Chicken Yakitori

Grilled Chicken Yakitori (chicken thighs, livers) with amazing yakitori marinade that also work as pour-over sauce. Learn to grill chicken with flavor same as Japanese's signature Yakitori restaurant.

Chicken Yakitori
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

This recipe for Chicken Yakitori, which means grilled bird, stands true to its name. The chicken thighs and livers are marinated in delicious ginger and soy Yakitori Marinade. The marinade plays three roles; a marinade, a moping sauce, and a pour ginger-scallion sauce. So delicious restaurant quality grilled chicken dinner from the comfort of your own backyard (Or an indoor kitchen grill pan.) :-) 

Let's get cooking!

Chicken Yakitori

We loved Yakitori House near our home. It was out favorite place for a yakitori experience aka Grilled Chicken Feast. Yakitori is an excellent choice for dinner if you love grilled chicken. In traditional yakitori restaurants, all parts of chicken are grilled. You will find chicken livers, hearts, thighs, skin, all kinds of yakitori with signature ginger soy marinade and skewers laced with chicken and scallions/large pieces of Asian green onions.

Chicken thighs are my number one choice to make moist grilled chicken yakitori at home. Thighs cook moist and juicy whether you broil or grill. For restaurant yakitori experience, I often include a portion of chicken livers (iron powerhouse) and/or chicken hearts.

For recipe today, I made chicken thighs and chicken livers yakitori.

Chicken Liver Yakitori

What do You Need To Make Chicken Yakitori?

Chicken Yakitori is all about the marinade and grilling method. For marinade you need easy to find Asian pantry staples.

  1. Soy Sauce
  2. Worcestershire or fish sauce
  3. Mirin
  4. Sake or Dry White Wine
  5. Ginger
  6. Chicken bullion - for concentrated flavor

And Ajinomoto. If you can't find Ajinomoto, use Asian Maggie Seasoning or half quality of Chinese mustard.


To begin with, slice chicken, livers, and scallion into bite size pieces.

Marinate chicken and livers in half of the marinade. Small sized chicken needs only 30 minutes of marinate. If you plan to make head, I recommend, make the marinade and refrigerator. Marinate chicken only 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling.

However, if planning to grill whole chicken breast/thighs, you can marinate the chicken overnight up-to 24 hours.

Grilled Chicken Yakitori

Grill Chicken Yakitori

For the authentic chicken yakitori flavor, use a charcoal grill. The smoke from charcoal adds a load of flavor and hue to grilled chicken which looks and tastes delicious. 

Also, moping the reserved half of marinade over chicken when grilling makes chicken moist, and more bursting with flavor of marinade. 

Soy Ginger Sauce for Serving Chicken Yakitori

I use a simple trick to turn any remaining marinade to a pour-over soy-ginger sauce. To make the sauce, bring to boil the remaining reserved marinade from moping the chicken. Take off heat. Add reserved ginger and scallions. That's it. Sweet and umami, ginger sauce is ready to serve on the side. 

Let come to room temp before serving.

What to Serve with Chicken Yakitori?

I love to serve Yakitori Chicken with:

  1. Steamed White Jasmine Rice
  2. Pickled Ginger
  3. Coconut Rice
  4. Grilled Romaine or Vegetables such as Zucchini
Friends, nothing says Summer like Chicken grilling on an outdoor grill. If it is something different like delicious Chicken Yakitori, even better! Even if you not planning grilled dinners yet, I recommend making broiled chicken yakitori for dinner. It comes out equally delicious. Plus gives you option to enjoy a restaurant style chicken dinner in comfort of your own home. Happy cooking!

Try These Asian Inspired Chicken Dinners:

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli Air Fryer Salmon (Miso Glazed) Huli Huli Chicken with Amazing Huli Huli Sauce

Chicken Yakitori

5 (15 reviews)
Chicken Yakitori
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Asian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 2.5 lbs skewers - Serves: 6
(Additional Marinate Time: 30 minutes)


Yakitori Marinade


  • 1. Prepare Yakitori Marinade/Sauce To make the Yakitori Marinade, add all marinade ingredients in a small bowl with half of ginger. Whisk until sugar is fully dissolved. Divide half of the marinade in two ziploc bags. Reserve other half for basting/serving with grilled chicken. Additional Notes: If making one chicken skewers, only use 1/3 of marinade for marinating chicken in one ziploc bag.
  • 2. Marinate Chicken Slice chicken and chicken livers (if using) into small 1-2 inch pieces. In two ziplock bags add 1/3 cup marinade each. Add chicken in one and livers in other. Refrigerate until ready to use. Marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • 3. Make Chicken Skewers Preheat an outdoor grill or if grilling indoor, heat a grill pan. Skew pieces of marinated chicken onto the skewers. I skewed about 4-5 pieces per skewer, alternate with 2 pieces of scallion. Likewise make chicken liver skewers (if using)
  • 4. Grill Skewers Coat preheated grill with oil spray. Leave reserved marinade to heat on side of grill (on low heat) or on a separate stove burner. Grill chicken until it is fully cooked from all sides. Turn skewers once grill mark appears and chicken lift easily without sticking on the grill. Brush the marinade on the grilled side; continue cooking. Apply marinade 2-3 times. Each time after turning chicken.
  • 5. Brush or Dust with Chili (optional) Transfer cooked skewers to a serving platter. Brush with lite coat of Chili Garlic Oil . Optional. (recipe coming soon.)
  • 6. Serve Bring remaining marinade to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add remaining minced ginger and minced green of scallions. Spoon mixture over grilled skewers before serving. Serve remaining as spoon-over sauce on the side.

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16 Responses

  1. The yakitori marinade is my favorite part of this recipe! Delicious and better than takeout! Next time I will swap in a different protein.
  2. I love when I find a reason to use my mirin. I used fish sauce instead of Worchestersire and it was great!
  3. We like to use chicken thighs, too! These chicken yakitori were deliciously tender, juicy, and succulent with that awesome marinade.
  4. What a lovely and delicious recipe! Such a beautiful way to highlight and feature chicken livers! Thank you so much for sharing!
  5. The marinade for this recipe sounds so flavorful! :) I cant wait to make these for my family soon. Looks so delicious!
  6. Im always trying to find new ways to use chicken livers! This looks perfect. And super flavorful!
  7. What a perfect combination of flavors! The chicken livers really pushed these skewers over the top.
  8. This dish looks really good and tasty. It looks easy to prepare like a skewer. Yum!
  9. just looking the picture makes me very hungry. Ill try this one and ill make sure this is the best
  10. I have been looking for a recipe for yakitori just now, and i just found this, a godsend! The ingredients were easy to gather and i see that the flavors in it is combining pretty well!
  11. The marinade is a perfect balance of sweet and savory, and grilling it brings out such amazing flavors. Its now a staple in my recipe collection whenever I crave that authentic yakitori taste.
  12. I love that chicken livers are included in this yakitori recipe. The marinade was exceptional, especially when combined with the caramelization from grilling.
  13. I love everything about this recipe! Easy to make, delicious and packed full of flavors!
  14. What a tasty recipe! The Yakitori marinade and sauce has so much flavor, and I love having a new dinner recipe to make on the grill. Thanks for another winner from Chef de Home!
  15. Love including the livers on these skewers - great way to sort of hide them in a tasty dish yet reap all their nutritional benefits!
  16. Now this is what I call a great recipe to keep handy for those days when your friends come over.