I was lucky enough to visit Japan a few years ago and ever since, i’ve been on a constant hunt for new Japanese recipes. This is a really easy one to do at home. I made these brochettes with turkey, but they are best with chicken thighs. I paired them with some sushi pickled cucumbers, (same recipe as the radishes but with cucumbers) and my favorite homemade spicy miso sauce. This sauce is good with everything and stays good in the fridge for quite a while so definitely worth the effort.Photo credit: Jeanne Brosseau, featuring TÉLIO fabric: 34341-01 Digital Linen print
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
1-2 TBS. brown sugar
5 green onions (thick green onions work best)
6-8 bamboo skewers
1. Combine equal parts soy sauce and mirin and the brown sugar in a large baking dish that’s long enough for the skewers to fit into. Add the chicken pieces and toss well to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight.
2. Meanwhile, soak bamboo skewers in water.
3. Slice the thick part of the green onions into 1-inch long pieces, reserving the thinner green part for another use. Set aside. Prepare your grill (use charcoal for best taste!) or your oven at broil.
As I no longer have a BBQ, I’ve been doing mine in a hot oven under broil, works perfectly.
4. Assemble the yakitori. Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade and put on the skewers, along with the green onion pieces. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until chicken is browned and cooked through (I like to keep some of the marinade and glaze the meat every 3 minutes while it is cooking).
Spicy Miso Sauce
This versatile sauce is also great with roasted duck or chicken, or even spread on top of a salmon or tuna burger.
Serves: Makes about a cup of sauce
1 tablespoon grape seed or vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
1/2 cup red miso
1/2 cup real Vermont maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
hot pepper sesame oil to taste
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and five-spice powder and cook for about 30 seconds or until wonderfully fragrant. I’m personally not a fan of Chinese five spice so I usually skip it. Whisk in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil and cook, whisking or stirring constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season to taste with hot pepper sesame oil—go as spicy as you like! Let the sauce cool before using. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Bon Appétit! Itadakimasu!