Glazed in a homemade Yakitori Sauce, these Japanese chicken and scallion skewers are hard to resist! You’d love this simple Yakitori recipe with delicious savoury yet sweet sauce! It’s great for grilling outdoors on a habachi (Japanese grill) or under the broiler in the oven.
- 450g/1lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (at room temperature)
- 9 green onions/scallions
- Olive or coconut or neutral-flavoured oil
Yakitori Sauce (Tare):
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin (or dry white wine or rice vinegar)
- 1/4 cup sake (or chicken/vegetable stock)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- Soak about 10 to 12 (5-inch) bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning.
To Make Yakitori Sauce (Tare)
- In a small saucepan, add mirin, soy sauce, sake, water, brown sugar, and the green part of 1 scallion, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is ⅓ left. It will take about 30 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature before using. The sauce will thicken with a glossy shine as it cools. Reserve ⅓ of the sauce in a small bowl for final coating (Use this sauce after the chicken is cooked).
To Prepare Yakitori
- Cut the white and light green part of scallions into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
- Cut chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes.
- On a flat work surface, fold each slice of chicken in half, insert into the chicken at 45 degrees angle, and press down on the skewer to pierce through the center.
- Alternate each chicken slice with a piece of scallion lined up perpendicular to the skewer. Each skewer will hold about 4 chicken slices and 3 scallion pieces.
To Grill (Broil) Yakitori
- Grease the grate of the broiler/wire rack (or oven-safe cooling rack) to avoid the chicken sticking on the grate. Place the skewers on top.
- Set the broiler to high and wait until the heating elements are hot. Broil for 6 minutes.
- Take out 2 Tbsp of the Yakitori Sauce in a small bowl for brushing (you do not want to cross contaminate). After 6 minutes, brush the sauce on the meat on both sides and continue to broil for 3-4 minutes to caramelize the sauce.
- Transfer the skewers to a serving plate. Using a clean brush, brush the chicken on top with the reserved sauce. Tip: If you accidentally cross-contaminate (Dip the brush you used for coating the raw chicken in the sauce), you have to boil the sauce again.
Note: You can make the sauce ahead of time. Put only the sauce (no green onion) in a mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 months.