Yakitori chicken skewers

Jill Dupleix
Izakaya-inspired: Yakitori chicken skewers.
Izakaya-inspired: Yakitori chicken skewers. Photo: Marina Oliphant

These glazed, lightly sweet chicken skewers get extra oomph with the richness of chicken livers. Serve with rice or noodles and a glass of chilled sake.


Bamboo skewers (about 12)

100ml soy sauce

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

80ml sake (Japanese rice wine)

80ml mirin (sweet rice wine) or sweet sherry

1½ tbsp sugar

Sea salt and pepper

3 green (spring) onions, whites only

400g chicken thigh fillets, skinless

300g chicken livers, trimmed

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 lemon, cut into wedges


Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Drain. In a pan, combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sake, mirin, sugar, salt and pepper. Add a dash of water, then bring to the boil and allow to simmer for five minutes or until thick and syrupy, almost a glaze (beware of burning). Set aside to cool.

Cut chicken and chicken livers into three-centimetre bite-size pieces. Cut spring onions into two-centimetre lengths. Thread the chicken, chicken livers and spring onions alternately onto bamboo skewers and coat well with teriyaki sauce.

Heat a chargrill or barbecue and lightly oil. Grill skewers, turning once, and baste once or twice with marinade for eight to 10 minutes until nicely golden, with scorchy bits. Serve with lemon wedges.