Yakitori: Negima—chicken and onion skewers


Summertime, and the winter myth we told the cats—that there is no outdoors—is unmasked. They are surprised with a refrain of unreasoning summer breezes, light, and scents.

They are old cats used to going outside. I resolved to keep them safe indoors, safe from the busy corner traffic and the neighbors’ unleashed dogs.

But Sula can twist Mr. Tess around her little paw. She cries and stares at the door so he feels sorry for her. First I agreed to let him take her out with a leash, but she likes to thread around bushes and soon became tangled. Because he was busy in the haphazardly fenced garden he removed the leash. So now he lets her outside whenever he’s out to keep an eye on her.

They are old cats who never wandered far. Only Sula has been indulged, but how long before the others? Probably it’s okay.

I prepared chicken and onion skewers in the kitchen while Mr. Tess set up the hibachi on the patio. If you look closely at some of the pictures you can see Sula waiting for an opportunity to follow her favorite person outside. She is even watching him as he works the grill in the dark.

Chicken Thigh or Breast with Long Onion on Skewers
Yakitori: Negima

from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 406
serves 4

  • Soak 12 bamboo skewers for at least an hour
  • 2 chicken thighs, boned, with or without skin
  • 2 chicken breast, boned, with or without skin Obviously, you can use 4 thighs
  • 4 negi, Japanese long onions; or thin young leeks
  • Tare basting sauce

Cut the chicken into small pieces, about 1″ by 1 ¼.” Cut the onions into 1 ¼” lengths. Skewer chicken and onion alternately. Tuck the skin between meat and vegetable so it won’t burn. Heat the yakitori basting sauce in a pan wide enough to dip the chicken / onion skewers into.

If you click on the thumbnails above, take a look for my cooking assistant, the little kitty Ms. Sula.

Heat a grill (you can broil these, also) and cook the skewers for 4 minutes, turning several times.

Remove from heat and dip the skewers in the sauce. Shake off excess sauce. Return skewers to the heat and cook for 2 minutes, turning several times. Remove from heat and give them the sauce treatment again. Grill for 2 minutes. I did this dipping and grilling 3 times. (Use a basting brush for the sauce if you don’t want to dip the skewers.)
Serve hot!

But they tasted great when I had a cold lunch.


4 thoughts on “Yakitori: Negima—chicken and onion skewers

  1. wow, Your skewers look exactly like mine. I think we used the same recipe.

    I don’t see as they would jump the fence. Thats a cozy yard. I like it. My dad lived on a road similar to yousr. He would open his garage door and let out his kitties, while he puttered around outside. Then after an hour he would call them back inside and feed them supper. That always worked for him.

    I always laughed because it was like he was calling cows to the food bin.

    • I think you are right: they probably won’t jump the fence. there are plenty of shady spots to hide in, lots of chipmunks and squirrels, birds… On the north side though, we do need to check that the fence is good on the bottom: it’s a steep 2 foot drop with lots of raspberries, shrubs and weeds so it’s hard to see if there is space for a curious cat to squeeze through…
      LOL! I like the cow image. I’ve been making a lot of noise when I feed them: tapping the can, singing a hungry cat song, pinging the pop-top on the lid, spoon chopping sound. I hope I’m teaching them that these noises, besides their names means it’s time to come in.
      So far, only Sula has gone out…but just in case.

  2. Oh yes I can see that summer could not really be kept a secret from cats. Do you have any pictures of Sula on a leash?

  3. Well, so I was hoping…
    Sorry, no picture of Sula outside on leash.
    But Mikey and Gracie with a leash inside:

    Mikey was about to jump on the bed rather than fold the laundry…

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