Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso

Yakitori Sasami no Ume Shiso

This Japanese recipe combines two of my favorite flavors: umeboshi and shiso. Umeboshi are “the olives of Japanese cuisine.” Shiso is the Japanese basil, the flavor of summer.

Chicken Breast Fillets on Skewers with Pickled Plum and Shiso

Package of UmeboshiYakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso
serves 6-8
page 407

  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 8 chicken breast fillets
  • 4 umeboshi (pickled plum), pitted and chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • Yakitori Sasami no Ume Shiso1 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.
Yakitori Sasami no Ume ShisoDo 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.
Yakitori Sasami no Ume Shiso
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.

Other Yakitori Recipes from Tess

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9 thoughts on “Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso

  1. Thanks for your suggestion on the vegetarian cookbook – I followed your link and read its synopsis. It certainly looks interesting and more appetizing to me than fish! I hope I can find a copy somewhere :) Goodluck with your cooking project – looks great, I will certainly check back once I am in Japan and needing ideas!

  2. HotBertaa,
    Can you tell in my picture of the umeboshi that I “sampled” a few just for myself? If she, or you, try the recipe, let me know how you liked it. My husband and I liked this, but I’m just learning.

    chasingsnow,
    I hope you find a copy of that book. It has some flaws (stuff I can’t find, using maple syrup for sweetening but maybe that’s not bad?), but overall, it looked good. I only had it from my library and now that I look at my notes, I’d like to get it again, but it was an “inter-library loan” so it’s not easy to get again. GRRR. I just can not buy another cookbook!
    My project is not vegetarian, but you are welcome to ask about how to change things to be vegetarian…
    I’d still be interested in hearing about your experiences…

  3. Hi Tess, I love Shiso but can’t get them in Switzerland. Shiso and pickled plum are great combination. May I kindly ask which country do you live in?

  4. janetching,
    I live in the U.S.—in Michigan. Ann Arbor is near Detroit, but not very near. There have been many Japanese people working SE Michigan because of the auto companies, and Ann Arbor is a university town. The U of M attracts students from all over the world, so I have more access to exotic ingredients than you’d find in most of the center of North America. There is my favorite little Korean store a few blocks from my house. In the other direction, in less than a mile there is a whole strip of small stores with all sorts of exotic foods. An Arab bakery, a grocery, a Russian? place, a Korean restaurant, a Japanese take-away sushi place (not very good), and there used to be an Indian grocery (which might still be there).

    “Just Hungry” on my sidebar is in Switzerland. She has an amazing and inspiring site (well 2 of them: bento and Japanese home cooking). Perhaps you could email her to find out where she buys shiso? I think she grows her own, too.

    When I first tasted shiso, it tasted funny. But now, it smells like summer.

  5. Hi Tess, that’s for your extensive info. I have never been to Michigan. You are right, I should try to ask Just hungry. Have a nice day!

  6. unfortunately we’re all out of umeboshi, luckily we’ll be going to London soon, so can stock up on all the ingredients you can’t in the rest of England.

  7. Pingback: April 25th. Spring Swap Meet ...EPIC!!!! - Page 5

  8. Pingback: Thighs: onion, umeboshi and shiso « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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