This Japanese street food is a hit with commuters looking for a quick snack. The skewers are dipped in salty or sweet sauces, and then grilled over charcoal.
Besides yakitori negima (chicken and onion) there other varieties such as tsukune (chicken meatball,)kawa(chicken skin),hotate(scallops)and reba(chicken liver).
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sake (see Note)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) mirin
- 125 ml (½ cup) soy sauce
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 2 cm piece ginger, chopped
- 4 large spring onions, white part only, cut into 4 cm lengths, blanched
- 500 g skinless chicken thigh fillets
- 8 x 15 cm wooden skewers (see Note)
- shichimi togarashi (see Note), to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 30 minutes
To make marinade, place sake, mirin, soy, sugar and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Cool.
Cut chicken into 24 x 4 cm pieces, place in a bowl and add marinade, reserving 60 ml (¼ cup) for basting and 60 ml (¼ cup) for serving. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
Heat a chargrill pan, barbecue or charcoal grill to medium–high. Starting with the chicken, alternately thread 3 chicken and 2 spring onion pieces onto the skewers.
Cook skewers for 8 minutes, turning halfway and basting with reserved marinade, or until charred and cooked through. Sprinkle over shichimi togarashi and serve with the remaining marinade.
• Sake is available from selected bottle shops.
• Line the area of the barbecue under the ends of the skewers with foil to prevent metal ones getting too hot and wooden ones from burning. Use tongs to turn them.
• Shichimi togarashi, a spice blend, is from selected supermarkets and Asian food shops.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2.