Saké-Marinated Yakitori

saké-marinated yakitori

Found sizzling over charcoal grills at eateries across its native Japan, yakitori is a dish made up of skewered bite-sized pieces of chicken flavored with a sauce made from soy sauce and rice wine. “Slow grilling over charcoal embers, with frequent turning and basting, render these skewers sublime,” says Nancy Singleton Hachisu. For this version, an oven broiler works just as well. Hachisu also supplements traditional mirin with the addition of saké, and marinates the meat for deeper flavor.

½ cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin
4 tablespoons saké
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 lb. 2 oz. boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, cut into ¾-inchcubes
4 medium negi or 12 fat scallions (spring onions), white and light green parts only, cut crosswise into ¾-inch pieces

In a small saucepan, bring the soy sauce, mirin, saké and ginger to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until slightly syrupy and reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Pour into a medium-sized bowl to cool.

Once the marinade has cooled, add the chicken and negi pieces and toss to distribute. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Position a rack 4 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler.

Reserving the marinade, thread the chicken and negi onto metal skewers, alternating them. Line the skewers across a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Broil for 7 minutes on each side, brushing periodically with the marinade.

Serves 6.

Reprinted with permission from Japan: The Cookbook, copyright 2018 by Nancy Singleton Hachisu. Published by Phaidon.


Did you enjoy this recipe? Sign up for our newsletter and get our favorite drink recipes of the moment in your inbox every month.