Taste of Japan: Yakitori vs Kushiyaki vs Shioyaki
Here are all the recipes from our latest cooking class with Paul Young! There's an art to grilling and the Japanese have mastered it. In the tradition of Tokyo's "Yakitori Alley", this class uses bamboo skewers to make a variety of kebabs and experiments with marinades as well as dipping sauces. The menu includes:
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Yakitori (Skewered Chicken)
- Kushiyaki (Grilled Kabobs)
- Shioyaki (Grilled Salted Fish)
- Ongiri (Rice Balls)
- Ponzu Sauce
Makes 2 cups
- Combine all ingredients (except the cornstarch and Kitchen Bouquet), and stir until brown sugar is dissolved; use as is as a marinade.
- To make a basting or dipping sauce, bring the sauce to a boil in a saucepan.
- Slowly add cornstarch slurry until desired thickness is achieved.
- Slowly add Kitchen Bouquet until the desired color is reached.
- Split sauce into 2 bowls (one is for basting, the other is for dipping).
*Note: The basting sauce will be contaminated with a basting brush that has touched raw chicken. If you want to reuse this sauce as a dipping sauce, simply bring it to a boil again.
Makes 8 skewers; serves 2
- De-bone the chicken thighs leaving the skin on (but trim off excess fat).
- Cut each thigh into 4 pieces.
- Cut each green onion stalk into three 1-inch long pieces (starting from the white end); discard the rest.
- Skewer each bamboo stick with 4 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of green onion, alternating between each item.
- Grill with low heat turning often (or bake in 375-degree oven for 10 minutes on each side).
- Brush on Teriyaki sauce and grill/broil for a few more minutes on each side (check often to make sure basted chicken doesn't burn).
- Serve with a side of Teriyaki Sauce (or Ponzu Sauce).
- Wrapping a small piece of bacon around each piece of meat is an option.
- Instead of chicken thighs, you could also use gizzards, hearts, and/or tails.
- Instead of green onions, you could also use asparagus or cherry tomatoes.
Makes 3 or more skewers
- Cut meat into 1x1 inch cubes (you should have about 12 cubes).
- Marinade meat in teriyaki marinade overnight in the refrigerator.
- Saute garlic cloves in olive oil until soft (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add 1 cherry tomato to a bamboo skewer.
- Then skewer each bamboo stick with 4 pieces of meat and 3 pieces of garlic alternating between each item.
- Finish with 1 more cherry tomato.
- Grill with low heat turning often (or bake in 425-degree oven for 10 minutes).
- When meat is cooked halfway, brush on Teriyaki sauce and grill/broil until done.
- Serve with a side of Teriyaki Sauce (or Ponzu Sauce)
- Shrimp (season with salt and pepper; finish with a squeeze of lemon).
- Asparagus wrapped with bacon (cook halfway in a pan first; finish with a squeeze of lemon).
- Enoki maki (mushrooms wrapped with beef; brush with ponzu sauce).
- Veggies (mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, etc; brush with ponzu sauce).
Makes 1 serving
- Defrost frozen mackerel in the refrigerator overnight.
- Liberally salt the fish on both sides as well as the inside cavity; set aside for 20 minutes.
- Wipe the salt off the fish, then insert a wooden skewer through the mouth and then through the entire fish.
- Spray fish with coconut oil, then grill over an open fire for 5 minutes on each side.
- Or: place fish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then flip the fish and broil until slightly charred (about 3 minutes).
- Serve with ponzu and/or teriyaki sauce; garnish with a lemon twist (optional).
*Note: Almost any small whole fish with its head on will skewer nicely. Fresh fish is always best, but frozen fish will also work nicely. Some possibilities include: iwashi (sardines), ayu (a sweet-tasting freshwater fish), sanma (pike), nishin (herring), tai (sea bream), etc.
Makes about 10 rice balls
- Rinse the rice in a strainer or colander under cold running water until the water runs clear; set aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a rice cooker, and stir.
- Add rice, and stir.
- Turn on the rice cooker to "cook"; when rice is boiling (about 5 minutes), open the lid and stir ingredients vigorously (to help prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom); close the lid and let the rice finish cooking.
- When all the water has been absorbed, turn off the rice cooker (do not let the rice cooker keep the rice warm); remove the lid and cover it with a damp cloth; set aside to cool to room temperature before using.
- Test the stickiness of the rice; wet your hands, scoop up a ball of rice, and squeeze; if the rice does not hold its shape, sprinkle some water on the rice and gently mix; repeat the test.
- To make plain rice balls: add about 1/2 cup of cooked rice on a piece of clear plastic wrap, enclose rice with wrap, and squeeze to form a disk; re-shape disk into a triangle; remove rice from plastic wrap and "glue" a strip of nori to the "bottom" of the triangle (trim nori strip with scissors, then hold nori in place for a few seconds). See video.
- Sprinkle some rice seasoning on the other 2 sides and serve.
Stuffed Rice Balls
- Prep strips of nori by cutting sheets into thirds.
- Add about 1/2 cup of cooked rice on a piece of clear plastic wrap, and flatten the rice.
- Add a small amount of filling in the center; with the help of the plastic wrap, wrap the rice around the filling and gently form a ball.
- Shape the ball into a triangular pyramid, and remove it from the plastic wrap.
- Wrap a strip of nori around 2 sides of the pyramid (leaving the "top" exposed), and fold the remaining nori under the bottom side of the pyramid (hold nori in place for a few seconds). See video.
- Optional: add a tiny amount of the stuffing on top; sprinkle with rice seasoning
- Soak a few pieces of kombu in water overnight.
- Discard the kombu, and retain water.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, and stir well.
- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week or more.
*Note: Ponzu sauce goes great as a subtle dipping sauce for strong-flavored yakitori, fish, or chicken dishes.