Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori marinaded in Tukedare and grilled

The key to a great yakitore is to have a good tukedare marinade that combines sugar and soy sauce that will carmelize when grilled. You need to dip the chicken into the marinade after searing one side, and then baste during the remainder of the cooking time to build up a good crust on it.

Grill Set Up:

  • Hot grill for searing and an indirect grilling area for roasting (300-450F)

Tukedare marinade

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup ginger juice (see notes at bottom)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 piece kombu (see notes at bottom)
  • 1 Tbl Sambal Oelek (optional)

Simmer the sugar, soy sauce, sake, mirin and until until sugar is dissolved. Add the kombu and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, then remove kombu. Add ginger juice, lemon juice, and 1 Tbl sambal oelek*. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Let cool. Reserve 1/2 cup cup of tukedare, then pour the rest on the chicken and marinade overnight.

When grilling give a quick char to one side of the chicken, dip in marinade and char the other side. Then place off the fire to indirect grill until cooked through. Baste with the reserved tukedare while indirect grilling, and give it a quick char at the end to carmelize the basting sauce. Once it's done sprinkle liberally with Togarashi and sliced scallions before serving.

The Sambal Oelek is optional (and certainly not traditional). It can also be replaced by 2 tsp red pepper flakes and 1 finely chopped clove of garlic.

Variations:

  • Add more spicy pepper to make wings. Birdseye chili powder is my favorite for this approach, but any spicy chili powder will work
  • A tablespoon of fish sauce works well with this, and makes it lean towards more of a SE Asian flavor instead of a traditional Yakitori
  • 2 tsp of instant dashi powder works well in this too
  • You can also top this with chopped chives or garlic scapes

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Some chicken yakitori I made last weekend for an event @guildrow - here’s the recipe for the tukedare sauce and grilling instructions! 2 cups soy sauce 2 cups sugar 1/4 cup sake 1/4 cup mirin 1/4 cup ginger juice 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 piece kombu Simmer for 30 minutes and remove kombu. Add 1 Tbl sambal oelek and simmer for another 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cup of tukedare, pour the rest on the chicken and marinade overnight. When grilling give a quick char to one side of the chicken, dip in marinade and char the other side. Then place off the fire to indirect grill until cooked through. Baste with the reserved tukedare while indirect grilling. Sprinkle liberally with Togarashi before serving. #recipe #recipes #japanesefood #yakitori #japanesecuisine #livefire #livefirecooking #firecooking #grilled #grilling #bbq #cooking #homecooked #lovetocook #foodstagram #goodeats #foodphotos #foodpics #grill #cookingoutside #foodie #goodfood #barbeque #fuego #outdoorcooking #chicago

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Notes:
How to make ginger juice:
Ginger juice is simply grated ginger that is then squeezed to produce juice. This is a more accurate way to measure how much ginger you're adding, since even fresh ginger can vary in potency.
If you only have dried ginger powder add 2 tsp of that at the beginning of the boil.

If you don't have kombu you can omit it. It does help with the flavor, but isn't essential.