Chicken and Green Onion Yakitori Recipe

Chicken and green onions glazed with Yakitori sauce are one of the most popular Yakitori small plates.

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.

Chicken and green onions is one of the more popular yakitori selections. The chicken is glazed with delicious yakitori sauce, and the green onions, lemon, and togarashi spices add even more flavor. It's not my favorite yakitori dish, but it's very good, and it's hard to find anyone who does NOT like it. Also, the yakitori sauce used for this can also be used for beef, mushrooms, and some other yakitori offerings.

For this recipe, I borrowed the sauce from and much of the cooking techique from Namiko Chen at

TOTAL TIME: 40 min

  • Prep:      30 min
  • Cook:     10 min

YIELD:   10 - 12 Skewers

LEVEL:  Medium



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. Pour the sauce into 2 dishes: 1 for glazing the chicken while cooking, and 1 to use as a sauce when serving.

Cut the scallions into 1 inch pieces, using only the white and light green parts. (dark green parts wilt during cooking).

Toss the green onion pieces in sesame oil, and sprinkle with salt.

Cut the chicken into cubes.

Skewers chicken and scallions alternately, leaving the blunt end of the stick open so you can use it to flip while grilling.

Grill on medium-high or high heat for several minutes. Flip, continue grilling several more minutes.

Brush the sauce onto both sides of the meat. 

Continue grilling, flipping to caramelize the sauce on both sides.

Remove from grill when chicken internal temperature is 170 - 175 degrees.

Using a clean brush, brush again with the sauce that was set aside earlier. Serve.


  • 10 - 12 bamboo skewers
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 9 scallions (green onions)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sauce:
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons mirin
    • 1 tablespoon sake
    • 2 tablespoons sugar

More Photos

Simmer the sauce until slightly syrupy and very delicious.

Discard the leafy green part of the onions.

Toss the onions in sesame oil and sprinkle with salt.

Once browned on all sides, it's time to brush on some sauce.

The sauce blackens easily but tastes great.