as much simmering.
Option: Add pineapple juice!
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Pesto Grilled Chicken, Zucchini and Tomato Skewers
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Grilled Chicken Teriyaki and Pineapple Salad