Two Delicious Yakitori Recipes You Can Make This Weekend

Photo: Courtesy of Jidori
Back in 2006, Brett Redman opened his first restaurant. Set up in a little disused shop on Bethnal Green Road in London, Elliot’s served locally sourced, seasonal dishes improvised around the best ingredients available on the day.
Since then, Redman has opened The Richmond, a restaurant and bar at the intersection of Dalston and Hackney, and a Japanese venture, Jidori. A collaboration with long-time friend Natalie Lee-Joe, the buzzed-about yakitori restaurant in east London (and the newly opened Covent Garden branch) is modelled on the fun, informal nature of Tokyo’s yakitori-yas and izakayas. And after some Japanese food and a few frozen yuzu margaritas with togarashi salt, we guarantee you'll be singing your heart out in the restaurant's karaoke room.
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If you want to try making one of the tastiest dishes at home, Jidori's generously shared the recipes for veggie and meaty versions of its Tsukune skewers. Belting out "I Will Survive" while cooking: optional.
Jidori
15 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JZ
Book online or call 0207 836 3145
1 of 2
Tsukune Jidori
(serves 8 skewers)

Ingredients
For the tare
100g chicken wing tips (or any chicken trimmings)
500ml mirin
500ml sake
500ml soy sauce
100g Japanese black sugar
2 spring onions
1 (1-inch piece) ginger
1 garlic clove
8 egg yolks

For the skewers
300g ground chicken thighs
25g panko breadcrumbs
Pinch kosher salt
4 spring onions, finely chopped
3 shiso leaves, finely chopped
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for two hours

Instructions
1. Make the tare. Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning as needed, until golden and caramelised, 10 minutes. Add the mirin and sake and cook until thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the soy sauce, spring onions, ginger and garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the sugar and cook until dissolved, 5 more minutes. Strain, discarding solids, and cool the tare completely.

2. Make the skewers. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, panko, salt, spring onions, and shiso. Tradition says to mix it 16 times clockwise then 16 times anticlockwise to get the right consistency.

3. Divide the meat into 8 equal pieces and, using your hands, press the meat around the skewer.

4. Light a grill. Add the skewers to the grill and cook, turning as needed, until almost cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Brush with the tare and cook until caramelised and done, 4 minutes longer. Transfer the skewers to a serving platter and keep warm.

5. Divide the egg yolks between 8 ramekins. Pour some of the tare over each and allow them to sit for 5 minutes to cure slightly before serving with the skewers.
2 of 2
Tofu Tsukune

Ingredients
For the vegetarian tare
1 bulb sliced fennel
5 shallots
3 carrots
1 leek
100g garlic
100g ginger
1l sake
1l mirin
1l soy sauce
500g sugar

For the tofu skewers
200g silken tofu
100g smoky tofu
20g spring onion, finely sliced
20g panko breadcrumbs
5g shiso
3g salt

Instructions
1. Make the tofu skewers. Take the tofu out of the water and leave to dry for at least 2 hours. When the tofu is dry, roughly chop it and mix it with the cut spring onions, shiso, panko and salt. Keep in the fridge for a few minutes to come together then shape onto skewers (make sure your skewers have been soaked overnight). Roughly 45g mixture per skewer.

2. Make the vegetarian tare. Simmer the fennel, shallots, carrots, leek, garlic and ginger together with the mirin and sake. Simmer until the mirin and sake form a thick syrup. Then add the soy sauce and sugar and simmer for another 20 minutes

3. Place skewers on the grill. Cook until the outside is browned.

4. Dip the skewers in the vegetarian tare.

5. Keep cooking until the tofu tsukune is caramelised on the outside.

6. Serve with an egg yolk and vegetarian tare in a ramekin on the side.
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