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Hupsake! Japanese bubbly with homemade yakitori, tempura and tataki

Hugo makes yakitor skewers, vegetables in tempura batter and salmon tataki! Sounds fancy, but this finely filled shelf will also be on your (kitchen) table in no time.

Yakitor skewers (roasted chicken)

  • Main course 4 persons
  • Preparation approx. 20 minutes


  • 4 chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  • 100ml sake
  • 100ml Japanese soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar


  • 12 wooden skewers
  • brush

Baked salmon – salmon tataki

  • Snack board dish
  • Preparation about 10 minutes


  • 1 rectangular piece of salmon (4x4x10 cm)
  • 25g white sesame seeds
  • 25g black sesame seeds
  • neutral oil
  • wasabi
  • pickled ginger

Fried vegetables – Tempura

  • Snack board dish
  • Preparation approx. 20 minutes


  • 200g bimi (asparagus broccoli)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 150g shiitakes


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500ml of sparkling water
  • 150g flour
  • 100g corn starch + extra few tablespoons extra corn starch
  • salt
  • handful of ice cubes


  • 2 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 5 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 chili pepper
  • 2cm ginger root
  • 1 lemon
  • neutral oil for deep frying


Japanese Skewered Chicken

According to Hugo, yakitori can be translated into ‘marinated chicken skewers, with chicken thigh as a base’. These skewers are grilled at a high temperature and brushed with a salty-sweet, homemade marinade in between.

Heat the oven grill on high and soak the skewers in water to prevent them from burning.

Wash your hands well and cut the chicken thighs into small, thin cubes.

Put the mirin together with the sugar, sake and sweet and salty soy sauce in a pan. Heat the mixture until it becomes slightly sticky. This will be the substance with which you will later marinate the chicken.

Place the chicken in the oven and brush with the marinade every five minutes.

TIP: Heat the sake you have left and add it later as a drink. In Japanese cuisine, sake is often drunk lukewarm.

Continue with the tataki

Tataki is a dish that you can prepare in different ways, with different ingredients. For example, it is often made with fish, but meat is also a good option. Although the dish looks complicated and chic, it is one of the easier to prepare.

In fact, tataki is a shortly seared piece of meat or fish. Still raw on the inside, fine cooking on the outside.

Put a pan on the fire and let it get hot.

Then take two plates: on one plate you put white sesame seeds and on the other black. Spread the seed well on the plates.

Remove the salmon fillets from the packaging and place one side of the salmon in the white seed, then place the other side in the black seed. Make sure the seeds are everywhere, so don’t forget the sides!

Sear the tataki

Put some neutral oil in the hot pan and fry the fish very briefly on both sides. Note: sear, not yarn!

When the fish is seared on both sides, remove it from the pan. Tataki does not need to be served hot, so you can prepare it well.

Place the salmon on a plate and cut it into nice slices. Serve with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce.

Then the tempura: first the dip

Put the mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Finely chop the pepper and add it as well.

Grate some ginger and lemon zest into the mixture and squeeze some lemon juice into it too, for extra freshness. Mix well and set aside.

TIP: Don’t like spicy? Then remove the seeds from the pepper.

Continue with the tempura: the batter

Tempura is a fast batter that can be compared to a beer batter. You can use this batter with vegetables, meat or fish. Contrary to normal, Hugo wants lumps in the batter. “The more lumps the better,” he says. Do not mix smooth or fine: the lumps ensure that it becomes crispy.

Beat two egg yolks together with a little bit of sparkling water. Add the rest of the sparkling water later and beat well.

The mixture should be ice cold, so add some ice cubes.

Add the cornstarch and flour, without sifting them first. Add a good pinch of salt.

Grab a fork (not a whisk!) And mix everything together. The ingredients should be mixed, but the batter doesn’t have to be smooth. Remember, the more lumps the better.

Finishing the tempura

Put a pan with oil on high heat and wait for the oil to reach 180 degrees. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature or, if you have one, use a deep fryer.

Meanwhile cut the vegetables into equal pieces. The sweet potato can be a little thinner, as it takes longer to cook.

Grab a piece of vegetables and put it through the cornstarch. Beat off briefly and then run it through your lumpy batter. Place the piece of vegetable in the oil.

Fry the vegetables in the fryer for about a minute. It can get some color, but it doesn’t have to be completely brown.

If bubbles start to form, you know that the cornstarch is popped and that it is crispy. Then take it out. Do this with all vegetables.

TIP: Make this dish at the last minute, because you want to eat the vegetables crunchy. If you wait too long, they will go limp.

All together

Remove the yakitor skewers from the oven and place them on a plate. Sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on top.

Put all the dishes together on a large shelf. Serve with small glasses of lukewarm sake.

Enjoy your meal!


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