Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Pieces of grilled chicken on skewers. やきとり、焼き鳥。

A popular food with beer, sake or other drinks. Many izakaya have yakitori on the menu and there are also specialized restaurants. These can range from obscure joints "under the tracks," to quite upscale establishments. Yakitori is also sold in supermarkets.

Yakitori is eaten with either tare (a thick sweet sauce) or a dip of salt.

In making yakitori, nothing of the chicken is thrown away. So, besides the obvious negima (pices of white meat alternating with spring onion), momo (soft white meat), sasami (chicken breast) and tsukune (balls of ground chicken meat), we also have haatsu (chicken hearst pierced on a stick), rebaa (the liver), sunazuri (chicken gizzards), tebasaki (the wings), kawa (the skin, usually of the neck) and nankotsu (chicken cartilage) or shiro (the small intestines)...

Preparing yakitori is difficult as the sticks have to be grilled on the charcoal fire in such a way that the outside is well-done and hearty, but the inside still tender.

[Yakitori, above tsukune and below negima, Photo Ad Blankestijn]