Japanese Vegetable Skewers, aka Vegetable Yakitori – All You Need to Know about This Delish Goodness
Sep 02, 2023 By Susan Kelly

Japanese cuisine has always been a hit among foodies. Not only do they taste exceptional with the bursts of flavors they possess, but they also are hearty and filling. One recent cuisine making its way up on the charts today is Yakitori – specifically Vegetable Yakitori.

If you heard about this cuisine or tried it at a restaurant and are now trying to replicate it at home, then we got you. Below is a complete guide on the essential aspects of grilling a Vegetable Yakitori at home.

What is Yakitori?

Yakitori, aka Japanese vegetable skewers, is one of Japan's most popular dishes and translates to 'grilled chicken.' In this dish, small chicken pieces are marinated, threaded on skewers, and then grilled over a special Japanese charcoal on an extra-hot flame. A result? Cooked pieces of chicken that are flavorful and hearty enough to enjoy with the provided sauce.

Is Yakitori Chicken Only?

Many vegetarians often question whether Yakitori can be made from chicken only. Well, my friends, you are lucky because this Japanese dish is not just limited to chicken. While there is no denying that the traditional yakitori in Japan is made from chicken, times have changed today.

Now, any form of skewers grilled over charcoal is called yakitori. One popular version of it? The Vegetable Yakitori of course!

What is Vegetable Yakitori?

If you are a fan of grilled vegetables and Japanese food, then we are sure you must have heard of this flavor of goodness. Vegetable Yakitori is a subtype of Chicken Yakitori, with vegetables threaded on skewers instead of chicken.

These vegetables are then cooked on the same traditional charcoal called Binchotan on an extra-hot flame until tender and nicely charred. While they can be served with just a dash of sprinkled salt, trying it with the sauces on the side certainly elevates the experience.

What Vegetables Can You Use in Yakitori?

Vegetable Yakitori is a free-hand meal with no specific set of vegetables that need to be grilled for you to taste the authentic flavor. Instead, anyone planning on cooking this meal at home can use all vegetables they like to eat or believe would go well together. However, there is one take on this.

We suggest you use those vegetables which are sturdy on the grill but also cook fast. These vegetables include tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, bell peppers, mushrooms, red onions, asparagus, shishito, etc.

How to Cut Vegetables for Yakitori?

When cutting the vegetables for yakitori, make sure you cut them in a more baton shape. This will help ensure that your vegetables are easily threaded on the skewers. On another note, ensure the vegetables are not thin but moderately thicker and slightly shorter in size from the sides. This will help ensure that they grill finely without them getting burnt quickly.

How to Grill the Vegetable Yakitori Skewers?

Grilling vegetables is comparatively easier and far quicker than chicken or any other elements. If you plan on heating the grill tonight to make some Vegetable Yakitori for your family or friends, then we are sure you must want a proper grilling guide to ensure you don't end up burning the food. Well, lucky for you, we have it covered for you.

Start by heating your grill to a medium-high, then brush it with oil. Place your vegetable skewers on the grill and flip them every two to three minutes to ensure they cook evenly on all sides. The vegetables will start to turn a bit tender and will become slightly charred. This is your queue to take them off the grill because they will be fully cooked.

It takes about 5-8 minutes. Slightly caramelize with the sauce if you have made some, and then grill them another minute or so to let the Yakitori caramelize. Once done, take it off and enjoy! It is literally that simple.

Other Servings with Vegetable Yakitori!

For many people, Vegetable Yakitori is not filling enough alone. If you plan on serving some sides along with it and wondering what side dishes would work perfectly with this grilled goodness, then you have come to the right place seeking answers.

While Vegetable Yakitori is mainly served with Chicken Yakitori, this may not be the case at times. If you serve Vegetable Yakitori alone, pair it with a rice bowl or some delicious miso soup. You will have a tremendous Japanese feast at home this way.

Wrapping Up!

Yakitori is not only a flavorful meal but a healthy one too. If you plan to incorporate this dish on your next BBQ or a regular day at home to ensure your kids eat their vegetables, then we hope this article was of help. Let us know whether you made Vegetable Yakitori at home and how it turned out.


What Kind of Grill Should You Use?

Traditionally Yakitoki is made on a Japanese grill called Binchotan. However, not all of us are Japanese, and not all of us have access to this traditional grill. So, what should we do? While making Yakitori on a traditional Binchotan is preferred, it is not a hard and fast rule.

You can use any form of grill at home – whether a regular grill, a cast iron pan, or even a good old grilling pan. As long as you make your vegetable tender, charred and flavorful, there is nothing else you should worry about.

Are You Using the Right Kind of Skewers?

There are a variety of skewers available online and in the market, and we understand it can leave you confused about which one to pick. Traditionally, Yakitori is grilled on small skewers, which are about 6 inches long.

They can be double-pronged, thick flat sticks, or even simpler round ones, but make sure they are smaller in size to do justice to the cuisine and for a more Japanese cuisine experience.


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