Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Chicken & Asparagus Yakitori

Kick off the first rays of sunshine with these Japanese-inspired skewers on the barbie.

Recipes: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson

Serves 6


For the glaze
⅔ cup tamari soy sauce
½ cup water
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
⅔ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons cornflour

For the yakitori
500g skinless, boneless, chicken thighs, cut into 2.5cm x 2cm pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
24-30 short bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for
15 minutes
24-30 asparagus spears, woody ends removed, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Put all the glaze ingredients in a small pot set over medium heat. Bring to the boil and whisk for a minute or so until slightly thickened.

Thread chicken onto skewers and brush each side with oil. Repeat process with asparagus.

Heat a stovetop or barbecue flat plate until medium hot. Rub the surface with a little additional oil, then wipe with paper towels.

Cook the chicken skewers on one side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Turn the skewers over (use a metal scraper). Brush the top side with glaze. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, then turn over and brush with more glaze.

Repeat this process two or three more times, decreasing the cooking time each time, until chicken is very sticky, dark and aromatic. Treat the asparagus the same way but allow half the cooking time. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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