Making Japanese Chicken Yakitori

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
September 12, 2018

finished Yakitori on platterYakitori is a longtime favourite street food in Japan. It was one of the first things I had when I first visited Japan as a kid, and by far the best. Nothing really beats having it on the streets of Japan, but my family's recipe comes close. You can make this on an outside grill, as well as indoors. You'll love it either way...promise!


For this recipe, we'll use chicken breast, thigh, and skin. Yes, skin! The most sought after version! We don't let anything go to waste. :)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 10 green onions, cut into 1" pieces
  • cooking oil
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 12-16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 min


  1. In a saucepan, bring the mirin, soy sauce, sake, water, and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Cook uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. making sauce

  3. Remove all the chicken skin and set aside. Cut all the chicken meat into 1" cubes.
  4. cutting Chicken pieces
  5. Place chicken pieces onto skewers, adding some green onion slices as you go.
  6. putting chicken pieces anf onions on skewer
  7. Slice the reserved chicken skin into 1" wide strips.
  8. cutting chicken skin
  9. When placing the skin on the skewer, use an almost threading fashion, folding the skin as you pierce through it. This will keep it nicely intact as it cooks. Keep the skin separate on their own skewers for even cooking.
  10. piercing skin on skewer

  11. Grease the grate of your grill to keep the chicken from sticking. Set to high and place the skewers on, but don't overcrowd (cook in batches if you must). Grill for 5 minutes.
  12. grilling Skewered Chicken
  13. Whether grilling indoors or outdoors, brush some of the sauce on the skewers. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  14. covered skewed chicken
  15. Remove the lid and turn the chicken once more to thoroughly caramelize the sauce. Cook a few more minutes.
  16. cooked Skewered Chicken

  17. Transfer skewers to a serving platter. Brush with some more sauce, if desired. Place bowl of remaining sauce next to the platter.
  18. cooked skewered chicken
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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
July 29, 2011

Yakitori is Japanese bite sized chicken pieces skewered, marinated and grilled with basting sauce. You can also use an assortment of other types of meats and/or veggies, but that will change the recipe title to "Kushiyaki".

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