Yaki-Tori Recipe Secret

We have over-indulged in the yakitori this summer!

During the weekend the daughter’s boyfriend visited, a friend of hers (B.) from Chicago-days was passing through town so we invited him to stop for dinner. And we didn’t want to leave my sister out, so she came too. Not a problem…Keep in mind that we’d just returned from a week up north so I hadn’t thought seriously about cooking, and the refrigerator did not have much in the way of great new discoveries.

Daughter and husband had found cute little patti-pan summer squash and corn at the farmers’ market that morning so that suggested a grilled sort of dinner: yakitori!

I pulled the yakitori sauce from the freezer where it had spent the vacation: oh no! Not much left! As you dip the grilling chicken skewers into the sauce they add flavor as well as taking up some of the sauce, so it gets tastier every time you use it but it must be replenished. I’d neglected my yakitori duties!

Quick! I sent daughter out to get chicken. I made more yakitori sauce with saké, mirin, sugar, and shoyu and most important: the carefully saved, frozen, thawed yakitori sauce. Voila!! Genius! Having even a small amount of the sauce made the result amazing! That’s the secret: save even a small amount of your sauce to add to the recipe!

Below is the recipe I use to make the most wonderful yakitori sauce that only gets better and better as you use it!

Basting Sauce for Grilled Chicken
Yakitori: Tare

from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 405
1½ cups

8 chicken wings (drummets with the single bone)
¾ cup sake
1 ⅓ cups mirin
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 ⅓ cups shoyu
Broil or grill the chicken wings until they are charred over about half their surfaces.
In a medium pot, bring the sake and mirin to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar, and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Stir to prevent burning. Add the shoyu and chicken wings, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes. At the end of the cooking, the sauce will be thick and glossy.
Strain the sauce through a strainer lined with cotton cloth, reserving the chicken wings. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then refrigerate (or freeze). Reheat the tare before using it, and once every week between uses.

You can see the cast of characters on the family trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, my sister, sister-in-law, brother 1, husband, me, daughter, brother 2… (no picture of the other side of the table with our hostess who lives there, niece 2, niece 1 who was the photographer). Some of the food we indulged in at Syl’s Cafe (the best place to eat in Ontonagon) and some of the food we cooked ourselves at the cabin. Missing are pictures of brother 1’s great grilled chicken…


4 thoughts on “Yaki-Tori Recipe Secret

  1. Your meal looks delicious. I love baby patty- pan squash but have never had them grilled. Can one have grilled chicken wings too often? It may be possible, but I doubt it.
    Your secret is an excellent one, methinks. Thank you for the tip, Tess.

    • Hey Marcia,
      This summer has been stressful but good.
      The yakitori sauce is great on all sorts of veg, with or without chicken. But not vegetarian, obviously.
      I hope you are well and happy?
      Wings: how could that be wrong?
      Stay in touch? I enjoy hearing from you…

      • Hi Tess,
        I know your summer has been stressful but it’s nice that it’s been good, too.
        We’ve just been through a hurricane in NJ which came less than a week after an earthquake. Friends are expecting plagues of locusts next but I’m not anxious about that. We were lucky. We live on a wooded lot and this has been the wettest August on record. The forecasters were predicting many trees would come down, but ours did not. It was a stressful night for me, as the rain came down in sheets. R. was not worried at all. :-) Things are calming down now, and tomorrow I will catch my breath.
        I love wings. We should have them more often, and your pictures are always beautiful.
        How is the house coming along?

  2. Pingback: Yakitori Meatballs: Tori no Tsukune « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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