I love making Yakitori – little sticky bites of Soy Sauce-rich poultry goodness – but have recently dumped the traditional Chicken for Turkey. I find Turkey sweeter, tastier (because let’s face it, Chicken is pretty bland) and it seems to marinate better. Turkey thigh’s even better – with a deep, rich flavour. Because this dish is oven- grilled it’s not massively authentic – but in terms of beer snacks it’s a belter.
It couldn’t be easier to make but does require a little forward planning – essentially it’s a two stage process. Firstly, 24 hours before you cook it, marinate about 300g of diced Turkey in about 100g of Dark Soy Sauce, and 3 tbspns of Honey. To this marinade add four chopped cloves of Garlic, and a splash of Shao Hsing Rice Wine. This isn’t hard to find in Chinese markets, and you can probably pick it up in supermarkets now. It’s a little like sherry, and adds a unique bite and subtle smokiness to the marinade. Stir up, cover well, and leave to marinate in a fridge for the aforementioned 24 hours.
When ready to cook, make a basting sauce up from more Dark Soy sauce and Honey. You can make it as thick as you like; in fact, the thicker and stickier the better. Set your grill on high, lay out your turkey pieces on a grilling tray, and baste with the sauce. Grill for about 5 minutes, then re-baste. Repeat this every five-ten minutes, turning the meat and basting as you go. You want to build up a good coating on the meat, which should take about 20 minutes to cook. To finish, sprinkle with chunks of sea salt, and serve on a bed of rice.
It’s natural to want to serve something like this with a pilsner or decent lager as you would do in a noodle-house, but I find that sweeter, more malt-led beers actually match the sweetness of the Yakitori in a much more interesting way. I enjoyed Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale with mine; loads of caramel and crystal malts in the body, a smooth taste, with the hops only coming on late in the sip as a refreshing bitter bite.
A sweet beer for a sweet meal.