Japanese Style Barbecue Party: Chicken Yakitori, Beef with Ginger and Soy, 5 Spice and Sesame Seared Ahi

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 33 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 18 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 3/4 cups water

1 1/2 cups white short grain rice


3 tablespoons dry sherry

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup Tamari dark aged soy sauce, available on the Asian foods aisle

2 tablespoons light oil, such as wok oil or vegetable oil, eyeball it

1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut in half on an angle

5 scallions, cut in 1/2


3 inches fresh ginger root, minced or grated with hand grater or microplane tool

1/4 cup tamari dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons light oil, such as wok oil or vegetable oil, eyeball it

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 1/4 pounds beef sirloin, 1 1/2 inches thick

Steak seasoning blend or fresh ground black pepper

1 package, minimum 40 count, 8-inch bamboo skewers


3 tablespoons sesame seeds, 2 palmfuls

1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder

2 tablespoons steak seasoning blend, preferred brand Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick

2 Ahi steaks, 8 ounces each, cut into 1 by 3-inch pieces

Light oil, such as wok oil or vegetable oil, for drizzling

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Pickled watermelon rind, 1 jar, 14 to 18 ounces

Pickled onions, 14 to 18 ounce jar

Pickled ginger, 1 small glass jar, 10 to 12 ounces

Fresh Fruit Selection

Kiwis, 3 each

Tangerines, 3 each

Asian pears, 3 each, washed


  1. Place water in sauce pan over high heat in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice, stir. Cover rice and reduce heat to low. Cook rice 18 minutes or until tender. 
  2. Preheat coals for tabletop hibachi or preheat grill pan over medium high to high heat. 
  3. Combine sherry, sugar, dark soy and oil in a shallow dish. Turn cut chicken and scallions in marinade and let stand 10 minutes. Wash hands. 
  4. Combine ginger and soy, oil and sesame oil in a second shallow dish for the beef. Cut raw meat against the grain in thin strips. Thread strips on to skewers, reserving several skewers for chicken, set into ginger and soy mixture. Season meat lightly with steak seasoning blend and turn in ginger and soy to coat. Set meat aside. Wash hands. 
  5. Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over moderate heat until they pop and are lightly toasted. This process will develop the flavor of the sesame fully. Combine the sesame seeds with five-spice powder and grill seasoning blend on a piece of wax paper or on a plate. Coat tuna with a scant drizzle of oil and sesame oil to help seeds and spices adhere to fish. Coat fish pieces in sesame and spices. 
  6. Cook chicken pieces and scallions in a single layer over hot coals or on hot grill pan for 3 or 4 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken and scallions to a serving plate and set several bamboo skewers on the edge of the plate for spearing meat and scallions. 
  7. Place beef skewers on hot grill surface and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side in a single layer, turning once. Transfer to a serving plate. 
  8. Cook fish on hot grill surface 1 to 2 minutes on each side and transfer to a serving plate. Tuna will be rare. Serve with several skewers on plate's edge for spearing.
  9. Transfer pickled watermelon rind, pickled ginger and pickled onions to ramekins and place along side grilled meats and fish for condiments. Serve with hot rice and extra soy sauce for dipping. Kiwis, tangerines and Asian pears are a nice offering of fresh fruit to round out this light menu.