Yakitori skewers

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A skewer is a thin stick, generally of metal or wood, to hold food together. The history of the skewer dates back to Byzantine Greeks and even further back, the practice having been described in Homer’s Odyssey.

During battle, when Turkish soldiers of different archaic tribes would eat, they would roast their meats and vegetables over an open flame. In order to not burn their hands, they would skewer the food with their swords, turning them slowly and eating straight off the blade. This tradition eventually led to the famed shish kebob (which translates to ‘gobbets of meat roasted on a spit or skewers’).

In Japan, skewering meets and grilling them over blazing charcoal is considered an orthodox method of cooking food. In Hawaii—where the cuisine is a melding of different cultures ranging from Polynesia to Japan and China—skewers were used for roasting combinations of foods like pork and pineapple over large flames.*

Skewers, or kebabs, are renowned worldwide. Every culture has different ingredients and cooking techniques which are distinct to them. I found so much information about skewers and kebabs that I thought I’d share some with you.

While searching I came across these Yakitori chicken skewers. They’re not hard to prepare and they tasted amazing! Can’t wait to try them again.

INGREDIENTS:
¼ cup (60mls) light soy sauce
¼ cup (60mls) mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
Pinch ground white pepper
2 chicken breasts (400 grams) finely slice into 3mm pieces
4-6 spring onions, cut into 3cm pieces

Wombok salad:
½ wombok (Chinese cabbage) finely shredded
2 spring onions, finely sliced

Dressing:
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

TO SERVE:
1-2 birdseye chillis (optional) per person, finely sliced

YOU WILL NEED:
11-12 wooden skewers

METHOD:
Combine soy, mirin, sugar, ginger and pepper in a medium sized bowl, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Add chicken and cover with gladwrap/plastic wrap. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 45 minutes.

Soak skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. This stops them from burning when grilling.

Thread chicken onto skewers, alternating every two chicken pieces with one spring onion piece. You should be able to get about 7 pieces of chicken onto each skewer, with 3-4 spring onion pieces.Meanwhile, heat leftover marinade in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Turn your ovens grill on to a medium heat and place 4-6 skewers on a lightly oiled grill grate. Grill skewers for 4-6 minutes, turning often and brushing frequently with marinade until chicken is cooked.

In a large bowl add the dressing ingredients and whisk until sugar has completely dissolved. Add in wombok and spring onions, then toss to coat.

Serve 3-4 skewers per person, sprinkle with chillis and a side of salad.

Makes 11

*Information courtesy of Restaurantware.com

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