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.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 shiitake mushroom caps, quartered
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Thread each of 8 metal skewers with 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces each of scallion and shiitake.
In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, kecap manis, sugar, ginger, Sriracha and garlic; bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 8 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the skewers with oil and grill over high heat, turning, until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Brush the skewers with the sauce and grill, turning, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely glazed, about 3 minutes longer. Serve at once.