Yakitori Recipe (Video)

 

     The Japanese cuisine is one of my favourites. Its food celebrates simple ingredients, and easy to prepare dishes that rely heavily on the high quality of the ingredients. 

     When I visited Japan last winter, I had the best 10 days of travel. I indulged in, and tasted, everything but for the quail egg stuffed octopus head which looked ewww. One of my favourite pass times was street food sampling. There were vendors literally everywhere; near tourist areas, under bridges, around temples, busy areas and wherever there were festivals. The beauty of these vendors is that each specialises in cooking one dish only. 

     The name of a Japanese dish is specific to two things, the technique used in cooking it and the type of main ingredient or sauce cooked. For example, yaki means grilled over direct heat, and tori means a bird (chicken in this case). So, the dish yakitori means a grilled chicken. Teri means glazed, so combining teri with yaki means “glazed grill”. When we add tori to it we are then talking about a glazed grilled bird” chicken” and so on. 

     Yakitori street vendors, yatai, and restaurants, yakitori-ya, specialise in skewered chicken from different parts of the bird. Once a meal for the poor, it is now a global dish loved by all. Nothing from the chicken goes to waste you can order liver yaki, gizzard yaki, thigh yaki, heart yaki and the list goes on. It can be ordered with a sweet and salty sauce, tare, or just salt, shio. 

If you are ever curious to try the different parts of the bird make sure to order yakitori moriawase. Japanese love eating yakitori at bars with a nice local cold beer. 

This is a recipe that the whole family will love and can have fun working together. 

 

Ingredients: 

Servings: 4

For the sauce: 

  • ¼ cup soy sauce 
  • ¾ cup water 
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour 
  • 3 tablespoons water 
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder 

 

  • ½ kg skinless and boneless chicken thigh 
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 1 yellow bell pepper 
  • 1 medium aubergine 

 

Method: 

* Mix the corn flour with the 3 tablespoons of water and set aside. 

* Put the rest of the ingredients for the sauce in a pot on medium heat and bring to boil. Add the corn flour mix and continue cooking for around 10 minutes until you run your finger down a glazed wooden spoon and it hold the line. Set aside to cool. 

* Peel and cut the aubergine into 3 cm cubes. 

* Cut the peppers into the same size cubes and the same applies for the chicken. 

* Place the chicken and vegetables in a glass bowl and toss with the cooled sauce. 

* Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours to marinade. 

* Remove from the fridge and skewer a piece of chicken followed by aubergine, pepper, chicken and finishing with a pepper. Continue until all is skewered. 

* Oil and heat a cast iron skillet or a griddle, once hot place the skewers making sure not to over crowd the skillet. 

* Cook the skewer for 1 minute on each of its four sides or so until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Make sure to brush more if the marinade on the skewers during the cooking as it helps with the caramelisation giving a sweet and salt finish to the chicken. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed and eat as it is or accompanied with steamed rice. 

 

Tips: 

* You can follow this method using any part of the chicken or even any type of meat also adding boiled quail eggs to the skewers add another layer of flavour. 

* Make sure the chicken is cut in equal sizes so the meat cooks evenly. 

* You can make the sauce in big batches and store in glass jar for up to 3 months in the refrigerator. 

 

Per Serving: 200 Calories; 3g Fat (13.7% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 59mg Cholesterol; 1102mg Sodium.