Portobello Mushroom Yakitori Recipe

A simple, delicious, and light small plate appetizer as part of a Yakitori experience.

Think of Yakitori as a kind of Japanese small plate, featuring a huge variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian selections grilled over a special Yakitori grill which has no grates. You can mimic this experience in your kitchen if you have an indoor grill, and it's a ton of fun for company, as you serve them one small plate after another, hot off the grill. That's why I consider Yakitori a true dining adventure. See here for more information on the overall Yakitori experience.

This particular dish is often prepared with Shiitake mushrooms and cooked with green onion pieces alternating on the same skewer. I like portobello mushrooms, and with green onion features in so many other yakitori dishes, tend to cook mushrooms as a standalone dish. There are many recipes for the yakitori sauce used here - this one is quick and simple, from MyRecipes.com. 

TOTAL TIME: 40 min

  • Prep:         30 min
  • Cook:        10 min

YIELD:   10 Skewers

LEVEL:  Medium


  • 20 baby Portobello mushrooms
  • 10 wood skewers
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Sauce:
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons mirin
    • 1 tablespoon sake
    • 2 tablespoons sugar


Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Make the sauce. Bring sauce ingredients to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat, then reduce heat until sauce is simmering. Simmer 5 - 8 minutes until the sauce is reduced enough to become slightly syrupy. Set aside.

Prepare the mushrooms. Remove the stem, then wipe each mushroom with a damp paper towel. 

Toss the mushrooms in vegetable oil, and sprinkle with salt.

Skewer the mushrooms lengthwise through each side, 2 per skewer. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Grill on medium-high or high heat. Start with the open side of the mushroom facing up, and cook until the tops are dry. Flip over and cook until the insides are wet. Flip over one final time, open side facing up, and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes until they are cooked completely through. Note: place the skewers on the grill with the ends sticking off the end of the grill so that you can use them to flip the mushrooms.

Remove from grill and brush with sauce. Serve. 

More Photos

Start the sauce early, so you can prep the mushrooms while the sauce is simmering.

Skewer the shrooms through the sides.

Brush each side with oil prior to cooking. As you can see, they soak it right up.