I started to make Chicken Yakitori.  I made the marinade, leaving aside minced garlic and ginger for the rice, and left the reduced marinade in the sink in a larger pot of cold water to cool down while I de-boned the chicken thighs.  My daughter came into the kitchen and unknown to me, placed a plate on top of the pot with the marinade.  I was chatting with her, forgot that the marinade was in the sink, and washed my hands with lots of soap and warm water after cutting up the chicken.  Yep, you guessed it; the pot with the marinade got filled with lots of soapy water!


WHAT TO DO!  I had no more sake, or mirin left.  Nor did I have any more ginger or garlic in the house.  So, I decided to improvise.  I poured a cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of ginger, ¼ cup of rice vinegar, 1 pack of Splenda, and ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper into the bowl with the cup up chicken and the bones and let it all marinade for the 30 mins that it took for my broiler to heat.


In the meantime, I cut up one small carrot into very thin diagonals and then into very thin sticks, and 1/3 cup of very finely sliced green cabbage and ½ cup of finely diced some onion.


Cook spray and 2t of canola oil in a heated pot, added the veges and cooked till translucent, then added 1 cup of rice and cooked two mins stirring.  Then added 1 ½ cups of water and 1/3 cup of the marinade and the marinating bones into the rice/vege mix and cooked as I always cook rice.  First a hard boil till craters form then, cover tight and 10 mins on low till rice is tender.


Placed the chicken on a cook sprayed foil coved cookie sheet and placed it in the boiler.  6 mins.


While the chicken was broiling, I cut up very finely, 1 cup of green cabbage, a very large carrot into match sticks and thinly sliced ½ cup of onion.  Cook spray and 2t of canola oil, in a heated skillet, in went the onion, carrot and cabbage, stirred well, added about 1/3c of marinade and let it cook.


Checked the chicken.  There was a bit of liquid in the cookie sheet, poured half into the cabbage and the rest into the rice, placed the sheet back in the broiler for another 4 mins or till lightly browned.


This dinner was yummy.  It was not Chicken Yakitori, BUT, it was yummy.  There was enough for 3 people who were very hungry by this time.


Now for the original recipe.



¼ cup Sake (or 1/8 cup rice vinegar and 1/8 cup mirin)

3 tablespoons sugar (with vinegar and mirin use 1 ½ T)

2/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

4 skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces


Combine sake through red pepper in a small saucepan and boil on high heat for 3 mins.  Cool and add to the chicken and the bones.  1 hour in refrigerator or 30 mins on the counter. Watch out for the salmonella police, when you leave poultry on a counter!  But I figure, it is marinating in a salty, vinegary liquid and it was cold to begin with and I planed to broil the chicken very well.


When the boiler is ready, place chicken on a cookie sheet in one layer with space around each piece, covered with foil and sprayed with cook spray and broil till beginning to turn crispy in corners.  Check in about 5 mins and drain any liquid formed.  Use the liquid in the rice and the vegetable.  Draining the liquid makes the chicken get browned quicker too.



While chicken is marinating, start the rice.


1 cup rice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1/2 cup minced onion

1/3 cup finely sliced green cabbage

fine match sticks of 1 small carrot about 1/3 cup

1/1/2 cups water

marinated chicken bones

½ cup marinade

2 teaspoons canola oil

cooks spray


Heat a pot, spray with cook spray, add oil and vegetables, and cook for about 5 mins stirring.  Add the rice and cook another 2 mins or so, stirring.  Add water, chicken bones and marinade, boil till craters form on top, cover, lower heat and cook for 10 mins or till done.



1 cup finely sliced cabbage

½ cup finely sliced onion

match sticks of 1 large carrot

2 teaspoons canola oil

cook spray



Heat skillet to very hot, cook spray, oil, add carrots and onion, when translucent add cabbage, stir till crisp and bright, add marinade cook for a few mins.  Add liquid residue from broiling chicken.  Cook according to your preference, till wilted thoroughly or still sort of crisp.


I look for large chicken thighs.  If you want to serve more people, there is enough marinade for 6 to 8 thighs.  You can thread the chicken pieces onto skewers with 1-2 inch pieces of scallions and broil or grill this dish.


Anyhow…enjoy.  That is the main thing about cooking food I think, to sit and enjoy with family and or friends.