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Yakitori, or chicken kebabs, are extremely popular in Japan. They’re one of its most emblematic street foods, often served with a cold beer in a bar or Izakaya. We like this recipe with vinegar instead of the sweeter, more traditional mirin.


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 4 scallions, whites only
  • 1lb chicken in 3 cm cubes
  • Shichimi Togarashi, for garnish


  1. 1

    Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    Put soy sauce, sugar and vinegar in a pot. Bring to boil and watch that it doesn’t boil over. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should reduce by half. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Cut scallions into 3-inch chunks.

  4. 4

    Make the kebabs by alternating chicken cubes and onion chunks (around 4-5 pieces for each skewer).

  5. 5

    Cook skewers in a hot pan for 5-7 minutes on one side. Flip them and cook until half-cooked, 2-3 minutes.

  6. 6

    Dip the kebabs in the sauce, return them to the pot, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  7. 7

    Dip the kebabs again and cook on the other side until the yakitori is cooked through.

  8. 8

    Garnish with shichimi togarashi and serve.