I watched a few videos on how to make yakitori while putting this recipe together and it is astounding how many specific cuts you can get off a chicken. Some day I’ll try it properly with a couple of whole chickens but thighs are pretty forgiving for a yakitori novice.
Try to cut the chicken so it’s just big enough for your skewers. We’re cooking these over high heat so you want a lot of contact with either the grill or the metal of the skewer. That will help them cook quickly and evenly. I used scissors to trim off any hanging stragglers which then went into the tare to poach. They were an amazing little cook’s snack.
The peppers were born of wanting peppers but being bored of constantly eating weeknight fajitas. Just stew them down, adding water occasionally until you get a jammy consistency.
Service with the vessel of your choice. Cabbage cups or lettuce work well. A lightly dressed radish and/or cucumber salad for crunch and acidity. Spronions for a little bite.
Non-reactive bowl for marinating
For the Yakitori Sauce (Tare):
50 ml Dark Soy
50 ml Light Soy
50 ml Sake or Shaoxing Wine
100 ml Mirin
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
For The Peppers:
3 Bell Peppers cut into think strips.
2 tbsp White Miso
1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar*
1 tbsp Fermented Garlic Honey**
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Light Soy
1 tsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
*Sub with white wine vinegar
** Sub with honey and a clove of crushed garlic
Whisk the Tare ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 15 mins or until its reduced by half, become slightly glossy and the taste of alcohol has cooked off. Leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, start stewing your peppers on medium head in a heavy based pan. Add water as needed to prevent sticking. Cook for 30 minutes, adding splashes of water to prevent sticking, until jammy and completely tender. Taste for seasoning, add more sugar and soy as needed.
In a bowl, combine half your Tare and Chicken and mix to coat. Do this ahead if you want. I didn’t and it turned out amazing but a few hours on the side or in the fridge wouldn’t hurt.
Fill your chimney about a third full with nice big pieces of charcoal and ignite. Let it get white hot before adding your topper. Give that a brush if needed.
While that’s heating, skewer your chicken. Try to achieve nice tubular skewers of chicken that cook evenly. Allow yourself plenty of room at the base of the skewer so you can firmly handle while cooking.
Sear the skewers for 30 seconds before flipping. You want to develop a decent first crust to prevent sticking. Once that’s been achieved on all sides, brush liberally with your reserved tare.
Keep flipping and basting and flipping and basting until your chicken is cooked through. If you have a good meat thermometer, they’re safe when they hit around 75 c but I think thighs are best at around 80 c. If you don’t have a thermometer, just cut into the thickest piece and have a look.
Pull them off and give a final brush of tare. Let them rest while you get your peppers in a serving bowl and put everything else on the table.
Try serving with any or all of the following: steamed rice, white cabbage cups, lightly picked cucumber and radishes, sliced spring onions.