Chicken yakitori is a well known Japanese dish which lends itself to enjoying with an ice cold beer in hand. It is usually cooked on skewers and grilled but I have chosen to break with tradition and cook the chunks of chicken separately on a griddle for extra caramelisation. Most recipes ask you to strain your sauce of ginger and garlic goodness however I found that you don’t need to do this as, if you are careful, the sauce won’t burn and you’re still left with a hit of those fantastic flavours.
Ingredients- serves 2
250g boneless chicken thigh- cut into bite sized pieces
50ml soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
2cm piece of ginger- grated
1 garlic clove- crushed
1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1/2 tbsp water
1. Kick off by adding the soy sauce, mirin and sake together before adding in the sugar, ginger and garlic. Heat over a low heat and bring it to a simmer. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the ginger and garlic are softening. Add the cornflour mixture and cook further until the sauce is thickened and glossy.
2. Take the sauce from the heat and allow to cool. As I say, I don’t strain the sauce as I like the ginger and garlic but you can sieve it at this stage if you like. When the sauce is cool, coat the chicken chunks with the majority of the sauce but reserve a small amount for later. Place the chicken in a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3. When you are ready to get cooking, warm a griddle pan to medium and cook the chunks of chicken until cooked through. This should take around 8-10 minutes depending on how large your chunks are. Halfway through cooking brush the remaining sauce over the chicken. The result should be tender and caramelised chicken. Serve with rice if you like and eat immediately. A flourish of toasted sesame seeds or crunchy shredded spring onion is also delicious.
Caramelised yakitori bites- crack open a beer and enjoy!
Teriyaki actually refers to the method of cooking in a glaze of mirin, soy and sugar but think teriyaki and you think of a glossy, sticky sauce that is so easy to make so there’s no excuse not to make your own. Yes, yes, it’s quick to buy it from the shelf of your local supermarket but the finish is not the same so spend 5 minutes over this sauce and you’ll never buy it again!
Ingredients- serves 4
4 tbsp dark soy or tamari
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp cornstarch
4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1. Start off by taking a small pan and add the soy, mirin and sugar and bring to the boil. Meanwhile add the cornstarch to the water and stir well so no lumps remain and add to the pan. Continue to cook the sauce until it starts to reduce. Take off the heat and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Place the chicken on a baking tray before coating in the teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, or roll them in a larger amount if you like, and cook for around 15 minutes or until cooked through depending on the size of each portion. Remove the chicken and allow to rest for a minute or two before cutting the breasts into slices. Alternatively you can slice the chicken whilst making the sauce and you can cook it in the teriyaki as it’s reducing before sprinkling with toasted sesame to serve. Enjoy with stir fried vegetables or on a bed of rice.
Sticky teriyaki chicken- a quick sauce for a delicious chicken dish!
What on earth is togarashi I hear you cry? It’s a Japanese combination of spices which is warming with a citrus note so it is perfect with salmon and chicken. This recipe allows the togarashi to speak for itself so keep it simple, there’s no point using such a great ingredient if you can’t taste it! I bought the mix at http://www.souschef.co.uk so give it a go and keep in the cupboard for a quick dinner fix.
Ingredients- serves 2
2 boneless salmon fillets
1 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp togarashi
1. Start off by lining a baking try with foil and drizzling a small amount of vegetable oil over it to prevent the salmon from sticking. Nobody wants salmon that’s been wrenched off the tray! Combine the soy, mirin and honey in a small bowl and marinade the salmon for between 20- 30 minutes.
2. When you are ready to cook the salmon, simply remove the fillets from the bowl and place on the tray. Sprinkle over the togarashi before popping in the oven on a 180c/ 160 fan heat for 15-18 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.
Serve with noodles or rice and a side dish of your choice. Asian greens that have been lightly stir fried and finished with a little sesame oil are delicious here.
Togarashi salmon- quick, easy and a great introduction to a new combination of flavours!