With an ancient history and lots of specialty bars and restaurants throughout Japan, Yakitori is for lovers. Lovers of chicken, smoke, and grills. “Yaki” means grilled and “tori” means chicken. I’ve seen as many modifications to Yakitori as there are ways to imagine meat on a skewer. Boned out wings with skin on, skin off thighs, or marinated boneless breast can all fit the bill and be satisfying. Add vegetables if you wish. This style of cooking is good for almost any meat. What’s important is that the meat is uniformly thin so that it cooks without burning.
image courtesy of closetcooking.com
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro
1 2/3 pound thinly cut raw boneless chicken breast, skin on
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sake
1/3 cup mirin
2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
Sliced green onion for garnish
Mix all ingredients except chicken in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes.
Skewer chicken on soaked sticks.
Place half the sauce in a dish and coat chicken on both sides.
Have your charcoal grill ready and grill the skewers until they are almost done, flipping once.
Re-dip your chicken using up the sauce, and put skewers back on the grill until cooked through and you have a nice finish on the skin.
Itadakimasu! “Let’s eat!”
Serves 4 as an appetizer.
Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.