Easy Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
Deliciously easy teriyaki chicken skewers are perfect for a busy day when your family needs a treat. These succulent, kid-approved skewers can be made in either the oven or the grill.
These skewers came about thanks to my youngest son. He can be a picky eater and he hates packed lunches. So, it used to be a real struggle coming up with lunches he would actually eat and enjoy.
Finally, he and I settled on bento boxes. We concocted menus together, and I agreed to get up 15 minutes earlier to make onigiri (Japanese rice balls with fillings) and other treats he enjoys. One of his favourites is mini chicken teriyaki patties. These are great for me too because they are easy to prep, freeze, and finish before school in the morning.
With the pandemic, my son hasn’t been to school since March. So, I’ve had a reprieve from creative lunches. However, my son was missing the flavours in those little teriyaki bites. So, we decided to put them on a stick and share them with the rest of the family.
For an easy recipe, this one packs a terrific flavour punch. And, there’s no chilli in it whatsoever. Nonetheless, my entire chilli loving family adores these easy skewers. So, it makes a quick, busy day meal the whole family enjoys — which is always a win.
What Is Mirin?
Mirin (味醂 or みりん in Japanese) is a condiment that’s an important part of the flavour profile of these teriyaki chicken skewers. However, if you’ve never used it before, you may be scratching your head. What on earth is mirin anyway?
If you’ve ever visited a Japanese restaurant, you will probably recognise the fragrance of mirin immediately, because it’s a core element of Japanese cuisine. Mirin is a form of rice wine that’s commonly used in cooking. You may have tasted it in teriyaki, soba noodles, or sushi rice, to name but a few common dishes.
It’s much lower in alcohol content than traditional rice wine and higher in sugar. So, mirin adds a sweet note to the flavour profile of any dish it’s used in. But, it also adds the unique flavour of rice wine.
About this Recipe
Teriyaki chicken skewers are very easy to make. Nonetheless, I have a few suggestions to help you achieve the best results every time you make them!
Soak the Skewers
If you’re using bamboo skewers, be sure to pre-soak them for about an hour before threading the meat and vegetables on. This quick soak prevents the skewers from catching fire on the grill. It also creates a bit of steam which, in my opinion, helps cook the interior of the meat and keeps it from drying out.
Cut the Chicken Evenly
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with skewers is varying the size of the meat pieces too much. Cutting the meat into equal-sized pieces is not just to keep it looking pretty, it also ensures that all the pieces of meat cook through at about the same time. Otherwise, some pieces might wind up raw (not a good idea), while others might be overcooked.
How Long Must I Marinate the Meat?
There are no hard and fast rules for marinating. If you are pushed for time, you can leave the meat in the marinade for an hour or two. However, if you put the meat in the marinade the night before, it will have more time to absorb the flavours. So, you can adjust the marinating time to suit your schedule. However, ideally, I would leave the meat cubes to marinate in the fridge overnight.
I hope your family enjoys these easy teriyaki chicken skewers every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!