Skewers are a summer grill-out staple, likely due to the endless variations in kebab combinations and simple steps of the prep process. If you’ve ever dined at local restaurant Kemuri Tatsu-ya, you know they have a masterful menu of meats on a stick. Sous Chef Anndria Jones was kind enough to share a few of their skewer secrets.
For the perfect skewer, consider the following:
Keep your product close together so it doesn't burn the wood.
Keep everything on the skewer the same size and thickness to ensure even cooking. Don't make things too thick (especially chicken) or else it'll burn before it is done.
We dip our items in a Japanese tare sauce* to help with caramelization toward the end of the cooking process to get more flavor out of our items.
*Typical “tare” is made of soy sauce mixed with sake, mirin, sugar, garlic, fruit juice, and sesame seeds.
To add Japanese flair:
1. Marinate in sakiyo miso (especially fish).
2. Baste in a tare toward the end of cooking process.
3. Add a couple side dishes of charred veggies. Bok choy and eggplant are good complementary items.
4. The Japanese try to use every part of the animal. If you’re feeling up to it, experiment with organ meats like hearts and livers.