Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chicken Yakitori (Japan)- The World on my Plate Series

As a food writer, I am often asked “What is my favorite dish?” or “Which is my favorite cuisine?” Well, if it’s the Mangalorean Chicken Sukkha that perks me up, I go weak kneed over the Japanese Miso Soup. From Pavlovas to Tiramisus, I have a tough time choosing desserts to round off a wholesome meal. Frankly, it is quite difficult to stick a finger and name a particular cuisine or pick a particular dish. That’s why, when I was thinking of ways and posts to celebrate the blogs first anniversary, the idea of doing a series of posts titled “The World on my Plate” came up, i couldn't help but take up the challenge. Then, as I sat brainstorming with chefs, co-bloggers and friends we collectively concluded that while the Indian palate has accepted global cuisine with open arms, there is a deep disconnect in the understanding of global cuisine. The vast range of home cooking across the world is virtually unknown. This series will (hopefully) try and bridge that void.
If you are reading this in India, there is no better time to be a foodie. Especially when restaurants and chefs are going beyond traditional Indian cuisines and exploring cuisines otherwise unknown to the Indian palate.  Even for the globetrotting Indian, there would be times when you've tasted something abroad and aspired to create those dishes back home. Now, it will be possible to recreate that magic in your very kitchen. So what’s the menu for this amazing series? I promise you will be spoilt for choice. Japanese Yakitori, Spanish Patatas Bravas, Pad Thai among so many others. I urge you, try them all.
Now, the question is where do we begin from such an amazing line up. Then I thought I would highlight a cuisine that is just beginning to make it way to restaurant menus across India. Japanese. Dive deep and you will see there is so much more to Japanese cuisine than the sushis, shashimis and tempuras. These homestyle, melt-in-the-mouth chicken yakitoris are Japan’s answer to Indian Kebabs. The crunch from the spring onions complements the chicken texture just right. If you like you could replace chicken with beef, pork or mushrooms to suit your tastes.
Dive in, to a world of food sans any frontiers. My way of expressing my love and cravings for flavours from across the world.

Chicken Yakitori (Japanese Grilled Chicken)
  • 500 grams chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite sized cubes
  • 5-6 Spring Onions, cut lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon, red chilli flakes
  • 4 tablespoons, soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons, mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon, white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon, brown sugar
  • salt-to taste
  • Wooden skewers, as required
  • Dip the bamboo skewers in water and drain.
  • Pat dry the chicken and rub the salt and pepper powder to coat each piece well. Keep aside for 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, make a mixture with the soya sauce, mirin,  sugar, red chilli flakes. Heat on a medium flame till the mixture comes to a boil. Once it begins boiling, reduce the flame and cook until the sauce is thick. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Line the chicken and spring onion on the skewers alternatively. Brush a little bit of the sauce
  • Heat the grill and place the skewers on the grill. Keep alternating the sides so that the chicken is cooked evenly. While turning the chicken, keep basting it with the sauce.
  • Serve immediately

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