Rolled Beef Yakitori

2016-01-27 14.26.52RECIPE #177, DAY #215

ORIGINAL RECIPE: Green Onion and Flank Steak Yaktori”from Guy Fieri’s Guy on Fire*

TIMING: Not counting the marinade, 20 minutes


TOOLS: Double skewers and a cast iron griddle pan, grill, or campfire with a rack and aluminum foil

COOK TYPE: Stovetop, grill, or campfire

HEALTH: Beef and onion and healthy aromatics. It’s a trifecta of healthy goodness, as long as you’re not over-beefing yourself. I’m not.

EXPERIENCE: We have had sort of a thing lately on Wednesday nights–let’s call it an ongoing car-pool disaster. So it was gaining on Wednesday, and I had a new plan: never head back home, just go straight to the town I needed to be in at 6p, and eat a picnic dinner in the car while waiting for the event.

In the end, the carpool was still a disaster, but our dinner–pre-made beef yakitori and macaroni salad–were a great success. Next week we’ll be grabbing Mexican around the corner, but we won’t be eating any better.

NOTES: I did a little research to determine if what I had made really was yakitori, and my suspicions were correct. It was and wasn’t. The sauce was fairly authentic, at least in ingredients. Yakitori is not traditionally rolled. Perhaps a real yakitori would not marinade, sticking instead to the authentic taste of the charcoal-roasted meat. Because that is what real yakitori requires: charcoal heat. So make this over your charcoal grill and you will have yakitori. Make it over your campfire and it will be quite close. Make it on your stove, and you have more of a renovated yakitori, or perhaps just a Japanese-inspired kabob.

Due to the cost-prohibitiveness of steak, we halved this recipe–with only 8 ounces of meat for a family of 4 that doesn’t eat a ton of meat. It was plenty.

In the original recipe, Fieri boiled the marinade then used it to baste. I didn’t find this necessary, so I thought we’d use it as a dipping sauce, but there wasn’t enough and the seasoning was already strong. It is an option.

Omit sambal if you don’t want it spicy.


  1. In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil, 2 tablespoons mirin, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon sambal, and 2 pressed garlic cloves. Set aside.
  2. Cut 1 pound flank steak or flat iron steak–against the grain–into thin slices that are about 4″ x 4″. Place steak in the bowl of marinade, toss to coat, cover, and place in the fridge for at least a few hours. (Or bag it up and pack it in your cooler.)
  3. Nearing dinnertime, pre-heat your grill, campfire, or cast iron grill pan to medium-high. Cut 8-10 scallions into 5-inch pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon safflower or canola oil, salt, and ground black pepper. Grill the scallions on foil or in your pan until charred and softening. Remove from heat.
  4. Remove meat from the fridge (or cooler) and take out each piece, rolling around 1 scallion. Secure with double skewers. Continue with meat and scallions until done, threading multiple pieces of meat on to each double skewer.
  5. Wipe down your grate or pan with a little oil and cook the beef for 4-5 minutes per side. Outside should be charred, and inside medium-rare. Let rest and eat.

Serve with picnic fare, like pre-made salads, and some sake.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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