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yakitori on a platter with sauce bowls and sesame seeds

Japanese Chicken Yakitori Recipe

Chicken Yakitori with scallion (Negima) is a Japanese recipe for skewered chicken cooked over a grill. It's a quick, easy, flavorful appetizer.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 218kcal


  • 1 ½ pounds chicken thigh meat boneless and skinless
  • 2 cups green onions cut in 1 " pieces
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • bamboo skewers

Tare Sauce:


  • If you're using bamboo skewers, you will want to soak them in water for 20 minutes before using them. You can also use metal skewers, just be careful when handling them on the grill as they get hot.
  • Cut the chicken in 1" cubes and skewer them, alternating with 2 pieces of green onion, leaving at least 2" on either end of the skewer.
  • Lightly oil the grill grates (to prevent sticking) and heat it to 400F.
  • If using just the salt, sprinkle with sea salt on both sides.
  • Make sure the tare sauce is ready (if you're using it) before you start grilling
  • Place the chicken on the grill and cook 3-5 minutes per side, until browned on the outside.
  • If just using salt, remove it from the grill when the outsides are caramelized (about 7-10 minutes total).
  • If using the tare sauce, baste the chicken with it when it's about 75% done cooking.
  • Flip it over and baste the other side. Repeat this process one more time and remove from the grill when chicken in done.

Tare Sauce:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has been reduced by about half.


  1. If you are using the tare sauce, be sure to watch the chicken and make sure it doesn't burn. The sauce contains a lot of sugar and will burn easily. Move the a cooler part of the grill if you can.
  2. Chicken hearts, gizzards and liver are better made with just the salt. If you decide to use these parts, I recommend using the salt method.
  3. The chicken should be browned and caramelized on the outside using either method.
  4. Reserve some of the tare sauce for dipping. 


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 2501mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg