Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori is a popular dish in Japan and is basically chicken grilled on skewers. The chicken (all the parts of chicken can be used) is basted with a savory sweet sauce as it cooks on the hot charcoal fire. Charcoal is the preferred method of cooking as it produces high heat and strong flames while giving off little to no water vapor. The aroma imparted during the cooking is intoxicating.

At home, one could use a barbecue or the oven instead of charcoal fire to grill the chicken yakitori. Today, I am using my air fryer to grill the meat. It is normal for the chicken pieces to be separated with green onion or scallion. I have used broccolini stems instead as I don’t like green onion. I have also split out some chicken skin onto 2 separate skewers – they are crispy and extra delicious.

Video Link:


(makes 10 skewers)

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs with skin
  • 10 green onions/scallions (I use broccolini)
  • Vegetable oil
Glazing Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) mirin
    • 1/8 cup (30 ml)  sake
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
    • 1/8 cup (30 ml) water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • Thumb size ginger (grated)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)


1. Soak bamboo skewers in water for an hour.

2. Combine mirin, sake, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until the mixture thickens and looks glossy. Place 1/3 of the cooked sauce in a small saucer for final coating.

3. Cut the white stem of the green onion into 2 inch lengths. I prefer to use broccolini stem.

4. Remove the skin from the chicken thigh and cut thigh and skin into 2 inch wide strips.

5. Thread 3 pieces of chicken thigh meat onto the skewer, alternating with a piece of broccolini stem and a piece of skin.

6. Thread all the remaining chicken skin onto one or two skewers.

7. Place the chicken skewers in the wire basket and cook at 180°C for 10 mins.

9. Increase the temperature to 200°C. Brush the sauce on both sides of the meat and cook for 5 mins. Repeat the brushing and cooking for two more times to caramelise the sauce.

10. Place the skewers on a serving plate and glaze the chicken with the reserved cooked sauce with a clean brush.

Note: Sprinkle some Japanese mixed chilli flakes on top for added oomph.

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