The Japanese dish chicken yakitori is traditionally made on skewers, but grilling thin chicken breasts instead is even more weeknight-friendly. Marinate a day ahead for extra flavor.
1 cup mirin
1/3 cup sake (rice wine)
1/2 cup sugar
4 coins fresh ginger, smashed
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 lbs. total), pounded to 1/2 in. all over
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 English cucumber (10 oz.), quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-in. chunks
1 cup slivered red onion
1 large avocado, cut into 1-in. chunks
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine mirin, sake, 1/2 cup sugar, the ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. To cool quickly, pour into a heatproof 9- by 13-in. pan and refrigerate until cool. Add chicken and toss to coat. Chill and marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Heat a grill to medium-high (450°). Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour marinade into a small saucepan and boil to make a syrupy sauce, about 8 minutes. Discard ginger and garlic.
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, and 1 tsp. sugar. Add cucumber and onion; toss to coat.
Grill chicken, turning once, until no longer pink in center (cut to test), about 2 minutes per side. Coat chicken all over with reduced marinade.
Add avocado to salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve chicken with salad and remaining sauce, for drizzling.