"Grilled chicken skewers popular in Japan. Chicken thigh meat, green onion, chicken liver, hearts, gizzards, chicken skin can be prepared this way. It tastes best cooked over charcoal. Mirin is a sweet Japanese sake (rice wine). Ordinary sake may be substituted for the mirin, with additional sugar. Translated from Shinkatei Hyakkajiten Vol. 1, Kodan-sha, 1967, with adaptations by me. The garlic is from a suggestion from a person selling this by the side of the street. Use standard American cups. Please use a roomy saucepan for the sauce, as it has a tendency to boil over. Watch both sauce preparation and meat grilling carefully."
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Ready In:
8 skewers




  • Put mirin, soy sauce, sugar and garlic, if using, into a medium-sized sauce pan, and cook over medium heat until there is only half as much sauce remaining.
  • Let cool slightly while you are preparing the chicken.
  • Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces; keeping the skin on is usual in Japan.
  • Thread chicken onto skewers, alternating with green onion if desired.
  • Begin grilling the chicken skewers on both sides without the sauce, when the meat starts changing color, brush the sauce on both sides, and continue grilling, brushing on sauce about 3 times total, and turning until done.

Questions & Replies

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  1. i had to cook this on top of the stove. i cooked the chicken in a pan and took out the water that came out and as soon as there was no more water i poured some of the sauce on top and sauteed it till it caramalized. used the left over sauce to drizzle on the chicken and wow. DELICIOUS! thank you for sharing a great recipe!
  2. These were awesome!! I didn't have mirin so I used 1/4 cup rice vinegar. Thanks for posting!!
  3. Great recipe! Quick, easy & delicious. I'm a fan of any meat on a stick but this is some next level stuff. Made as written w/garlic but had to sub white wine for mirin. Grilled over medium heat & it turned out awesome. The sweet & salty chicken with the grilled onions is a perfect combo. Definitely a keeper.
  4. I can't believe I haven't written a review for this yet! This has become a go to recipe for me for over a year a now. It's easy, quick and, the best part, I usually have all the ingredients on hand. This is great with steamed or sauteed green beans or grilled veggies and rice ( with some of the extra sauce on the rice). If I'm feeling especially lazy, I don't skewer the chicken and just grill the thighs whole. Thanks for sharing this!
  5. This was an excellent recipe. Quick, easy, tasty, and different--exactly what I needed!<br/><br/>I cooked mine on the Foreman grill, and they came out really well! Thanks again, mianbao!


  1. I think the best testament to how good this recipe is is that I completely messed it up and it was still great! I replaced the chicken with Quorn pieces as i am veggie which worked really well. I couldn't find bamboo skewers so used tooth picks instead and as my grill is out of action used the cafe style sandwich press to cook them. I also forgot to turn the sauce off and as it cooled down it set into Yakitoffi! Despite all the kerfuffle they were still really good! i served them with left over noodles from the wok bar and saved some for my bento box next day with furikake rice. yum!
  2. Delicious! Just what I was craving. I substituted 2 Tbsp of honey for the sugar and it added the perfect sweetness. I added the garlic to the sauce and a healthy dash of togarashi (Japanese chili powder) to the chicken before grilling. I may reduce the sauce even further next time to thicken it up a bit more. Thanks for sharing.
  3. This is very delicous, mianbao! I used sake instead of mirin (I ran out of the latter), so I increased the sugar by another TB. I did marinate the cut-up chicken thighs (with skin on) with the mixture for 1 day, before threading them on bamboo skewers (I soaked them for 1 hr prior to that). Then I 'grill' the yakitori in the oven for 10mins on 1st side and 5 more mins on the other. I also thread some cut-up red bell pepper for Christmas-y color (red and green from the green onion). They were gone in a flash! These are my guests' favorite appetizer!
  4. WE LOVED IT! Thank you for posting this. So simple to make and absolutely delicious. I used molasses instead of sugar and grilled them in the oven. The left over sauce was enough for a second batch which I used to make again a few days later. I'll make this again and again and will make extra to keep in the fridge. One word of caution, keep an eye on the sauce it easily boiled over. Mine did, when I just turned my back for a couple of seconds. Boy, what a mess! But worth it. :)


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