Chicken Breast Fillets on Skewers with Pickled Plum and Shiso
Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso
from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
- 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.
Note: While chicken fillets are very tender, the tendon is not. Tendons attach muscles to bones so they are very strong. Use needle-nosed pliers to hold the end of the tendon and a sharp knife to cut and pull it out. This fussy step is well worth doing: the cooked chicken is much more pleasant to eat!
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. If you are not using the basting sauce, salt the chicken before cooking. If you are using the basting sauce, dip and shake off excess. Cook, turning the skewers often.
Don’t overcook. Serve hot.
Sula is keeping an eye on the set-up in the kitchen…