Yakitori

It’s been another long hiatus from the blogosphere.  It has been a ver busy end to 2012 for me, but I fee bad for not blogging for the past several months.  I have been cooking a lot still, and taken a lot of pictures.  I will be catching up a bit on the posts for this this three day weekend.  I’m going to start out with a meal I’m making tomorrow for some good friends who are in town from NY.

These good friends were the inspiration for this meal, because the last time I saw them in NY they took me to an amazing yakitori joint in NYC called Soba Totto.  In my opinion yakitori cooking is just about the perfect meal.  First of all, it’s all protein, which is good because like everyone else, I’m trying to trim up for the new year.  Second, it’s incredibly savory.  The combination of salty and sweet just go perfect with wine or beer.

I had attempted some yakitori skewers before, and they were pretty good actually.  I used a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and some ginger and garlic.  I marinated the skewers (my favorite yakitori to make was pork belly and scallion) in this mixture and then grilled them.  While good, I did some research (and bought a japanese grilling cookbook for my ipad) and realized that my version wasn’t authentic.  Real yakitori, apparently is all about the “tare.”  The classic yakitori sauce which is much richer and more unctuous than my version and it includes broiled chicken bones (I used some chicken backs and thigh bones), and is reduced to concentrate the flavors.

My research led me to the following tare recipe:

  • Bones from 1 chicken (I used saved chicken backs and the thigh bones from the chicken yakitori I’m going to make).
  • 2 cups mirin
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 bunch of scallions, optional
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, sliced, optional
  • 5 cloves garlic, optional
  • black pepper to taste

Method:  Preheat broiler; Broil bones (with some meat and skin) for 5 minutes. Add bones to remainder of in stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer (skim off the scum that rises to the surface), and simmer until reduced.  Strain out solids and save tare for grilling.

In preparation for tomorrow’s grilling, I prepped the tare, another marinade for beef (garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, pepper), and all my yakitori skewers.  I am making chicken (made from thigh meat), chicken necks, chicken skin, chicken heart yakitori, and assorted vegetable skewers.  I’m also going to grill some steaks, which I’ll marinade in the garlic soy and slice for my guests.  Hopefully the grilling will go off without a hitch.

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2 thoughts on “Yakitori

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