7 Yakitori Recipes to Make at Home

By F&W Editors Posted February 21, 2016

Get ready for some of the best chicken of your life.

In Japan, yakitori restaurants are casual, beer-soaked houses of worship for grilled, skewered chicken. Skilled cooks prepare every part of the bird—from crispy skin to crunchy cartilage. You don’t have to be so inclusive if you’re preparing your own take on yakitori at home—breast and thigh work just fine. Here, our best recipes for DIY yakitori.

1. Chicken Yakitori with Purple Cabbage and Jasmine Rice 

Food & Wine:

This sweet-and-sticky grilled chicken gets a little kick from chile flakes. Crispy purple cabbage and aromatic jasmine rice complete the simple but succulent meal.

2. Chicken Meatball and Shishito Yakitori 

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These juicy Japanese meatballs, known as tsukune, are grilled on skewers with the finger-size green peppers called shishitos.

3. Chicken Thigh Yakitori 

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The sauce in this recipe gets a terrific kick from a touch of wasabi.

4. Soy-Glazed Chicken Yakitori 

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Walking into a yakitori bar in Tokyo, chef Dean Fearing was startled by the thick grill smoke filling the room, then delighted by the delicious flavor of the skewered meats. "These chicken skewers are as close to the food from that grill as I can remember," he says.

5. Chicken Meatball Yakitori 

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Chef Sylvan Mishima Brackett makes these meatballs with hand-chopped meat and skin from the best pastured chicken he can get.

6. Chicken and Leek Yakitori 

Food & Wine: Chicken and Leek Yakitori


Traditionally these skewers are made with scallions, but leeks are a deliciously, milder substitute.

7. Andrew Zimmern’s Chicken Yakitori 

Food & Wine:

When in Tokyo, Andrew Zimmern likes to eat skewers of cockscomb and trachea, but at home, he likes to make his own with chicken thighs.


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