Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Cover IG

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers – Yakitori


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We made a post recently sharing our recipe for Low Carb Yakisoba.  If you didn’t happen to catch it, we talked about how Yakisoba is a main Japanese summer festival/carnival food served across Japan, and with summer rolling in, we thought it would be a good time to build on this and share another festival dish in Yakitori!  Now Yakitori, which translate to ‘BBQ chicken’ BTW, comes in many different variations/combination.  They range from chicken skin, to chicken cartilage to quail eggs and back.  But today, we will be sharing the recipe for what would be considered the ‘classic yakitori’ – negima.   This is just skewered chicken thighs with alternating green onions brushed with a semi sweet soy marinade.  Although that sounds innocent, the traditional marinate is loaded with sugar, so not exactly low-carb/keto friendly.   But fret not – we here at LCA made a low-carb/keto version for all you folks!  So the next time you are in the mood to experience a low-carb/keto Japanese festival food, definitely fire up the grill and give this simple recipe a go!

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Pin 1

This dish is keto friendly at ~1g carbs per skewer and if you are looking to make this your main meal, I would say 3-4 skewers would fill a person up.  I would describe this dish as a tender juicy chicken infused with semi sweet soy sauce and the flavors of charred BBQ.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Pic 2

The special ingredients needed for this recipe are Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, Soy Sauce, Toasted Sesame Seed (optional) and Japanese Sake.  All these can be picked up on Amazon (aside from Japanese sake) or a local Asian Supermarket.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Brine time 1H (optional)

Prepping Time 10M

Cooking Time 15M

Total Time 1H25M

Net Carb/Skewer ~1g

Serving 3-4 Skewers

Ingredients

Yakitori

  • 1/2 lb Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thigh (about 2-3 pieces)
  • 4 Cups Water (optional brine)
  • 1 tbsp Salt (optional brine)
  • 3 Stalk Green Onions
  • 3-4 Wooden Skewers
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed (optional)

Marinade

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (1)

2) Optional Brine – In a mixing bowl, add 4 cups of water and 1 tbsp of salt.  Add chicken and brine for 1 hour.

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3) Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.

4) Finely dice garlic and set aside.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (5)

5) In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the marinate – Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, and Diced Garlic – and bring to boil.  Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced.  Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes.  Set aside.   Note – if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce.  Note 2 – if you like stronger flavors, transfer some of the sauce into a reserve bowl and drizzle sauce before serving.  Do not drizzle sauce you used for basting as it would be contaminated.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (24)

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (24)

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6) In the meantime, cut green onions into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

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7) Cut chicken into 1/2 x 1/2 cube size bites and set aside.

8) Skewer chicken loosely (do not pack in tight).  Use 3 pieces of chicken for every piece of green onion as picture shown.

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (14)

9) Preheat grill to 350F.  Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill.   Using a basting brush, generously brush marinade on each skewer and close lid.  Rotate skewers every 2 minutes basting on each rotation and until done – should take around 8-10 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F.  Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

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Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Recipe (30)

10) Optional Oven Instructions – if you don’t own a BBQ grill or located in an area where grilling is not possible, here are alternative oven instructions.  Preheat oven to 500F.  Place skewers on a baking rack in center of oven and generous brush marinade on each skewer.  Rotate every 2 minutes basting on each rotation and continue until done – should take around 8-10 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F.  Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

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Hope you enjoy our Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers – Yakitori!  If you are looking for other recipes for your main dish, be sure to check out our growing Recipe Index full of Asian Inspired low-carb/keto recipes!

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More Recipes

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Pin 2

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori Cover IG

Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori

The BEST Asian Low-Carb/Keto recipe for Keto Japanese Chicken Skewers - Yakitori.  Enjoy this delicious traditional festival food at only ~1g Net Carb/Skewer. Step by step directions with pictures makes this recipe quick and easy.
4.2 from 5 votes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: ketojapanesebbqchicken, ketojapanesechickenskewer, ketoyakitori, lowcarbjapanaesechickenskewer, lowcarbjapanesebbqchicken, lowcarbyakitori
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Brine Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 3 Skewers
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Yakitori

  • 1/2 lb Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thigh (about 2-3 pieces)
  • 4 Cups Water (optional brine)
  • 1 tbsp Salt (optional brine)
  • 3 Stalk Green Onions
  • 3-4 Pieces Wooden Skewers
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed (optional)

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Swerve/Monkfruit
  • 1/2 Cup Bonito Flakes
  • 1 Clove Garlic

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Optional Brine - In a mixing bowl, add 4 cups of water and 1 tbsp of salt. Add chicken and brine for 1 hour.
  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Finely dice garlic and set aside.
  • In a stove top pot, add all the ingredients for the marinate - Soy Sauce, Japanese Sake, Water, Swerve/Monkfruit, Bonito Flakes, and Diced Garlic - and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer heat and let sauce reduce for 7-10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Once reduced, strain sauce with strainer and make sure to squeeze/press any excess sauce from the bonito flakes. Set aside. Note - if you are making more sauce, it will take longer to reduce. Note 2 - if you like stronger flavors, transfer some of the sauce into a reserve bowl and drizzle sauce before serving. Do not drizzle sauce you used for basting as it would be contaminated.
  • In the meantime, cut green onions into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
  • Cut into 1/2 x 1/2 cube size bites and set aside.
  • Skewer chicken loosely (do not pack in tight). Use 3 pieces of chicken for every piece of green onion as picture shown.
  • Preheat grill to 350F. Once grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium-low and place skewers on the grill. Using a basting brush, generously brush marinade on each skewer and close lid. Rotate skewers every 2 minutes basting on each rotation and until done - should take around 8-10 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle optional Toasted Sesame Seed.
  • Optional Oven Instructions - if you don't own a BBQ grill or located in an area where grilling is not possible, here are alternative oven instructions. Preheat oven to 500F. Place skewers on a baking rack in center of oven and generous brush marinade on each skewer. Rotate every 2 minutes basting on each rotation and continue until done - should take around 8-10 minutes or once internal temp reaches 165F. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle optional Toasted Sesame Seed.

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