The good thing about being open to experimenting with all kinds of cooking and holding a pretty varied basic stock of ingredients is that your options are limitless, with little prior planning required. I often give my husband options he can choose from, from the basic ingredients (ie chicken). After choosing the main ingredient, he might sometimes say he’d like it a certain way. So today’s chicken became Japanese style food, which was different to what I had originally though for the particular meat, however I’m now pleased I went for this option, as I’ve not cooked this in a while. I think people might be put off cooking foods from different cultures because it seems to be the unknown. Some might be concerned that there are difficult cooking techniques involved, as well as strange ingredients. I would say that often this doesn’t need to be the case. For example, with this dish, making of the yakitori sauce is very easy, with only a few ingredients involved.
500g chicken breast
6 chestnut mushrooms, cut in quarters (or if using small button mushrooms, 24)
1 red or green pepper
150ml soy sauce (I use half and half of light and dark)
1 1/2 tbsp sake (or replace by dry white wine)
1 tbsp plain flour
1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for half an hour.
2. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a pan. Bring to boil. Stir continuously, keeping an eye on it. Lower the temperature, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring. This will reduce the sauce by about a third, and make it thicker and syrupy. Break any lumps of flour during cooking.
3. Cut the chicken and vegetables into chunks, and thread on the skewers. Pre-heat the grill. Brush the skewers generously with the yakitori sauce (also the underside), and grill for 5 minutes. Brush all over with the sauce again, and grill for another 5 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid (the sauce and some cooking juices) through a sieve back to the pan, bring to boil, and serve as a dipping sauce.