You can see a lot of Yakitori vendors at summer festivals in Japan. This dish is also very popular to eat with a glass of beer. If you are interested in Japanese beer, please see my friend's beer page on Facebook HERE. He suggested that if you have access to a Japanese supermarket, then Baird Numazu Lager or Angry Boy Brown Ale from Shizouka, Hitachino Nest Lager or Pale Ale from Kuichi Brewery in Ibaraki, or Yona Yona Ale from Yo-Ho Brewery in Nagano would be great with Yakitori. Also other than the Japanese beer, you can enjoy Yakitori with a refreshing beer like Dogfish Head's SeaQuench or Namaste White Ale in summer. There are a lot of Izakaya (Japanese pub which serves food as well) that offer a variety of Yakitori. You can eat Yakitori with tare sauce or salt. Yakitori is usually cooked over charcoal, but I will introduce the most authentic Japanese Yakitori which you can make with a frying pan easily at home.

Ingredients (2 plates):

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • white part or hard part of 2 - 3 green onions
  • 7 bamboo skewers
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of shredded ginger or ginger paste
  • 6 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of *Shichimi togarashi (Chili flakes) -> See picture A.
Picture A: *Shichimi togarashi (Chili flakes)

Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 25 - 30 minutes.

  1. Cut chicken thighs into bite size chunks and put them into a resealable plastic bag. Cut garlic into small pieces. Put the garlic and the shredded ginger into the bag. Mix them up, marinate them and leave in a refrigerator for 5 minutes. -> See picture B.
Picture B
  1. Meanwhile, put soy sauce, sugar, honey and *Shichimi togarashi in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly -> See picture C.
Picture C
  1. Cut green onions 4cm (1.6inches) long and make 14 pieces as shown in a picture. -> See picture D.
Picture D
  1. Put a chicken thigh on a skewer followed by a green onion and then alternate between the chicken thigh and the green onion as shown in the picture. -> See picture E.
Picture E
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan with medium heat. Put skewers into the frying pan. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken turns a little brown. Remove the lid, flip over the skewers and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is a little brown. -> See picture F & G.
Picture F
Picture G
  1. Put sauce from step 2 into the frying pan with medium heat. Flip over the skewers occasionally. Simmer until the sauce is almost evaporated. (Cooking tip: Do not overheat the sauce, if it’s overheated, the sauce will be bitter.) -> See picture H & I.
Picture H
Picture I
  1. Put the skewers on a plate and pour the sauce on top.