Introducing Negima Yakitori, a traditional Japanese chicken skewers recipe that’s easy to make and absolutely irresistible! If you’re looking for a flavorful dish that combines tender thigh meat and fresh green onions, this is it. The secret sauce, yakitori tare, adds a sweet and savory umami essence, making it a must-try for anyone craving authentic Japanese flavors!
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
What sets this Negima Yakitori recipe apart is its authentic Japanese charm! This classic dish showcases succulent chicken thighs, threaded with crisp green onions, and expertly grilled to perfection. It mirrors our Air Fryer Chicken Yakitori recipe but adds a delightful smoky grilled twist to the flavors. Whether as an appetizer or a main course, it captures the essence of Japanese cuisine, featuring a savory and subtly sweet flavor profile
This recipe is your ticket to savoring authentic Japanese yakitori right in your own backyard, in the company of other classic Japanese grilling skewers like Pork Belly Yakiton and Beef Kushuyaki. It’s a taste of Japan that anyone can enjoy, and its simplicity ensures a delicious outcome every time!
- Chicken – boneless and skinless chicken thigh.
- Green Onion – finely chopped green onion scallions.
- Wooden Skewers – grilling skewers. If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for at least 10 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.
- Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
- Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets.
- Sweetener – use your preferred sweetener.
- Bonito Flakes – made from shaved Dried Bonito fish. Commonly used to make broth and responsible for giving Japanese cuisine that signature umami flavor. Can replace with Hondashi.
- Garlic– freshly diced garlic.
Essential Kitchen Equipment
Step 1 Prepare the tare sauce by combining Japanese sake, soy sauce, sweetener, bonito flakes or hondashi, grated garlic, and water in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced. Strain the sauce, divide the sauce into two bowls, one for basting and the other for drizzling before serving.
Step 2 Skewer pre-soaked wooden/bamboo skewers with cubed chicken pieces and green onions.
Step 3 Grill on a BBQ at 350°F, covered, for 8-10 minutes, rotating and basting every 2 minutes.
Step 4 Drizzle reserved sauce, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and optional togarashi or ground red pepper on top before serving.
If you choose to skip the negi or green onions in your Negima Yakitori, you’ll be creating a delightful classic variation of ‘Tare Yakitori’. This version focuses on the rich flavors of the savory tare sauce and tender chicken without the added green onion crunch.
While you’re enjoying the grill, consider adding a variety of other yakitori skewers to your menu. You can savor the smoky goodness of Bacon Wrapped Enoki, the delightful flavor of Bacon Wrapped Quail Eggs, or the savory Tsukune Chicken Meatballs. To complement these savory delights, serve up a refreshing Japanese style Wafu Salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find bonito flakes or Hondashi for the tare sauce if I don't have access to a Japanese store?
You can find both bonito flakes and Hondashi on Amazon. These products are often available for purchase online, making it convenient to access them even if you don't have a nearby Japanese store.
What is the recommended grill temperature for cooking Negima Yakitori?
The recommended grill temperature for cooking yakitori is 350°F with the cover closed.
Can I marinate the chicken in the tare sauce before skewering it?
Traditionally, yakitori is not marinated in the tare sauce before skewering. Instead, the tare sauce is used for basting during and after cooking to infuse the skewers with its savory flavors.
To store leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5-7 days. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply reheat in the microwave.
Other Grilled Recipes You Might Like
- Korean BBQ Grilled Pork Belly
- Japanese Grilled Squid
- Korean BBQ Garlic Marinated Pork Belly
- BBQ Lobster Tails with Miso Mayo Garlic
Watch How To Make It
- 1/2 lb Chicken Thigh
- 3 Stalk Green Onions
- 3-6 Wooden Skewers
- 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed optional
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
- Finely dice garlic and set aside.
- Combine Soy Sauce, Japanese sake, water, sweetener, Bonito Flakes, and diced garlic in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes until it slightly reduces.Strain the sauce through a strainer, making sure to press out any extra sauce from the bonito flakes. Split the tare into 2 bowl, one for basting and other for dipping. Note – no need to strain if using hondashi.
- 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 2-3 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. Note - drizzle reserve sauce on prior to serving.