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Yakitori with Japanese spices

It's hard to pass up charred and tender chicken yakitori.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
Yakitori with Japanese spices

Yakitori remains unwaveringly popular thanks to the combination of char from the hot coals and a sweet, savoury glaze. It's worth making a double batch of the tare and the spice mix - barbecued duck, pork and broccoli lap them up.

Ingredients

  • 600 gm chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
  • Grapeseed oil, for brushing
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
Tare
  • 125 ml (½ cup) light soy sauce or shoyu (see note)
  • 70 gm honey
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) sake
  • 1 tbsp mirin
Spice mixture
  • 1 nori sheet
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • Finely grated rind of ½ orange

Method

  • 1
    Preheat a barbecue (coals give a great result) to high heat.
  • 2
    For tare, combine ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve honey, and simmer until reduced by half (8-10 minutes).
  • 3
    For spice mixture, toast nori over coals or a flame until crisp (1 minute). Cool, then crumble into a blender or spice grinder. Add remaining ingredients and blend until finely ground.
  • 4
    Thread chicken onto skewers (soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning), then brush with oil and grill, turning and basting with tare occasionally, until charred and cooked through (5-7 minutes). Serve with spice mixture and lemon wedges.

Notes

Shoyu, Japanese soy sauce, is available from Asian supermarkets.
Drink Suggestion: A tangy, textural skin-contact sauvignon blanc.
Drink suggestion by Max Allen

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  • Author: Lisa Featherby