Japanese 7 Spice Beef Skewers with Brussels Sprouts Salad

Grilled meat skewers, or yakitori, are a popular street and bar food in Japan. For this recipe, beef is marinated and glazed with a mixture of mirin, soy sauce, sake, sugar and Japanese 7 Spice Blend. A pickled Brussels sprouts salad adds crunch and bright flavour.

  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min + 1 hr Refrigeration
  • Makes: 6 servings
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All You Need

  • ½ sheet nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange rind
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) Club House Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) McCormick Gourmet Sesame Seed
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Club House Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Organic Poppy Seeds
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) Club House Ground White Pepper
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) mirin
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) sake
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) Japanese 7 Spice Blend (Shichimi Togarashi)
  • 1 lb (500 g) flank steak, sliced across the grain into thin slices
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) water
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) mirin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 5 to 6 medium Brussels sprouts, cut into thin wedges (about 1 cup/250 mL)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped radicchio
  • 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Sesame Seed, toasted


  1. Japanese 7 Spice Blend (Shichimi Togarashi) - Process nori in mini food processor until fine flakes form. Mix nori and remaining ingredients until well blended.

  2. Set aside 1/2 tsp of Japanese 7 Spice Blend (Shichimi Togarashi). Store remainder in tightly covered jar in cool, dry place to use in future recipes.

  3. For the Beef Skewers, mix mirin, soy sauce, sake, sugar, sesame oil and Spice Blend in large bowl until well blended. Reserve 1/3 cup (75 mL) for glaze. Add beef to remaining marinade in bowl; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile, for the glaze, pour reserved marinade into small saucepan. Bring to boil. Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl until smooth. Stir into saucepan; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Set aside.

  5. For the Brussels Sprouts Salad, mix vinegar, sugar, mirin, sesame oil and salt in large bowl. Add Brussels sprouts, radicchio and bell pepper; toss to coat well. Sprinkle with sesame seed. Cover. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

  6. Thread beef in zig-zag fashion onto skewers. Discard any remaining marinade. Grill over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until desired doneness, turning occasionally and brushing with glaze. Serve beef skewers with Brussels Sprouts Salad. Sprinkle with additional Spice Blend. Serve with cooked rice, if desired.

  7. Tip: Sake, a Japanese rice wine, is available wherever fine wines are sold. Mirin, a Japanese sweet rice wine used in cooking, is similar to sake but with a lower alcohol content and a higher sugar content. It may be found in the Asian aisle of some supermarkets or in Asian grocery stores.

  8. Tip: If using wooden skewers, soak thoroughly in water for at least 30 minutes before threading with beef. This prevents them from burning when on the grill.

  9. Tip: To toast sesame seed, heat small skillet on medium heat. Add sesame seed; cook and stir 2 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Immediately pour out of hot pan to avoid over-toasting.


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