These Japanese-inspired sweet and salty chicken yakitori skewers are perfect to serve up when you want to impress.
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Place the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar and garlic in a large glass or ceramic dish. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins or overnight to develop the flavours. At the same time, soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for 30 mins prior to cooking.
Drain chicken and discard marinade. Thread the chicken and spring onion evenly onto soaked bamboo skewers. Spray with oil spray and season with white pepper.
Heat a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the skewers, in batches, for 2-3 mins each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside, loosely covered, to rest.
Wipe pan clean. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the Chinese broccoli stems. Stir-fry for 3 mins or until starting to soften. Add leaves and a splash of water. Cook for 2 mins or until the leaves are tender.
Divide the rice, broccoli and skewers among serving plates. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and extra spring onion. Serve with extra soy sauce.
Yakitori is a popular Japanese dish of skewered and grilled chicken. Traditionally, the meat, which can be any part of the chicken from thigh to gizzard, is speared with a kushi (steel or bamboo skewer) and cooked over charcoal to infuse it with rich, smoky flavour. Yakitori can be lightly seasoned or marinated in a sweet and savoury sauce. Though it’s frequently eaten without accompaniments, street food-style, you can make it a meal by serving alongside rice and steamed veggies like broccoli for an easy, Asian-inspired dinner.
With just 15 minutes of hands-on cooking time, this chicken yakitori makes a great meal when you want to impress. Done on the stovetop, it’s a speedy entertaining option or an excellent midweek dinner. If you have more time on the weekends, fire up the barbecue or pull out the hibachi grill (if you have one). Cooking yakitori skewers slowly lends itself to beautifully tender, juicy meat that’s bursting with flavour, especially if you’re using chicken thighs.
Before any cooking can begin, soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. This keeps them from burning.
Once the skewers have been soaked and the chicken thigh pieces have marinated, thread the chicken and spring onion lengths onto the skewers. Continue to alternate the chicken and spring onion until all 12 skewers are complete. Spray with oil and sprinkle with white pepper before cooking over medium-high heat until both sides are golden brown. Allow the yakitori to rest as you prepare the steamed rice and broccoli.
The glossy, sweet-and-salty savoury sauce is what gives chicken yakitori its signature flavours. For this recipe, you’ll need light soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, brown sugar and garlic. Be sure to set aside at least 30 minutes for your chicken to marinate in that umami-rich sauce. If you have the time, overnight is even better to allow the flavours to further develop.
Yakitori skewers are a fun and tasty way to enjoy chicken, and they’re so versatile. Other feel-good favourites include spicy chicken skewers with avocado salsa, honey and soy chicken skewers with stir-fried Asian greens, and BBQ chicken skewers with green salsa.