Scallops Yakitori

July/August 2009, July/August 2008, January/February 2008

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“Yakitori” is a Japanese word that literally means “grilled bird,” a reference to chicken bits on skewers in a sticky/salty sauce. The sauce itself is so favored that it has come to be known as “yakitori.” Here we make yakitori with scallops, mushrooms and scallions. Don't overcook the scallops; just a few minutes over the heat will do the trick.

"This was great. Served it for the first time last night to my dad and husband. Good flavor, not too complicated to put together. Next time I will add some red pepper flakes for spice, otherwise no need to change anything. "
Scallops Yakitori

Makes: 2 servings, 2 skewers each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake, (see Note) or dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons mirin, (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 12 small-to-medium dry sea scallops, (about 10 ounces) or 6 large, cut in half (see Shopping Tip), tough muscle removed
  • 8 medium button mushrooms, halved
  • 6 scallions


  1. Combine soy sauce, sake (or wine), mirin, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a medium bowl, and cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the sauce in a small bowl. Add scallops and mushrooms to the remaining sauce; stir well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (but no longer: the scallops will begin to break down if marinated too long).
  3. Preheat grill to medium. Oil the grill rack (see Tip).
  4. Trim scallion whites and reserve for another use. Separate the scallion greens into individual long greens. Wrap one scallion green around the perimeter of each scallop and thread the scallops onto the skewers, piercing through the sides and thereby keeping the scallions in place. Alternate 4 mushroom halves and 3 scallion-wrapped scallops on each skewer. (Reserve any remaining scallion greens for another use.)
  5. Grill the skewers, basting with some of the reserved sauce, for 3 minutes. Turn, baste, and continue grilling just until the scallops are firm and opaque, about 3 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Equipment: 4 bamboo skewers
  • Ingredient Notes: Mirin is a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine essential in Japanese cooking. Look for it in your supermarket with other Asian ingredients.
  • Sake is a dry rice wine generally available where other wines are sold.
  • Kitchen Tip: To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
  • Shopping Tip: Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (not treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are not only mushy and less flavorful, but may not brown properly.


Per serving: 229 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 47 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 644 mg sodium; 894 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium & Vitamin C (25% daily value), Magnesium (24% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 3 lean meat

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