Recipe: Japanese Skewers

Skewered foods, known as kushiyaki, feature mini bites of chicken (yakatori), salmon and tofu — perfect for the picnic bento box. Chef Moto Nozawa of the House of Boateng shares this recipe for making these simple skewers.

Kushiyaki on a plate by Buttata Ceramics. (Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet/YAM magazine)

Chicken Yakatori

1 pound chicken tenders


½ cup soy sauce

½ cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)

¼ cup sugar

Sweet Soy Marinated Salmon

1 pound boneless salmon filet


¼ cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp mirin

2 Tbsp apple juice

2 Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp sugar

Sweet Miso-glazed Tofu

1 pound tofu


2 Tbsp miso       

3 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp mirin

2 tsp sake or white wine

Cut the chicken, salmon and tofu into bite sized, 1-inch cubes and set in separate dishes. Combine the marinade ingredients for each, separately, in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced by half. Cool the marinades, and pour over the proteins. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Soak small bamboo skewers in water. Cut chicken, salmon and tofu into bite-sized pieces and place two pieces on each skewer (add a small grape tomato with the tofu if you like).

Pre-heat oven to 350˚F. Bake or grill chicken for 5-7 minutes, or until the juices are clear. Bake or grill salmon for 3-5 minutes. Bake or grill tofu for 2 minutes.