Thursday, May 19, 2011

Japanese Menu - Yakitori

Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

Hmm what can I say about this dish, so many things actually. Just imagine the succulent chicken thigh marinated and basted with the sweet and savory sauce, combine it with fresh spring onion, grill them in piping hot charcoal ... ahh.. so heavenly!!
Whenever I went to a Japanese restaurant, I will almost certainly tried their yakitori. Even though I did experience some bad tasting yakitori like undercooked meat, really salty sauce, etc. But if you manage to taste the good ones, you won't stop thinking about it, just like me :)

Menu Description:

Japanese Menu Yakitori
Yakitori is a type of Japanese skewered chicken. The term Yakitori can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki (skewer grilled), is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. Both Yakitori and Kushiyaki mean the same, so the terms are used interchangeably in Japanese society.

Yakitori is made from several bite-sized pieces of meat (usually chicken) and vegetables skewered on a bamboo skewer and grilled, usually over charcoal.

Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it cooked with salt (shio) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked. According to urban legend, there are chefs who refuse to clean the pot. In theory, they just add new ingredients every day to the same pot and never throw away the old sauce. It is said that some chefs have been using the same pot since the establishment of the restaurant. By doing that, the sauce is supposed to become more concentrated.

Yakitori is the perfect culinary match for beer. If that alone doesn't convince you that yakitori is delightfully in all regards, the bear in mind that it's an inherently fun food
Japanese Menu Yakitori
In the 1950's (post war era), the spread of chicken broilers which were brought by the US occupation helped cut the cost of chicken meat. This helped yakitori to gain its popularity in Japan.
Nowadays, Yakitori is widely loved for its delicious taste and low price. Some restaurants are seeking to differentiate themselves from others by using the region's specially bred chicken, such as “Coochin”, “Shamo”, and “Hinaidori”.

Common Poultry Dishes

* hatsu or kokoro, chicken heart
* rebā, liver
* sunagimo, or zuri, chicken gizzard
* tsukune, chicken meatballs
* kawa, chicken skin, grilled until crispy
* tebasaki, chicken wing
* bonjiri, chicken tail
* shiro, chicken small intestines
* nankotsu, chicken cartilage
* toriniku, all white meat on skewer

Japanese Menu Yakitori ChefCommon non-poultry dishes

* ikada (lit. raft), Japanese scallion, with two skewers to prevent rotation
* gyūtan, ox tongue, sliced thinly
* atsuage tōfu, deep-fried tofu
* enoki maki, enoki mushrooms wrapped in slices of  pork
* pīman, green pepper
* asuparabēkon, asparagus wrapped in bacon
* butabara, pork belly
* ninniku, garlic

Menu Ingredients:
(Makes 4 – 6 Yakitori)

• Chicken thigh fillets (1kg), cut into 2.5 cm cubes
• Spring onions/Leeks, cut into 2.5 cm lengths (can also be changed to other vegetables to your liking, eg: cherry tomato or paprika)
• Bamboo skewers

Yakitori sauce (makes 2 cups)

• 6 table spoons sake
• 3/4 cup dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 3 table spoons Morita Mirin Seasoning
• 2 table spoons sugar
• ½ table spoons of chicken stock (powder)

Menu Directions:

• Soak skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain.
• Meanwhile, combine all Yakitori Sauce (refer above) ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Allow to cool completely.
• Thread chicken and onions onto skewers. Place onto a plate. Brush with sauce.
• Grill skewers over charcoal (recommended because it gives yakitori its unique scent and taste) while basting them with sauce, for 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Can be served with rice.

Menu Related Videos:

How to make Yakitori: 

Yakitori Vendor: 

Yakitori bar: 

Menu Sources and References:


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