Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori

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Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions.

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions. 

I love these, 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. It always came with white rice… a perfectly good meal when you’re broke.

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions. 

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.

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions. 

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions. 

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions. 
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Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori

213.5 Cals 21 Protein 14 Carbs 8.5 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Marinate Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Appetizer, Dinner
CUISINE: Chinese, Japanese
Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori – Japanese inspired grilled chicken and zucchini skewers marinated with yakitori sauce and threaded onto bamboo sticks with green onions.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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

Nutrition

Serving: 31/2 chicken skewers, 1 zucchini , Calories: 213.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 8.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 618.5mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 10g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: asian chicken skewers, Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori, chicken skewers, Chicken Yakitori, grilled chicken skewers

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76 comments

  1. This was a very tasty recipe and easy to make!

  2. Pretty high in sodium for us that are restricted. Any ideas on cutting that down?

    • I reduced the soy sauce by half. Check the label of the mirin you use as many brands have added salt. I couldn’t find one without added salt so I used a combination of white wine and unseasoned rice vinegar. Also make sure you’re buying chicken that doesn’t have added salt or is treated/injected with a sodium solution. Even with these changes we thought the recipe was delicious.

  3. I’m a busy mom of two under three who works full time and tries my best to cook every night for the family, which can be rough! I just finished prepping this and I still have plenty of time to spare to spend some time with the kiddos before dad comes home! I sincerely appreciate all of the quick and easy meals… And they are absolutely are all delicious and never disappoint! 

  4. This was delish. Needed a change in menu at my house and this was perfect. My boys ate it up. Absolutely a keeper 

  5. Very tasty! I substituted rice wine vinegar for the mirin sake, and added red bell peppers for extra veggies. Grilled up some Naan bread with it, and this was a fantastic, light dinner. I'm betting it the sauce would be excellent on shrimp as well…

  6. Is the sauce supposed to get thick? Last time I made it the sauce was thin. I loved the flavors I just wasn't sure I did it right.

  7. This looks fantastic.. can't wait to make it it's on the menu. thanks with love Janice

  8. Is there a recipe for yakatori sauce? I'd love to make these tonight.

  9. "Me and my BFF Gabbie used to meet 3 to 4 times a week"

    Correction: "My BFF and I used to meet 3 to 4 times a week"

  10. Perdue is better because generic chicken is pumped up with steroids and then injected with "chicken broth" which is mostly just salt and water. That makes it bigger and weigh more. It also is usually only trimmed on sides you'll see in the package.
    Generic chicken may be a little cheaper, but it is actually disgusting when you know why. Perdue chicken is fed better, has no steroids, and isn't injected full of "broth".

    I used to work at the meat counter at a popular grocery chain. And i would NEVER buy generic meats at any store.

  11. Any idea what I can sub for the honey? We are doing low carb and I'd rather not use it. I do have seasoned rice vinegar, which has a small amount of sugar. Think it would be ok if I just used that and the soy sauce?

  12. Tried these with your sauce and with Soyaki sauce from Trader Joe's. Yours won the taste test (:

  13. Actually, mirin and sake are not the same thing. Mirin can be found by the rice wine vinegar in the asian section of most grocery stores and is a sweet japanese cooking wine with seasonings. Sake is the generic term for rice wine.

  14. So excited to try this for tomorrow nights dinner! I had planned on finding something that I could throw in the crockpot so that dinner would be ready when I came home from work, but this looks so simple, healthy, and so AMAZING all together that I just can't pass up the opportunity to make these! Thanks once again for a fantastic recipe! Can't wait to try it!