Chicken Breast Fillets on Skewers with Pickled Plum and Shiso
- 8 bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour
- 8 chicken breast fillets
- 4 umeboshi (pickled plum), pitted and chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 Tablespoon sake (rice wine)
- 1/2 Tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 8 shiso leaves, julienned
- Yakitori basting sauce
Remove the white stringlike tendon from each chicken tender. Cut a long pocket in the side of each fillet.
Do not cut all the way through. Alternately, you can pound the fillets to make them wider and thinner.
Mix the umeboshi, sake, and mirin in a small cup.
Apply a thin layer of the umeboshi paste inside the pockets. (If you have flattened the fillets, apply the paste to the top.) Sprinkle with shiso. Close the open edge of the pockets with a skewer. (Or fold the fillets in half and thread them onto the skewers to keep them closed.)
Heat a grill or broiler. Salt the chicken before cooking, if you are not using the basting sauce. If you are using the basting sauce, dip and shake off excess. Cook, turning the skewers often. Don’t overcook. Serve hot.
Adaptations I made:
This recipe is meant to highlight the delicate flavor of sasami—chicken breast fillets or tenders. But the store was practically giving away skinless, boneless chicken breasts! Can’t resist a bargain, so I cut the chicken into strips and pounded them thin to resemble the size and shape of tenders.
Doubled the recipe.
The paste that was applied inside the chicken was very thin, so I used more umeboshi and half the sake and mirin.
Used yakitori basting sauce rather than just plain salt.
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