A few weeks ago, I got the chance to attend the O-Bon festival here in town. I was really excited. It’s been years since I’ve participated in O-Bon, and I was really looking forward to enjoying some Japanese food that I haven’t had in a long time.
There was plenty to take in. There were demos for sumo, Kendo , and tea ceremony. There were photo ops in traditional kimono, and you could even get your name written in traditional Japanese calligraphy. I also participated in the Bon Odori dancing. It gave me a chance do some of the dancing that I studying while I was living in Japan. I was a little rusty, but I managed to get around Yagura without bumping into anyone.
The one thing that I was really looking for wasn’t there! Good Japanese festival food! Sure there was plenty of Japanese snack food like Pocky, Senbei, and canned o-cha (tea), but that’s not what I was looking for.
I wanted yakitori (roasted chicken), roasted corn, takoyaki (octopus balls), yaki dango (grilled rice balls), and okonomiyaki (Japanese style savory pancakes). The good hot stuff! We didn’t smell any food cooking when we got to the festival, so we didn’t find any of this kind of food. I was so disappointed!
So when I got home, I made some yakitori. I adapted this recipe so that I could do it in my frying pan, since I don’t have a grill right now. I stuck my chicken pieces right on the skewer just for the photo op! If I didn’t have to take a picture, I would have ate all of it straight from the pan!
1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup liquid aminos
2 tablespoons yacon syrup
juice from 1/4 lemon
juice of one garlic clove (you can use a garlic press)
250 mcg powdered stevia (one small scoop from the jar)
pinch cayenne (optional)
Mix together liquid aminos, yacon syrup, lemon juice, garlic, stevia and cayenne if using in a small bowl. Set aside.
Season chicken with a little salt and cook in pan on medium heat for about two minutes on both sides. Pour sauce on chicken, making sure all pieces are coated, and cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Sauce should be thickened and you can baste the chicken with remaining chicken with the thickened sauce before serving.
If you are grilling the chicken, soak your skewers for an hour prior to cooking. Thread chicken on skewers and cook for about one minute per side. Baste chicken with sauce and grill for about 30-1 min sec per side. Be careful not to overcook.
One pound of chicken breasts make about four skewers.