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In Japan, at two occcasions, I had chicken skewer with a green leaf wrapped around it, and in it was also some red sauce with a sour taste. Is there a specific name for this dish? Ultimately I'm looking for what kind of leaf (maybe Shiso/perilla?), sauce (possibly something with plum?) and marinade it was so I can try to cook this dish myself.

I had the dish at two different small local grill bars near Nijo Castle in Kyoto.

Edit: An answer suggested the name "shiso chicken". Googling that brings up mostly pictures of different combinations of chicken and shiso leaves, but a few do show something similar to what I had, this is one of them:

"Shiso chicken??"

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It looks like tsukune/tsumire chicken with shiso, search terms are chicken tsukune, ooba and plum. This yields some recipes, more without the plum, basically take minced chicken, add egg mirin soy sake potato-starch, divide, wrap in leaf and cook. Google translate/rikaichan will help you. For the plum sauce, basic recipe is to take Japanese plum pulp and add soy, not sure it is easy to do otherwise since it requires the special sour and salty plums.

More assistance with translation can be found on the Japanese Language Stack

  • This is a very good answer, thank you, welcome, and +1. I took the liberty of editing into your answer what you added in a comment. Next time just use the "edit" function beneath the answer. I also adjusted the formatting a bit, if you look at the editing by clicking on the line above my avatar, you can see what I did, and make any changes you wish. Again, welcome to Seasoned Advice. – Jolenealaska Aug 31 '14 at 13:25
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From your description, it sounds like you had shiso chicken. I have never been to Japan so my experience on this is from eating at Japanese restaurants in the US.

On two occasions in different restaurants I have had a version that used yakitori sauce as the marinade for the chicken. The menus described the dish as chicken breast yakitori wrapped in shiso leaves. Really good!

However, while out of town on a work trip, I found shiso chicken on a menu and it was described as chicken in pickled plum sauce wrapped in shiso leaves. This may be what you are looking for, at least from the way you described the sauce as being red and sour, and possibly containing plum.

Wish I had tried it! Hope this can be of some help to you.

  • Yes, googling "shiso chicken" brings up a few pictures with something similar to what I had! (A detail: the plum sauce was on the grilled chicken/leaf, so was not part of the marinade though.) Thanks for the info! Any more contributions on details on the marinade, leaf and sauce are welcome. – Carl Aug 24 '14 at 15:51
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I had the dish in Japan as well, he had regular yakitori sticks with the same sauce as normal, he wrapped a perilla (shisho) leaf around em and grilled for a bit, then dipped in the marinade pot then grilled a bit more then dipped/grilled again a few more times, then spooned over the plum sauce and served. I asked about the sauce, he made his own umeboshi (we were on the Kii peninsula the best Ume come from that region) and just mashed it into a sauce. But you can buy it online called umeboshi paste. He did all this while asking us all about life in Australia as his son was coming on exchange later that year :)

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