Yakitori – Japanese style chicken skewers July 29, 2018 13:49

A simple yet rewarding recipe to make at home – that’s very quick to make.  Chicken Yakitori is definitely meant to be eaten with your hands, making it a perfect finger food for parties or for little fingers who enjoy eating meat on a stick. Traditionally, Yakitori would be made on a fire barbecue, but it’s just as easy to make at home in a pan.




1.5 kg skinless chicken thigh fillets

Bamboo skewers


Cooking oil

Yakitori Tare (sauce) ingredients:

Fresh ginger, sliced (around 1 TBSP or to taste)

3 cups sake

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin

1/2 cup light brown sugar (or caster if you prefer)

½ cup chicken stock (water is a good substitute)



  • Soak your bamboo skewers in water for around 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile make your sauce – you can even make this sauce the day before if you want to save time. In a saucepan, over a medium heat add sauce ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 20 – 30 minutes. Leave aside.
  • Cut your chicken thigh fillets into strips around 1.5 cm – 2 cm thick. The idea is that they should be thick enough to skewer, but also thin enough to cook quickly. 
  • Now, ribbon the strips of chicken onto your skewers. Ensure that the chicken is not too tightly packed as we want the chicken to cook through evenly and quickly. If you are using a pan trim the end of the skewers, so they fit neatly in the pan.


  • Dust your skewers liberally in cornflour. Shake off excess cornflour
  • Heat your pan until it smokes, coat with a good layer of cooking oil  for shallow frying.  When hot add your skewers, leave a little space between them so they fry quickly, and evenly.  Sizzle skewers for a few minutes (4-5) on each side until cooked through on a high heat
  • Add the Yakitori sauce at the very end, and only when meat has been cooked through. This is an essential part of the process. As the sauce bubbles away – coat and turn your skewers to ensure chicken is covered in the yummy sweet sticky Yakitori sauce.  When the sauce starts to reduce turn off heat. and serve.

Eat immediately, and enjoy with friends

 Yakitori - Japanese Chicken Skewers - Nutfree

Chef Notes
  • Sake is available from selected bottle shops or Asian stores, always read the label.
  • Make in small batches - don’t crowd the pan
  • Yakitori tare sauce can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. And it can be adjusted to your taste too! 
  • To save on time, rinse and clean your pan immediately after cooking.

Recipe by Antony Alder