Venison Yakitori with Miso Dressing

Graham Brown, executive chef at Deer Industry NZ shares this delicious Japanese-style venison recipe ideal for enjoying throughout summer. 

Serves 3-4 Preparation time 35 minutes Cooking time 6 minutes

Pair this dish with a medium to full-bodied sweet and juicy Pinot Noir, such as a low acidic Marlborough red, to accentuate the texture of the lean meat.

The leg steaks cook well on a barbeque or griddle.New Zealand farm raised venison leg steaks are quick-to-cook, versatile and very lean. Venison yakitori are easy to make and the Japanese flavours of miso and mirin beautifully complement the meat.

Retail packs of NZ farm raised venison are readily available in all good supermarkets throughout the country. Specialty cuts are also available online and from select butchers.

For the marinade:

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Korean chili paste or sweet chili sauce
50 ml mirin
1/2 tsp sesame oil

For the skewers: 

2 x 220g pack of NZ farm raised venison steaks, cut into bite-sized cubes
5 spring onions, cut into 1-2 cm lengths
8 shitake or button mushrooms, quartered
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes

For the miso dressing:

1 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp mirin
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp soy sauce

To serve:

2 cups steamed rice (optional)


Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Then, thread the venison cubes onto the skewers, alternating with the vegetables. Brush with skewers with the marinade and if possible let sit for 20 minutes. 

Barbecue or grill the skewers, turning continuously for 4-5 minutes over a moderate to high heat. Be careful not to overcook the venison. 

Let the skewers rest for 5 minutes, in which time cook the rice (optional) and make the miso dressing by combining all ingredients and mixing until smooth.

Serve the skewers on top of the rice with sliced cucumber tossed with toasted sesame seeds, then drizzled with the miso dressing.

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