Baby Lamb Chop Yakitori Recipe

Delicious, succulent spring baby lamb chops make great appetizers as part of a Yakitori dining experience.

Don't tell anyone - I'm using Chinese dishes, not Japanese. Oh well, they look good.

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.

Spring baby lamb chops are probably my favorite yakitori dish. The lamb is tender and the flavors are excellent. Plus, the ability to  pick it up and eat it off the bone is attractively carnivorous for those of us who are meat-eaters.

You can, quite frankly, skip all marinades and just eat the lamb with lemon and togarashi spice. They're delicious as is. However, marinating takes the lamb to another level. I have tried many marinades, and have given you 3 choices below. Option 1 is my favorite, while option 3 is a close second, and easier to prepare. If you want more authentic Japanese flavor, try option 2. 


Marinated lamb chops served with a slice of lemon and Togarashi spice. Delicious!


  • Prep:      20 min
  • Marinate: 30 min
  • Cook:     10 min

YIELD:   8 - 9 appetizer servings

LEVEL:  Medium





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

Marinate the chops. Put the chops in a ziploc bag with the marinade ingredients, place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If using marinade #1, put the marinade into a blender first to chop up the rosemary.

Optionally, wrap the ends of each bone in aluminum foil to keep it from burning on the grill.

Optionally, skewer each lamb chop lengthwise. This allows you to hang the skewer off the edge of the grill, using it to turn the chops during cooking. You can also just use tongs (less authentic!).

Grill on medium-high or high heat, flipping as needed, until internal temperature is about 135 degrees (medium-rare) .

Optionally, serve with lemon wedges and togarashi spice. Squirt lemon over lamb, dip in spice to eat.









  • 1 rack of lamb, cut into individual chops
  • 8 - 10 bamboo skewers (optional)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Togarashi spice
  • Option 1 - Rosemary Au Jus marinade (my favorite, adapted from Guy Fieri's Leg-O-Lamb with Rosemary-Au-Jus):
    • 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary)
    • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons course ground black pepper
    • 2 lemons, zested and juiced - about 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Option 2 - Japanese-style marinade (from
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped including green part
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
    • 1/4 cup peanut oil
    • 1 teaspoon chili paste (Sriracha sauce)
  • Option 3 - Greek Style marinade (from Martyn Thompson, Gourmet/Epicurious):
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Greek), crumbled
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Other Photos

This is a large Australian rack from Costco.

The Costco rack is already frenched, meaning the meat between the end of the bones has been removed.

It's pretty easy to cut the chops off of the rack one-by-one.

You'll end up with 8 or 9 beautiful little chops.

After marinating, skewer and place on the grill with the end of the skewers off the grill . . . so you can safely use them to flip the chops.

Serve individually with some togarashi spice and a wedge of lemon, then start cooking your next Yakitori course!