1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (454 g; at room temperature)
9 small leeks or Tokyo leeks
Neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
Yakitori Sauce (Tare):
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup mirin
¼ cup sake
¼ cup water
2 tsp brown sugar
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TARE SAUCE:
In a small pan, add mirin, soy sauce, sake, water and brown sugar. Then, bring to a boil over high heat. Once the ingredients are boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered. Low simmer for about 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced in half, be careful not to boil! The sauce should thicken and have a slight shine on the surface. Allow it to cool to room temperature and set 1/3 aside for use after cooking.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR YAKITORI:
First, place your skewers in water to soak. Then, prepare the rest of the ingredients on a cutting board. Cut the leeks into one-inch chunks. Only use the white and light green sections. Set aside in a bowl. Next, cut the chicken thighs into one-inch cubes. Then prepare the skewers by alternating between leeks and chicken chunks. When skewering the chicken, push the skewer through one end, then fold the chicken over and skewer through the other end. When the skewers are ready, brush on both sides with the tare sauce.
With a towel or brush, lightly oil the Takibi Grill Net, then place the skewers on the grill and allow to cook for about 6-8 minutes, alternating sides. Brush leftover sauce onto the skewers each time you flip. Then serve and enjoy!
WILD MUSHROOM RICE
3/4 cup sushi rice 175g (can use other short grain pasta)
1 oz shitake mushrooms 30g (fresh)
1 1/2 oz oyster mushrooms 45g (or other Asian mushrooms)
1 cup water 240ml
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
1 tbsp sake
First, rinse the rice to remove any starch. Then, trim the mushrooms and be sure to remove any chewy or woody portions. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Put the rice, water, salt, soy sauce, mirin, sake and mushrooms in a pot and cover. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is absorbed, and the rice is finished. Serve and enjoy!
CRUNCHY CUCUMBER SALAD
2 Persian/Japanese cucumbers
½ tsp kosher/sea salt
1 Tbsp dried wakame seaweed (2 g)
½ Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp kosher/sea salt
½ tsp soy sauce
Combine the rice vinegar, sugar salt and soy sauce into a bowl, and whisk together. Place the wakame seaweed in water to rehydrate for about five minutes. Skin the cucumbers and then slice into thin rounds. Season the cucumber with ½ tsp of salt and gently massage them together. Doing so absorbs excess moisture for maximum crunch and brings out the full flavor of the cucumber. Return to the seaweed and squeeze out any excess water. Add the cucumbers to the seasoning mixture, and top with white sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy the crunch!