Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso


Here we are:
freezing, then hot.
The common element these days is wind, which rocks the trees vigorously with their new leaf-sails. The violence climaxes with a thunderstorm in the darkest part of night, waking me from sleep. Lightening explodes; then count, count, count, to know how far away is the storm. I contemplate that odd dream when the storm woke me. I scrutinize the details of the dream, which become clearer as I recall ever-more minute detail, until I am back in the dream. In the morning, I remember the dream. I know it was emotionally intense, but why, what happened? I know how the storm began, but not how it ended…

Yesterday I had a cold weather recipe, or two, but today we ate a summer meal cooked outside on the hibachi.

I made 3 different kinds of yaki-skewers for the meal on the grill. This is the first.

Chicken Breast Fillets on Skewers with Pickled Plum and Shiso
Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso

serves 6

page 407

Package of Umeboshi

  • 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 string-like 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.


3 thoughts on “Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso

  1. I live in East Central Florida. There are ZERO good Japanese restaurants withing a hundred miles. I lived in Japan for 10 years and get a serious Yakitori jones every now and again so I have learned to make my own.

    Last weekend, I did homemade Tsukune. If you have a food processor, it’s very easy to do. You should try it sometimes.

    The bacon/asparagus thing is wonderful, especially if dipped in a little Kewpie.

    Oishi !

  2. Hey Mike, what could be wrong with a grilled bacon-wrapped (healthy) vegetable? Especially if you dip in mayonnaise?

    The Morikami Museum in Delray Beach is probably too far for you? I’ve enjoyed it as a tourist.

    I have made tsukune! I’ve made the one recipe in Hiroko Shimbo’s book several times but am tempted to others. Very nice and I’m sure to make it again: there are other recipes I’ve seen online. But these were good:

  3. Pingback: Best Basting Sauce for Yakitori « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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