What is Yakitori? >>Find Yakitori RestaurantsYakitori a favorite appetizer in Japan: mankind has yet to imagine a food that goes better with beer. It is a roasted skewer of bite-sized pieces made of meat or vegetables. There are restaurants that only serve Yakitori, but it is usually available in Izakaya as well. The ingredients vary from place to place; after all, variety is the spice of life. However, everyone agrees that Yakitori grilled over charcoal is simply the best. Charcoal gives yakitori its irresistible scent and taste.
Yakitori is generally prepared in two different flavors. At most restaurants, you will be asked which flavor you prefer. One way is “shio”, which simply means that it's served with salt. The other is “tare”, a salty-sweet sauce, which is basically made from soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine). Every Yakitori chef's goal in life is to make the world's best tare. 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. When you go to a Yakitori restaurant, be sure to try both flavors.
As mentioned above, 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. For one thing, most yakitori restaurants have extensive menus, with many boasting over twenty different kinds of yakitori. There's a creative thrill in selecting the perfect combination of skewers. On top of that, it has the potential to be a spectator food: at some restaurants, yakitori is grilled in front of the customers. Then, there's the fact that it's cheap. Most skewers range in price from 100 to 200 yen per skewer. Once you're hooked, you can make a pilgrimage to one of the three famous yakitori streets in Tokyo. There's one in Yurakucho, Shimbashi, and Shinjuku.
Sure bets ? Popular kinds of Yakitori >>Find Yakitori RestaurantsAs mentioned above, there are many kinds of Yakitori. You can order either one by one or assortments. Here are some popular yakitori selections.
Negima (peices of chicken thigh and scallion)
Sasami (Skinless chicken breast)
Yakitori HistoryIn both the aftermath of the The Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and the defeat in World War II, Yakitori stalls opened all around Tokyo. As Japan was gradually reconstructed after the war, Yakitori stalls shifted to Yakitori restaurants.
In the 1950's, spread of chicken broilers helped cut the cost of chicken meat, which added to the populariy of Yakitori.
Nowadays, Yakitori is widely loved for its delicious taste and low price. Many restaurants have it on the menu. On the other hand, some restaurants are seeking to differentiate themselves from others by using the region's specially bred chicken, such as “Coochin”, “Shamo”, and “Hinaidori”. They may be expensive, but they are noted for their excellent taste.
In 2006, the “World Yakitori Federation” was established to promote Yakitori as a representative Japanese food to rest of the world. Yakitori has grown out of the night snack image, and is now becoming a kind of fast food sense snacks.
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