Did you know that cooking over an open fire was central to traditional Japanese life until the 19th century? Most households prepared their meals on the irori, a square-shaped open fireplace sunk into the ground. To capture the essence of the Japanese you can prepare this over a grill. Now that the weather has been consistently nice out, I think it's time to bring out the grills. A special thank you goes out to Sur La Table for this tasty Japanese inspired recipe!
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1, 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
2 crushed garlic cloves
8 green onions, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, green and white parts separated, divided
1 tablespoon honey
8 Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
Vegetable oil for brushing grill
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, ginger, garlic, green parts of the green onion and honey and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, decrease the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half. It will take about 30 minutes.
Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. The sauce will be thick and glossy.
Let it cool to room temperature before using. Reserve one-third of the sauce in a small bowl for final coating.
Working with 1 skewer at a time, thread the chicken alternating with remaining green onion.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat grill grates with oil and place skewers onto the grill.
Cook until grill marks develop, about 2 minutes. Brush with yakitori sauce and turn, cooking until grill marks develop on the second side. Baste with yakitori sauce and transfer skewers to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.
Transfer to the preheated oven and finish cooking, about 5 minutes more. Transfer skewers to a serving platter and drizzle with reserved yakitori sauce; serve immediately.
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