Chicken Yakitori with Tokyo Negi
Yakitori is quite simply an Eastern version of Kebabs. Meats and vegetables are marinated in a variety of sauces and grilled, usually over open coals, by street vendors or at small Yakitori stands scattered throughout the city. These stands can be recognized by small red lanterns out front, with the character for “tori”, or bird. Another clue to finding a yakitori-ya is the clouds of fragrant smoke coming from the vents. Customers stand or sit in the very few seats that may be available and enjoy their Yakitori with cold beer and plenty of conversation. Not surprisingly, yakitori-ya (restaurants and stands) are popular early-evening gathering places, filled with office workers stopping off for a quick snack before the train ride home.
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- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Honey or Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp. Mirin or Sweet Sherry
- 1 Tbsp. Water
- 1 lb. Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
- 1/2 lb. Tokyo Negi (Japanese Leeks), cut 2″
- 12 to 18 Bamboo Skewers (soaked in water)
- Mix together soy sauce, sugar, honey or maple syrup, Mirin and water and heat it up until it’s homogenous.
- Cut the chicken breast into about 1” x 2” strips.
- Put the chicken pieces into the already prepared sauce and let it stand for one hour.
- Cut the Tokyo Negi in about 2” long pieces.
- Using 2 paralleled bamboo skewers spaced 1” apart, spear chicken and Tokyo Negi alternately on each wooden stick with about 4” of product on each set of sticks.
- Baste sticks with the sauce while grilling them over a medium hot grill about 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
- Optionally, you may want to wrap the ends of the wooden sticks with aluminum foil; otherwise, they may burn if the grill is too hot.
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