Grilled Chicken Skewers and Shishito Skewers

Village Sake, Fairfax


These little skewers are perfect finger-food appetizers. Scott Whitman recommends that you keep the skewers simple, without overseasoning, to let the ingredients shine. And “leaving little bits and edges of fat on the chicken meat is really a must,” he adds. “It gives more depth to the flavor and texture to the meat.”


Teriyaki Sauce (Yields 3 cups sauce)
4 cups water
1-1/2 cups tamari
1 cup sugar
½ cup mirin
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Chicken Skewers

2 pounds Mary’s skinless chicken thigh meat, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Thinly sliced scallions for garnish

Shishito Skewers

1 pound fresh shishito peppers
Rice bran oil for brushing
Smoked olive oil and Maldon sea salt flakes for garnish


Sauce Combine the water, tamari, sugar and mirin in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half, or until the flavor is deep and not too salty. Whisk the cornstarch with about 1 tablespoon of the sauce in a small bowl until smooth and then whisk this mixture into the sauce to slightly thicken.

Chicken Skewers Thread the chicken strips on pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct high heat until about 75 percent cooked. Lightly brush the chicken with the sauce and continue to cook until caramelized and lightly charred, turning occasionally. Serve garnished with the scallions.

Shishito Skewers Thread the peppers near the stem base on pre-soaked bamboo skewers, 3 to 4 peppers per skewer. Lightly brush with the rice bran oil and season with salt. Grill over direct medium heat until the peppers are blistered and lightly charred. Serve brushed with the smoked oil and garnish with the sea salt flakes.