One thing I’ve learned about Yakitori Chicken, it isn’t just Shish Kebabs you find at your local Chinese buffet. In fact, it isn’t Chinese at all, it’s Japanese. Much like Sushi, American Chinese restaurants are just adapting adding to their menu’s because of the popularity they’ve gained over the years. Truthfully, both the Sushi and Yakitori aren’t prepared very well and, are generally, “okay” at best. If you’ve decided you like or even hate these recipes from a buffet, understand that your opinion is most likely skewed and based on your lack of experience. The food hasn’t been prepared right. Therefore, most folks wouldn’t know an authentic recipe if it hit them in the face and wiggled. So, since that’s what you’re probably used to, I’m going to help you stomp out a buffet style recipe but with some more pep.
Traditional Yakitori Chicken
There truly is an art to Yakitori Chicken. One of my favorite things about the Japanese culture is their dedication to perfection. Even famous chefs like Gordon Ramsey are intimidated by sushi and noodle chefs and, I’d be willing to bet, Yakitori chefs are no different. Yakitori Chicken is barbecue that uses the entire bird and doesn’t leave anything to waste. Though I don’t use a whole chicken in this recipe, I’ve picked out a few things that are commonly used for it. Boneless chicken thigh meat, chicken liver and hearts. Each are prepared just a little differently.
Yakitori Chicken Skewers
I like to use disposable wooden skewers for the Yakitori Chicken, instead of metal, because they stay cool and make it easier to flip back and forth. The Chicken thighs are cut into bite size pieces and marinated. I like to use my Teriyaki Sauce recipe because it’s practically the same thing as basic Yakitori sauce. The main difference is just the quantities of each ingredient vary but this is a really great and simple alternative to make this recipes easy. I brush olive oil on the hearts and liver portions to keep them moist. There’s also a splash of liquid smoke but if you’re going to grill, you won’t need it but you should salt and pepper to taste.
Yakitori Chicken Ingredients:
4 Boneless Chicken Thighs 1 lbs Chicken Liver 1 lbs Chicken Hearts 1/3 cup Teriyaki Sauce 2 tbsp Olive Oil 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke Salt and Pepper to taste
I use Himalayan Salt and White Pepper. You’ll also need about a dozen Skewers to make this Yakitori Chicken on the Grill or baked in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
So what’s the difference between an Egg Roll and a Spring Roll and why do people confuse Summer Rolls with Spring Rolls? Well, I think the main thing to look at is that they are all rolled in a wrapper with vegetables and they are all fried. Except for the Summer Roll, which is a Korean Roll many confuse for the Spring Roll but Spring Rolls are fried! The easiest way to remember is this: Egg Rolls are bigger, Spring Rolls are small and Summer Rolls are soft and see through. The best part is, you can put anything you want in any of them. Sure there’s a few traditions but you literally could go breakfast burrito in any one of these rolls if you really wanted to.
Rice Noodle Spring Roll Ingredients:
1 qt boiling water
2 Rice noodles
1 Nori Sheet
Cilantro, freshly chopped
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
2 tbsp Cooking Oil
8 oz Ground Pork, cooked
Salt and Pepper too taste
2 tbsp Tempura Dipping Sauce (1 part ea. Soy, Sugar, Water, White Vinegar)
1 pkg Spring Roll Wrappers
1/4 cup Water for wetting Wrappers
Oil for Frying
Boil water and Poor over Rice Noodle in a separate bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes then strain and add 1 tbsp cooking oil to prevent sticking. Cut Nori into fours then stack and cut with scissors into shoe string slices. Chop Cilantro and Garlic. Cook pork with 1 tbsp of cooking oil and add garlic half way through cooking and salt and pepper to taste. Combine the Rice Noodle with cut Nori, Cilantro, Pork and Tempura Dipping Sauce and mix thoroughly. Add 2 to 3 tbsp of the mixed Rice Noodle Ingredients to the center of 1 Spring Roll Wrapper. Starting with the back corner, fold over the top and tuck the ingredients back so they are snug. Fold the left and right sides in at 90 degree angles and roll forward half way. Wet the last corner with a finger dab of water in an envelope fashion, then complete the rolling and apply light pressure in the center of the roll to ensure it won’t come apart in the fryer. Fry at 350 degrees for approximately 3 minutes. Let them cool on Paper towels before serving with Sweet and Sour or Orange Chili Sauce.
If you don’t know by now, Americans love Chinese Pot Stickers. If you’ve been to any Chinese Buffet in the last 10 years, you’ve seen them. They’ve even become so popular, they sell them right next to the frozen burrito’s of just about every grocery store in America. I don’t know the history or the exact Origin of the Pot Sticker, I mean, that’s what Wikipedia is for, right, but I can tell you that these are usually prepared fresh everyday, and they’re made by hand, not stamped out of a cookie cutter.
What are Pot Stickers made of?
The breakdown is very simple; Ground Pork, Onion, Carrots and a few Asian Sauces, Hoisin and Oyster Sauce. Just a few secret folds that aren’t too complicated, and Voila, you’ve got Pot Stickers! Well, at least in theory, right. But now what? Do you throw them in boiling water? The answer is NO! Technically I guess you could, but these things are traditionally steamed. And if you don’t have a Steamer, no worries. This video tutorial will show you how to do it without one, So let’s dive right in and make some Pot Stickers.
Be sure to check out my Shrimp Dumplings recipe because I have the best sauce recipe in that post to dip these Pot Stickers in if Tempura dipping sauce isn’t available in your area.
Pot Stickers Ingredients:
1 pkg Pot Sticker Wrappers
8 oz Ground Pork Sausage or just Pork
1/4 cup Carrots
1/3 Cup Scallions
1 tsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Black Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic
Water to glue the Wrappers together
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Wet the edges of each wrapper and place about 1 tbsp of Ground Pork mixture in the center, and then fold in half like a taco. Then proceed to one of the corners and pleat the edge of one side and apply pressure to make the wrapper stick, all the way around in a half moon shape. Then place Pot Stickers in a steamer lined with Bok Choy leaves or Cabbage and Steam for 7 minutes. Pan fry in a lightly oiled pan for a 1 minute, or until the bottoms turn a light golden brown, Drip dry onto some paper towels then serve your Pot Stickers with some Tempura Dipping Sauce.