Chicken and Leek Kebabs
In Japan, these tasty morsels are known as Yakitori. This pic of our president was just too silly to pass up! I guess that it just goes to show that EVERYONE loves Yakitori!
Below is a basic Yakitori recipe. Feel free to substitute anything on this dish. Shichimi-togarashi is a popular seasoning for japanese dishes. It literally means "seven-spice pepper" it consists of seven spices from a range of red pepper, black hemp seads or white poppy seeds, dried tangerine peel, nori or shiso (seaweed), sansho (Japanese peppercorns) and sesame seeds. If it doesn't come in a spice jar, store it in an air tight container for up to 1 year.
These are incredible alongside a bowl of rice and an ice cold crisp beer. (Like one of the imports here in Japan by the name of Budweiser! or, to feel more exotic and Asahi/Sapporo.) Now that Summer is coming, fire up that grill and cook up some Yakitori! Leeks look like giant green onions. They have a mild onion flavor. If you can't find mirin, use rice wine vinegar.
If you can, try to find shorter wooden skewers than the normal American size ones or, just cut about 2 inches off of the longer ones. Be sure to soak them in water so they don't scorch.
For the Kebabs:
1 lb. (450 g) boned chicken thighs
For the basting sauce:
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup shoyu
2 heaped tablespoons sugar
Shichimi-togarashi to taste
Mix the ingredients for the basting sauce in a small sauce pan and cook at medium heat for 4-5 minutes to reduce. Set aside. Cut the chicken into 1-1 1/2 (3 cm) inch cubes and the leeks into 1" (2.5 cm) lengths. Thread chicken and leeks onto the skewers (alternating). Place on a hot indoor/outdoor grill for 5 minutes, bast, grill 3 minutes, baste, grill 3 minutes. Place them on a platter and poor some more sauce over them. Top off with more shichimi-togarashi to taste.