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Photo by Alex Maeland
  • Active Time

    20 minutes

  • Total Time

    1 hour 20 minutes

The inspiration for these grilled green miso chicken breast skewers came from the tried-and-true recipe of grilled pesto chicken. Rather than Parmesan, though, we use miso. The longer you marinate the chicken, the deeper the flavor will be, but since we are butchering and using the same chicken on the day, ours is marinated for only about an hour.

Editor’s note: It’s handy to keep a small spray bottle of sake nearby for finishing this skewer. If you don’t have a spray bottle, pour about 1 Tbsp. sake into a small bowl and brush a small amount onto each skewer to finish. 


Makes 5 skewers

Green Miso Marinade
100g Italian basil
50 g flat leaf parsley
20g pine nuts
150g olive oil
200g prepared miso soup
100g roasted garlic
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, about 8 ounces
Kosher salt
Lemon wedges, to serve

Step 1

Make the green miso marinade. Place the basil, parsley, and pine nuts in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth. While the blender is running, slowly add the olive oil, pouring it in a steady stream, until it is blended together. Add the miso soup and roasted garlic and blend again until smooth. 

Step 2

Trim any excess fat from the outside of the chicken breast. Cut the the thin end of the breast into a 2-inch (5-cm) wide piece. Cut the remaining piece lengthwise. Then cut the resulting lengths in half. Cut the pieces of breast so that you end up with 25 even bite-sized rectangular pieces. Starting with the thinnest pieces of meat, pinch the meat so that the shiny side faces up and skewer directly through the middle of the meat. Repeat, being sure that the shiny side is facing up and that you are skewering directly through the middle of the meat, until you end up with five skewers with five chunks of chicken per skewer. Each skewer should weigh about 1½ ounces. 

Step 3

Place the prepared skewers in a shallow baking dish in a single layer. Cover with the prepared marinade, cover, and chill for at least one hour. 

Step 4

Start with the smooth-side down over high heat, grilling until light brown, 2–3 minutes. Rotate ¼ turn, cook on each side until lightly colored, about 1 minute per side. Once three sides are colored, finish cooking on the last side until dark brown, about 2 minutes. Spray with sake and lightly season with salt to finish. Garnish by adding one lemon wedge to each skewer before serving.

Adapted from Chicken and Charcoal: Yakitori, Yardbird, Hong Kong. © 2018 Phaidon Press. Reproduced by permission of Phaidon. All Rights Reserved. Buy the full book from Phaidon or Amazon.

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