Food & Wine Magazine: May Cover Recipe

Chicken Yakitori

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (authentic, tasty & exciting!)

Initial Thoughts: My hubby is gonna be excited – Mr. Spock just so happens to be a huge fan of chicken yakitori!

The Test: Yakitori is a popular street food consisting of traditional style Japanese kebabs, typically made with tare (basting sauce) or shio (salt). This particular recipe was developed by Andrew Zimmern, a James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer, and host of the popular Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

Zimmern explains in the recipe’s intro how various animal parts are often used in this type of dish, including udders, cockscomb, and trachea.


Thankfully, plain ol’ chicken thighs are called for in this version.

The tare (basting sauce) is made by simmering water and kombu (dried seaweed), bonito flakes (made from smoked bonito or tuna) and water. The liquid is then strained and reduced along with sake, soy sauce, mirin and sugar until thickened. Cooking the chicken is very straightforward; simply grill with a bit of veg oil until nearly cooked through. Brush the kebabs with fresh garlic juice and the basting sauce and voila!

The Results: We all enjoyed this dish immensely and I look forward to experimenting further with the leftover sauce. The flavours were complex, and I loved how you could taste every individual ingredient. The ginger water came through nicely, and the fish taste from the bonito flakes and flavour of the seaweed were mild enough not to be creepy but tasty enough to enhance the overall flavour profile of the dish.

Tip? Go nuts with the green onion. Definitely my favourite part all grilled and covered in sauce. Yum…

Chicken Yakitori

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magaine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

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