Yakitori is a classic food served at tapas-style pubs in Japan. This easy Japanese recipe can be made in minutes and is simply delicious – glazed bite sized pieces of chicken cooked on wooden skewers over a grill. Yakitori literally means ‘grilled chicken’ in Japanese (yaki – grill, tori – chicken).


½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup mirin

2 tablespoons sake
2 garlic cloves lightly crushed

¾ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Scallions – 1 bunch
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 ½ inch square cubes

Place the soy sauce, mirin, sake, garlic cloves, ginger and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir until combined. Heat to a simmer and allow to cook for about 8 minutes until slightly thickened. 

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove crushed garlic cloves.

Meanwhile place the chicken breasts cubes into a small shallow dish. Cover with the sauce, reserving about 3 tablespoons for serving. Let marinade for 1-4 hours. (n.b. – it’s not necessary to marinate for quite so long if you don’t have the time) 

Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes

Place the chicken on the skewers with a 1-inch piece of scallion in between each piece. You should have 4 pieces of chicken per skewer. Repeat until all the chicken has been used. 

Preheat grill to medium heat: 

Place chicken skewers on the grill, turning every few minutes so they won’t burn. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.


Preheat a stove top grill pan:

Baste a grill pan with sesame or vegetable oil. Place chicken skewers in the grill pan, turning frequently for about 7 minutes or until cooked through.