Yakiniku Chicken: A Sizzling Japanese Delight

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, yakiniku is a beloved dish that needs no introduction. This mouthwatering barbecue-style meal combines perfectly seasoned meat with the sizzle of a hot grill, making it an absolute favorite. Today, we're going to explore the art of making Yakiniku Chicken at home. So, let's dive in!


For the Marinade:

  • 1 pound (450g) chicken thighs, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated apple or pear (for sweetness)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Spring onions and sesame seeds for garnish


1. Prepare the Marinade:

  • In a bowl, combine the minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and grated apple or pear. This aromatic blend will infuse your chicken with incredible flavor.

2. Slice the Chicken:

  • Thinly slice the chicken thighs. Slicing them thinly allows for quick and even cooking.

3. Marinate the Chicken:

  • Place the chicken slices into a Ziploc bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. For the best results, marinate for a couple of hours or overnight.

4. Preheat the Grill:

  • Fire up your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. You want it hot enough to get those beautiful grill marks.

5. Grill the Chicken:

  • Thread the marinated chicken slices onto skewers. This makes it easier to handle on the grill. Grill the chicken for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until it's beautifully caramelized and cooked through.

6. Garnish and Serve:

  • Remove the chicken from the skewers, garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds, and serve it piping hot.

7. Enjoy the Experience:

  • Yakiniku is as much about the experience as it is about the taste. Serve your Yakiniku Chicken with a variety of dipping sauces, like a savory tare sauce, and enjoy the interactive and communal aspect of this meal with friends and family.


  • Experiment with different cuts of chicken like thighs, breasts, or even wings for diverse flavors and textures.
  • Feel free to add vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or onions to your skewers.
  • Don't rush the marinating process. The longer, the better, as it allows the flavors to penetrate the meat.

And there you have it, a delightful Yakiniku Chicken recipe that brings the sizzle of Japanese barbecue right to your kitchen. The combination of sweet, savory, and slightly smoky flavors is simply irresistible. Now, gather around the grill, enjoy the aroma of your cooking, and savor this fantastic Japanese culinary experience.