Easy Japanese Chicken Yakitori Skewers

Easy Japanese Chicken Yakitori Skewers

These Easy Japanese Chicken Yakitori Skewers are traditional Japanese food, grilled and basted with a sweet and savoury sauce and topped with a zesty sesame-lemon sprinkle.
Course Entrée/Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating time 2 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 appetizers, 4 as a meal
Calories 304kcal
Author Flavour & Savour


  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup mirin sweet Japanese rice wine
  • 1/3 cup tamari or coconut aminos for paleo diet
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 8 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • vegetable oil for the grill

Sesame Lemon Sprinkle

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp chives snipped
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon zest finely grated


  • Combine coconut sugar, mirin, tamari (or soy sauce or coconut aminos) and vinegar in a small saucepan. Before heating, transfer 1/4 cup of the mixture to a resealable plastic bag or marinating container. Slice chicken thighs lengthwise, add to the bag and massage to coat. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
  • Simmer the marinade over low heat until reduced by half. It will have the consistency of syrup. Remove from heat.
  • Heat one side of a gas grill to medium-high and the other to low. (If using coals, bank them on one side).  Oil the grates. Thread chicken on to 4 skewers, accordion style. Grill over direct heat until nicely browned, 3-5 minutes. Remove to cooler side of grill and continue to cook, basting and turning every minute or so until cooked through, about 7 - 10 minutes depending on the temperature of the grill. Remove to a serving platter, top with sesame-lemon sprinkle and serve. 


Make the marinade ahead. Cool and chill, then bring to room temperature before using.


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 719mg | Potassium: 267mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.4mg