I love these Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions. They are perfect as an appetizer if you're having a backyard bash this summer, or you can turn it into a meal any night of the week served with rice, salad or more vegetables.
Yakitori reminds me of my college days in Soho living on a student budget. Me and my BFF Gabbie used to meet 3 to 4 times a week after class at this cute little Japanese restaurant in the Village where paper origami birds hung from the ceiling and Japanese music played in the background. I didn't have much money then, so I usually ordered the chicken yakitori off the appetizer menu which always came with white rice... a perfectly good meal when you're broke.
Now days I can make it myself, and although this could certainly serve a crowd as an appetizer, I still like to eat them for dinner like I did back in my college days. I also like to add some zucchini to my skewers so I'm grilling my veggies at the same time. As for the chicken, I prefer dark meat to white so I use Perdue Fit & Easy thighs, which calculates to a lot less points in recipe builder than generic thighs (I'm assuming because the generic isn't trimmed of all fat? Not sure!) You could also use chicken breast if you prefer white meat. Only one tiny issue I had was it makes 14 chicken skewers, so to divide that in 4 servings, you are going to get 3 1/2 skewers. Oh well, you'll just have to share!! There's plenty of marinade left if you want to make more chicken or zucchini.
Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori
Servings: 4 • Size: 3 1/2 chicken skewers, 1 zucchini • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 9
Calories: 213.5 • Fat: 8.5 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Protein: 21 g • Sugar: 10 g
Sodium: 618.5 mg* • Cholest: 72 mg
- 2 tablespoons mirin sake
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (for GF use low sodium Tamari)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, all fat trimmed (Purdue Fit & Easy)
- 5 large green onions, cut 1-inch-long
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rings
- 18 (10 inch) bamboo skewers
Bring mirin, low sodium soy sauce, honey and crushed garlic to a boil in a medium-sized sauce pan, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a ziplock bag; pour half of the marinade over the chicken. Place the zucchini in a second large ziplock bag and pour the remaining marinade over the zucchini. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the skewers in water 30 minutes so they don't burn.
Thread the chicken onto skewers, alternating with green onion so that each stick has 3 cubes of chicken and two pieced of green onion, discarding the chicken marinade.
Thread the zucchini onto skewers, alternating with remaining green onion, reserving the marinade for basting.
Preheat the grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, spray with oil then reduced heat to medium; grill the zucchini and chicken skewers about 5 to 6 minutes on each side brushing both sides of the skewers with the yakitori sauce during the last few minutes of cooking time.
Makes 14 chicken skewers, 4 zucchini skewers.
*Note: It's really hard to be accurate with the sodium here since most of it is tossed, I calculated it with 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp mirin, but it would actually be less.
Yakitori marinade recipe adapted from Food.com