How To Make Yakitori (Grilled Chicken Skewers)

How To Make Yakitori (Grilled Chicken Skewers)

by Megumi Moriya

Chicken Classic Easy Izakaya Main Party Food Popular Summer Under 30 Minutes

The origin of present-style Yakitori dates back to the Edo period and now the dish is loved by people of all ages in various situations. It can be enjoyed as a sake accompaniment, a snack, a main dish, or a side dish. Its skewer style creates a casual atmosphere, allowing us to eat with just one hand, making it a convenient choice for any time.

Yakitori is a term combining "Yaki" (grill) and "Tori" (chicken), indicating its method of cooking. It includes various parts of the chicken. Major variations are chicken thigh, chicken liver, and Tsukune (chicken meatball), while minor ones include chicken cartilage, Hatsu (heart), Bonjiri (tail part), and Sunagimo (gizzard). Each part has its own distinct features, making it a delightful experience to enjoy Yakitori.

Yakitori is a simple dish more often enjoyed at Izakaya restaurants or Yakitori specialty shops than cooked from scratch at home. These places commonly use charcoal to cook Yakitori. If you have a BBQ grill at home, it’s great for cooking Yakitori, but if you don’t, you can also enjoy homemade Yakitori with a pan-frying style, which we will introduce in this recipe. The flavor is so mouth-watering that once you smell its savory aroma, you’ll definitely get hungry.

Usually, Yakitori comes with two flavors: tare and salt. Tare is a sweet soy sauce-based seasoning that pairs well with any Yakitori. On the other hand, you can eat Yakitori with just salt, which is better when you want to savor each chicken part individually.

In this recipe, we are introducing Yakitori made with chicken thigh and scallion, which is one of the popular variations and sometimes referred to as “Negima” in Japanese. Additionally, we are sharing the Tare recipe. We also introduced Tsukune in a previous recipe, so if you are interested in other Yakitori, definitely check it out.

Enjoy Yakitori in your own style and savor the taste of Japan at home.


Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Total servings: 5

Difficulty: Easy

  • 300 g Chicken Thigh
  • 1 Long Green Onion or Leek (only use white part)
  • 1 tsp Cooking Oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp Soy Sauce (for the tare)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Mirin (for the tare)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Cooking Sake (for the tare)
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 5 Bamboo Skewers

Expert's Tip

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If you are interested in Japanese-style BBQ, we recommend a Shichirin (Hibachi grill) for you! The Shichirin is a traditional charcoal cooking tool that has been used since the Edo period. It is compact in size and makes everyday cooking quicker and easier. Experience the authentic taste of Japanese grilling dishes with a Shichirin!


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together. Mix the tare seasonings together in one bowl.

2) Cutting the Chicken & Green Onion Into Bite-Size Pieces

Cut the ingredients as shown.

Chicken thigh: Remove excess fat and gristle. Cut chicken thigh into 15 pieces.

Green Onion: Cut into pieces approximately 3cm in length, making 10 of them

3) Sticking the Chicken & Green Onion Pieces Onto Bamboo Skewers

Skewer 3 pieces of chicken and 2 pieces of scallion onto each skewer. Be careful not to pierce your fingers or hand. Repeat the process to make a total of 5 skewers.

4) Pan-frying Yakitori

Pour cooking oil into a frying pan and heat it over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, place the Yakitori in the pan without overlapping them.

Pan-fry them for 3 minutes on one side, then flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Once they are cooked, remove them from the frying pan.

5) Coating Yakitori with Tare

Pour the seasoning mixture into the same frying pan and heat it until the sauce thickens slightly. Then return the skewers to the frying pan and coat them with the sauce.

6) Enjoying the Yakitori

Serve the Yakitori on a plate and enjoy!

Note: Bamboo skewers can be dangerous, so we recommend serving Yakitori without the skewers, especially for small children.

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