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Yakitori (Japanese Grilled Skewered Chicken)


Yakitori (Japanese Grilled Skewered Chicken/焼き鳥)

1 lb boneless and skinless chicken leg meat (cut into bite-size pieces)
Scallions (white part only, cut into 2-in lengths)
Bamboo skewers (soaked before grilling)
Sea salt

Yakitori Tare Sauce:

1/4 cup dashi soy sauce or dashi shoyu
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon water (to thicken the sauce)


Add all the ingredients of the tare sauce into a small sauce pan and bring it to boil. Transfer out to a small bowl and set aside.

Thread 3 pieces of chicken meat onto a bamboo skewer, separating each piece with the scallion.

Heat up a BBQ grill or indoor grill and place the skewers on top of the fire. Sprinkle a wee bit of salt sparingly on the surface of the chicken. Turn the skewers and do the same on the other side. Keep turning the chicken to make sure they are cooked/charred evenly. When the chicken is almost done, dip the chicken skewer into the tare sauce and grill it for about 30-40 seconds on both sides. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:

I love eating my yakitori with bottled togarashi, mixed chili pepper for an extra kick.

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23 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Yakitori is the very first thing I ate on my very first day of my very first visit to Japan, and I’ve always had a soft spot for it. My jetlagged husband and I wandered out of our Tokyo hotel, and stumbled into a small yakitori bar. We didn’t speak a word of Japanese (except please and thank you), so we pointed to what someone else was eating, and in our tired state, it was the best food ever. And still is.

  2. I enjoyed living in Tokyo and Osaka and this was my fave food..thanks for this post that transported me back to those days and reminded me that I have not cooked yakitori for years…so this will be dinner tonight!

  3. Yum! A place nearby does yakitori and hot pot, they have somewhere around 20 different yakitori offerings!

    Will definitely have to give this a try. Thanks for the post

  4. Simon

    Looks delicious, now that the only authentic japanese restaurant in Oslo is officially closed due to low amount of visitors (very good chef btw). It’s now time to take things into own hands and make some homemade japanese goods. Seems like most people here want to visit the low quality “wanna be” japanese restaurants, owned by vietnamese immigrants. Not a problem with Vietnamese chefs at all, but 80% of the “chefs” are not even chefs. So Time to go ahead and test your recipes Bee. Keep up the good work.

  5. My husband is Japanese-American so we order these a lot at Japanese restaurants. You’ll laugh, but you know what I love almost more than the chicken? Those slender logs of green onions on the skewers, all charred to bring out their caramelized sweetness.

  6. arrrrrgh

    I think you need some more sugar than the mirin brings to the sauce. Thicken it up more and spike the flavor punch and contrast.

  7. I just made yakitori today following a Japanese cookbook. So in love with this skewered fare specially after trying Yakitori toto. I’ll try adding scallions in between the meat next time.

  8. Wendi

    Mmm. Even with a couple of substitutions, this recipe turned out fabulous! I didn’t have dashi shoyu, so I used regular soy sauce. And I didn’t have mirin, so I used twice as much sake and added a little sugar. Absolutely delicious and easy recipe! We will definitely be eating this again! Next time I’m at the Asian market, I’ll try to remember the dashi shoyu and mirin. But like I said, it was still really yummy! Thanks, Bee!

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