Skewered. Yes, it is the Philippine version of the BBQ (barbecued meat of every conceivable anatomic part of pigs, cows, and yes, chickens). Unlike here in Manila, or other southeast Asian country I've been to, like Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, Japanese Yakitori stands (also called Yakitori-yas) focus mainly on chicken body parts only. Non-chicken dish items found on the stands include "large shiitake mushrooms, green peppers, ginkgo nuts, and small quail eggs." It shows us how even in a variety of choices, the Japanese still manages to try and eat in a healthy manner. No pork. No beef. No gross-looking insects.
This article says that competition between Yakitori-yas thrives by maintaining 2 important factors:  the ingredients in the tare (the sauce used to baste the chicken), and  the quality of the charcoal used for grilling.
For my modified version of Sasami Yakitori, I did not use charcoal. I grilled using my LPG-powered oven. Also, the marinade I used here has a strong hint of the Philippine Adobo, because after all, I am a true Filipino.
- 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cleaned chicken (skinless) breast fillets, cut into matchbox-sized chunks or bigger, depending on your desired size
- ½ cup of coconut vinegar (if not available, any type of vinegar will do)
- ½ cup premium Chinese low-sodium soy sauce
- 15-20 cloves of garlic, slightly crushed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper granules
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 can of young corn (optional)
- 1 can of whole button mushrooms (optional)
- 4-5 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 8-inch wooden skewers
Serves: 5-6 people (2 skewers per person)
Cooking Time: 20 minutes at 200°F for medium-rare and 30 minutes at 200°F for well-done
- In a large bowl, mix ½ cup of coconut vinegar and ½ cup of premium Chinese low-sodium soy sauce.
- Wash the chopped chicken breast fillets with clean running water, and add to the vinegar-soy sauce mixture.
- Add the 15-20 cloves of slightly crushed garlic to the vinegar-soy sauce mixture, and marinate for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, get a clean plate, and pour approximately 4-5 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Get a few chunks of the marinated chicken breast fillet and roll them on the plate, making sure all surfaces are soaked with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle black pepper granules and ginger powder on the chunks of chicken breast fillets.
- Pre-heat the oven grill to 200°F.
- Pierce the chunks of chicken breast fillets with the wooden skewers. Usually, 2 chunks of breast fillets fit in one 8-inch wooden skewer. Optional variation - you can include bits and pieces of young corn and whole button mushrooms on your skewers.
- Grill in the oven at 200°F, turning on each side after 10 minutes, and removing after 20-25 minutes, depending on the desired level of cooking. If you want your yakitoris to be well-done, extend grilling time for another 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately. These sasami yakitoris are great when eaten with cooked organic brown rice, and a glass of your favorite red wine.
- As an optional side dish, you can also use excess young corns and whole button mushrooms as additional non-chicken yakitori dishes. Just remember that these cook faster than the chicken yakitoris, and therefore, must be oven-grilled for less than 5 minutes at 200°F.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 1 skewer = 124 calories (according to this website). Excellent source of protein. Since this recipe used low-sodium soy sauce and extra-virgin olive oil, hypertensives need not worry too much, and the actual calories from fat maybe lower. No sugar was used so diabetics may also eat this dish with gusto. What's important is that patients with chronic conditions observe their recommended serving size consumption per meal intake (in this case, 2 skewers per person per meal).
NOTES:This is the vinegar I used in the marinating process. I prefer coconut vinegar because it has the sourness I like for this Yakitori dish. But this is just a suggestion.
Almost any vinegar can be used --- white vinegar, cane vinegar, balsamic, and even apple cider will also taste great. The important thing is you take note of the 1:1 blending proportion with the soy sauce.
Tell me if you like this dish. This might be my last recipe food post for the meantime. Let me banish your fears that I'm entertaining thoughts of becoming a professional chef. *LOL*