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On the menu since Izakaya Yuzuki’s opening almost two years ago, this skewered grilled chicken dish (a.k.a. yakitori) is a staple on any proper Japanese menu. But the addition of koji—a fermenting agent that brings out the umami of the ingredients—is what sets them apart.
Makes 10 skewers
1 pound ground chicken (dark meat)
2 tablespoons salt Koji (available in the refrigerated section of Japanese markets or from aedansf.com)
2 tablespoons lard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sake
1 whole grated yellow onion, strained and squeezed to remove liquid
20 shiso leaves
1 1/3 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.
2. Form into balls or patties on small skewers.
3. Grill over a charcoal fire until cooked through.
4. Dip in the sauce (see recipe below) and serve.
1 cup mirin
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.
2. Gently heat until sugar is dissolved and ingredients are well blended.