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.
If you love Teriyaki Chicken, this is the recipe for you. It’s as good as any restaurant recipe I have ever had. In fact, I think it’s even better than the recipe at my favorite Sushi House in town. My kids won’t usually eat anything but a California roll, so I usually order them a Bento Box that comes with a combination of things. One of which is Teriyaki Chicken. And their recipe is really good but this recipe is definitely better. The beautiful thing is that you get the wonderful flame flavor from the grill and then a nice thick syrupy sauce on the stove that can be spiced up if you’d like.
Teriyaki Chicken with Stir Fry
I like to have my Teriyaki Chicken with Stir Fry or even by itself served with white or brown steamed rice. After the chicken is cooked on the grill and cut into bite size pieces, I like to add the chicken to a hot pan on the stove with more Teriyaki Sauce. This is the best time to add vegetables if you plan to make a Stir Fry. It only takes a few minutes to cook as you thicken and caramelize the sauce. My original Teriyaki Sauce post can be found HERE so you can watch the video but I’ll add the ingredients down below.
Teriyaki Chicken Ingredients:
4-8 Boneless Chicken Thighs
1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Mirin
1/2 cup Sake
2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
Combine all of the Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and reduce for approximately 20 minutes until you’ve reached desired thickness. Then follow the directions in the video to make the Teriyaki Chicken.
This is a fantastic Teriyaki Sauce recipe. I’ve taken my knowledge and experience from my professional Asian American training and brought you something that you’re really going to love. Usually I show you recipes that you can dumb down a bit to keep it simple, and you can do that with this if you prefer, but I highly recommend you add every ingredient I’ve listed down below so you can share in the excitement I have when ever I make an Asian dish using Teriyaki. It’s bold and full of flavor yet not overpowering and with this perfect balance you can make it thin or reduce it down to make a thicker sauce.
In case you don’t know, my Mongolian Beef recipe is #1 on YouTube and it’s very similar to this Teriyaki Sauce recipe. In fact, I often get comments on m video from people that claim it’s just Teriyaki Beef but that’s not true. True Teriyaki has Mirin and Sake in it and those two ingredients aren’t in my Mongolian Beef recipe. That’s like saying Ketchup is just Cocktail Sauce even though it needs horseradish to make it so. The truth is there are a hundred different Asian recipes that have a combination of many of these same ingredients but they all vary, quite a bit, from one another in flavor. It just depends on the amounts you add of each ingredient and different tweaks here and there. Restaurant Sauces, however, always go big and bold and they don’t have to worry about preservatives. Bottled sauces do and it changes the dynamics tremendously. That’s why it’s hard to find a real good Teriyaki Sauce in a bottle. I would recommend that you go for the thicker sauces if you’re going to buy one, however. They’re usually the best all around.