Chicken Yakitori with Honey Sauce

This chicken yakitori with honey sauce is a simple Japanese style method for grilling skewered chicken thighs. Served with a soy, honey, and garlic marinade and dipping sauce, this easy recipe belongs in your weeknight dinner rotation.

A white oval serving platter topped with three skewers of chicken yakitori with honey sauce.

Consider this chicken yakitori with honey sauce a nifty little weeknight number that’s slightly sweet, a little salty, with just a hint of Japanese aromatics. Because the eminently quick chicken skewer recipe requires just a quick brush of sauce at the end, you can multitask and make dinner in minutes by grilling the chicken while the sauce reduces on the stovetop (or simply place the pan on the grill to avoid running back between kitchen and backyard).–Renee Schettler Rossi

Chicken Yakitori with Honey Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Williams-Sonoma on the Grill cookbook

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In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, honey, garlic, ginger, and scallions and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened and maybe even a little glossy, 10 to 20 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl and place to the side or cover and refrigerate until later.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Unfold the thighs and, using a sharp knife, slice each thigh into strips about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. You should have about 72 strips, although the size and number of strips will depend on the size of thighs. (We’ve noticed that thighs on chickens tend to vary almost as widely as those on people, so if you end up with more or fewer strips, don’t worry.)

Thread 3 or 4 chicken pieces onto each soaked skewer, without crowding them. If desired, intersperse a piece of pineapple in between the pieces of chicken. Lightly season the chicken with salt and lightly brush them with the oil.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Grill the chicken yakitori skewers directly over high heat, turning once, until slightly charred and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Arrange the skewers on a platter. Brush or drizzle the chicken skewers with some of the honey sauce. Pass the remaining sauce on the side for drizzling and dipping at the table. Originally published July 19, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the Williams-Sonoma on the Grill cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this chicken yakitori. It’s a great alternative to plain grilled chicken or grilled chicken brushed with barbecue sauce.

The star of this recipe is the honey sauce, which is easy and quick. It takes ordinary grilled chicken to the next level, and would work on any sort of grilled chicken, not just the chicken thighs specified in the recipe. I’d even serve this sauce over plain rice and vegetables. It’s easily adaptable, so if you don’t like ginger, use less or leave it out altogether. Same with the scallions. (Although neither flavor is overpowering.)

I think the most important thing here is to not overcook the chicken, especially if you’re using chicken breasts instead of thighs. The recipe states that it serves 6, but as a main course, I got 4 servings.

This is an absolute perfect recipe. Easy to make it, extremely tasty, chicken came out very tender and juicy. We'll be repeating this recipe very often. Perfect as an appetizer as well as part of a main meal. Kids also loved it.

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