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Yakitori

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Basil Friedman
Total time 1 hr, 35 mins
Yield Makes 8 appetizer servings
These charcoal-grilled chicken skewers are a popular street food throughout Japan; there, the chicken may be joined by chicken gizzards and hard-boiled quail eggs. The sauce also works well on pork, fish, or beef. Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes, plus at least 1 hour to marinate. Notes: You will need 8 wooden or metal skewers (10 in.) for this recipe; if using wooden, soak 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup sake (rice wine)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 pounds boned, skinned chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces

Nutrition Information

  • calories 274
  • caloriesfromfat 15 %
  • protein 23 g
  • fat 4.5 g
  • satfat 1.1 g
  • carbohydrate 26 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • sodium 613 mg
  • cholesterol 94 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine mirin, sake, sugar, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

  2. Put chicken in a large bowl, pour marinade over it, and turn to coat. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

  3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium heat (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Thread chicken onto skewers. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan and boil over high heat until it has the consistency of barbecue sauce, about 15 minutes.

  4. Grill skewers (cover if using gas), basting with thickened marinade and turning frequently to prevent scorching, until chicken is caramelized and no longer pink in center (cut to test), about 6 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per skewer.