YAKITORI – Negima – Chicken and Scallion Grilled Skewers
Yakitori translates literally into grilled (yaki) chicken (tori). A popular appetizer and drinking food enjoyed in Japanese Izakayas and specialty yakitori restaurants alike. Authentic yakitori is grilled over a binchotan (white oak) charcoal then seasoned with a sauce and/or a salt. Purists go with salt only, this recipe uses delicious tare sauce.
For this recipe we're using chicken thighs as they have more flavor and are more forgiving on the grill – meaning they'll stay juicy and tender. You can go with chicken breasts but me careful not to over grill them. Buy the best air-chilled, ideally organic chicken you can. Yakitori is all about the chicken, not the seasonings.
This is a simple and easy recipe that takes less that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, especially if you already have your tare sauce ready to be reheated.
1-1/2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs
2 cups green onions, cut in 1" pieces
Bamboo or stainless steel skewers
Tare sauce (grab our recipe)
1. Soak your bamboo skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before using them. Stainless steel skewers are great, but beware they will be too hot to handle without gloves or tongs.
2. Fire up your charcoal and get your grill ready.
3. Bring your tare sauce to a light simmer if you're using its, otherwise skip to the next step.
4. Cut the chicken in 1" pieces and skewer them, alternating with a piece (or two) of green onion, leaving at ~2" on either end of your skewers. If using just the salt, sprinkle with sea salt on both sides.
5. Place the yakitori skewers on your hot grill for 3-5 minutes per side, turning often, until browned on both sides, about 7-10 minutes total, all depending on the heat of your charcoal.
6. If seasoned with salt only, you're done, if using tare, dip your yakitori skewers into your hot tare and place back on the grill to lightly caramelized both sides. You can repeat this twice, then serve and enjoy.