Sticky and succulent chicken skewers, smothered in a tasty Japanese yakitori marinade, grilled or barbecued to make a great starter or part of a main meal.
Our friends H and A came over for dinner this week and as we were cheating slightly with the main course by using a pre-made katsu curry stock, we thought that at least the starter could be made from scratch. We still chose something easy and quick, one of our favourite Japanese starters: chicken yakitori.
Now, I was really disorganised with this entire meal and realised as I was making the marinade for the yakitori that I didn’t have any sake. Seeing as sake is not an ingredient most of us have lurking in the cupboard, I thought I would post the recipe anyway, because it was still delicious. If you do want to use sake, add 1/4 of a cup to the marinade. I’m afraid you do need the mirin though, which you can generally find at all supermarkets anyway and is a good ingredient to have for lots of Japanese recipes.
We served the chicken yakitori on a big white platter and it looked and tasted amazing, particularly for something that took such a short time to make.
This recipe makes enough for a starter for 4 people. You can always double the quantities and serve as a main course with boiled rice and stir fried veg. You can use a griddle pan instead of the grill, or a BBQ if you have one! This yakitori sauce can also be used for prawn or vegetable skewers.
- Prep Time : 10-40 (depending on marindade time) minutes
- Cook Time : 10 minutes
1. Soak 8 medium length skewers in water.
2. Put the soy, mirin, ginger, garlic and sugar in a small saucepan on a low heat for about 10 minutes. It should be simmering slightly, do not boil and stir it every minute or so.
3. Cut the white ends of the spring onions into chunks of about 1 inch.
4. Cut the chicken into chunks of equal size. They need to be large enough to slide onto the skewers, so about 1-1 and a half inch square.
5. Mix the cornflour with the water into a paste. Add to the saucepan. Continue to stir into the sauce until it thickens.
6. Strain half of the sauce using a colander over the chicken and mix it all up. If you have time, cover and place in the fridge to marinade for half an hour. Don't worry if you can't do this. Strain the rest of the sauce into a bowl and keep to one side for basting the meat later.
7. Pre heat the grill to a medium heat.
8. Thread a piece of spring onion onto a skewer and follow with a piece of chicken. Repeat 2 times and top with a spring onion. You should be able to get 8 skewers with 3 pieces of chicken each.
9. Place skewers under the grill. I put mine on a baking tray covered with foil and then placed foil over the uncovered ends of the skewers to stop them from burning.
10. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. When you turn them over, spoon the excess sauce over the chicken. You can keep a couple of spoonfuls to spoon over right at the end if you want lots of sauce. By the time they are done they should be golden and sticky.