Pork Yakitori

September 9, 2010


The smell of meat grilled over charcoal brings out the caveman in most of us. Two years ago my friend Jen E. and I were in Japan and the smell from yakitori houses was irresistible. Jen says, and I quote, “I wish there was grilled meat perfume!” Well, this is the next best thing since you kind of smell like a Tokyo yakitori when you’re done grilling.

These are, essentially, pork meat balls on a stick. I used Gelderman’s ground pork. And I didn’t grill over charcoal, just over gas. You could do these in a hot pan on the stove, too. I forgot to soak my bamboo sticks in water so that they didn’t burn, grr. So I wrapped the ends of the sticks in a bit of tinfoil. It didn’t prevent them from scorching but what happened is they started to smoke and infused the meat with a lovely charcoal taste. Turns out, I’m kind of genius. Anyway, as you wish, soak or smoke your skewers. I used small, flat two-pronged bamboo skewers, not the thin toothpick sort.

Makes ten little skewers

1 pound ground pork

3 green onions, minced

1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat grill or pan to high heat. Mix together all the above ingredients by hand. Divide mixture up into ten even bits and gently, firmly, pack each bit around a skewer. They are a little fragile at this point so take some care placing them on the grill or into the pan, they will adhere more determinedly as they cook onto the stick. About five minutes on each side will do, they will be cooked through and juicy. I served with pickled radish, a pile of grilled leeks, sweet and green onions, mushrooms and grilled rice balls.

Grilled Rice – Makes 10 little rectangles

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, warm

1 heaping tablespoon roasted flax seed

1 – 2 teaspoons olive oil

Adding flax to the cooked brown rice imparts a yummy roasty taste, makes the rice a bit tackier and adds an extra dose of healthfulness. I cheated and used one of these to pack the rice into even rectangles. Heat a small, non-stick frying pan over medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Carefully place onigiri into the pan and sizzle evenly on all sides. Rice will crisp up super deliciously.

Yaki Onigiri


5 Responses to “Pork Yakitori”

  1. Fionna said

    Oooh, ooh, oh, I love yakitori! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I get pork from Gelderman’s as well and can’t wait to try this yakitori out, mmmmmm goooood.

    Do you serve it with more dipping sauces? If so, what kind?

  2. Jen said

    Mmmm. charred meat. ooooooh.

  3. michael said

    we are making this now for dinner!

  4. Gretchen Doyle said

    I tried this simple recipe. Great to try a new ingredient-ground pork. Used the Gelderman’s, had the butcher grind it up. Couldn’t find my skewers so I used fondue forks on the grill pan. I covered the pan for the final few minutes to make sure the pork was cooked through. Served with some baby bok choy, drizzled with balsamic syrup. Also made the rice as directed-but didn’t have those forms, so it didn’t come out as pretty as your picture. Thanks, Dawn, it all worked- simple, easy and tasty.

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