Zucchini Skewers


Yakitori is chicken (tori) grilled (yaki) on a skewer. Almost any part of the bird can be grilled, but when other foods are grilled on a skewer, they are called kushi (skewer) yaki (grilled). Kushiyaki means “tidbits grilled on skewers.”
Here are suggestions for kushiyaki: hotate (scallop), ika (squid), sake (salmon), shrimp (ebi), shiitake (mushroom), unagi (eel), uzura (quail eggs), niku (beef) or buta (pork) or bacon wrapped around vegetables, seasonal vegetables… I’ve even seen references to cheese wrapped in a vegetable leaf or stuffed into large umeboshi or abura age.

I used my hibachi (from by birthday last June—the stainless steel table is no longer so shiny, and the firebox on the hibachi is no longer ash-free) with plain charcoal, started with dry apple/cherry sticks and wood. SkewerIt, a blog well described by the name, notes that binchotan is a special charcoal made from a type of white oak, which burns longer and hotter than my inexpensive charcoal. Apparently it can burn for hours, and perhaps not generate so much ash—worth looking for! We can also thank her for inspiring this recipe.

from Skewer It

Soak skewers in a tall bottle.

Soak 4 or 5 skewers (6″ long should be fine, but I happened to have only long skewers…). A neat way to soak skewers is to put them into a glass or jar bouquet-fashion: takes up less counter space, plus you can snag one without getting your fingers wet. 20 to 30 minutes is long enough soak.
Select a fine young thin-skinned zucchini about 8″ long, 1 ½” diameter. Slice it into ½” thick rounds. Cut the rounds in half.

Skewer 4 to 5 semi-circles of zucchini per stick. I would either blanch these in vigorously boiling water then quickly into ice water, or I would stroke them with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. A sprinkle of nice salt wouldn’t hurt either. Husband liked them plain as I did here. I thought they were dry and not very tasty.

Grill until a bit browned. Eat!


4 thoughts on “Zucchini Skewers

  1. Zucchini is good! I’m planning a BBQ with friends, and although I love LOTS of MEAT MEAT MEAT at a BBQ, I dont wanna break my bankaccount. I’m gonna buy 2 kilo zucchini! :)

    Whats really nice too is to brush them with light teriyaki sauce.

    I think Im also gonna do eggplant skewers and big button mushroom skewers. Wrapped in bacon with a little bit of grated cheese…how would that taste…? :D

    • In summer 2 kilos of zucchini could be just one zuke! Grew zucchini once and can understand how easily it gets out of control, but they taste good only when they are small.
      Teriyaki sauce sounds good. Or a light vinaigrette wouldn’t be bad…

      I’ve got an eggplant with sweetened miso sauce on the blog here somewhere: last fall I think.

      I’ve been thinking about umeboshi stuffed with cheese.

        • Oh, I hope not.

          Mark Bittman (NYT) had an article a few years ago about how NewYorkers could use their broilers when they couldn’t have a grill on the fire escape. But that is not the same…

          When we were first married and I was learning to cook (nervous when we’d invite guests), my husband would point out that, “It’s not the food: it’s the company!”

          True enough. Still, I hope you can grill for your party/dinner.


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