Yakitori Negima (Japanese Grilled Chicken and Scallion Skewers)

Yakitori Negima (Japanese Grilled Chicken and Scallion Skewers) on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
418 Calories
11g Fat
23g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 418
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 1593mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 535mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yakitori is a popular dish of Japanese skewered grilled chicken. In Japanese, yakitori literally means grilled chicken. "Yaki", means to grill and "tori" refers to chicken. However, there are many different types of yakitori, and is not limited to only chicken. For example, grilled vegetables, vegetables with meat, offal, and other types of meat or food served on skewers can also be referred to as yakitori. 

Yakitori negima is just one type of yakitori skewer which includes Welsh onion, or negi in Japanese, and chicken thigh meat or breast meat. It is a very popular yakitori dish and one that is often found in yakitori restaurants or izakaya (tapas style restaurants).

As far as the seasoning is considered, there are basically two types of flavor profiles for yakitori. It is either seasoned with salt (shio), or yakitori sauce (tare), as it is known in Japanese. The tare sauce is made from a mixture of sake, soy sauce and sugar. 

Yakitori can be enjoyed as either a meal or appetizer.

Article Edited by Judy Ung

"This yakitori negima was absolutely delicious! I used cut chicken tenders for the breast meat and basted it with the glaze/sauce as it grilled. The remaining glaze was brought to the table and used as a dipping sauce. I served this with steamed sushi rice garnished with sesame seeds." —Diana Andrews

Yakitori Negima (Japanese Grilled Chicken and Scallion Skewers)/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 medium green onion, cut into 1-inch crosswise pieces

For Yakitori Sauce (tare):

  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 5 tablespoons mirin

  • 3 tablespoons sake

  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Yakitori Negima (Japanese Grilled Chicken and Scallion Skewers) ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Soak the bamboo skewers in a shallow dish of cold water for up to an hour, or overnight. This will prevent the skewers from burning when the yakitori is grilling. Alternatively, use metal skewers.

    Wooden skewers in a baking dish with water

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Evenly divide pieces of chicken and scallions between the skewers. Set aside.

    Chicken pieces and scallion pieces on skewers

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Make the teriyaki style yakitori sauce (tare).

    Add the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and ginger to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and ginger in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas, charcoal, or hibachi grill fire.

    Use half the yakitori sauce for basting, and reserve half for serving.

    Brush the skewered chicken and scallions generously with yakitori sauce and grill until the chicken is opaque and cooked through, turning and basting once or twice, 7 to 8 minutes total.

    Chicken and scallion skewers on a grill, being brushed with sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Serve with the remaining yakitori sauce on the side.

    Yakitori Negima (Japanese Grilled Chicken and Scallion Skewers) on a plate, with a side of sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi