Yakitori is one of Japan’s favorite foods and in a country known for its culinary prowess that speaks volumes. There is nothing complicated about yakitori, it’s essentially chicken parts on sticks that are dipped in a sauce and grilled over charcoal. Like many things in Japan, the simplicity can be deceiving. When done well, yakitori can be a magical experience. Paired with some alcoholic beverages and good company, yakitori can make a long stressful week disappear.
There are a bunch of different types of yakitori skewers and navigating them can be somewhat intimidating for foreigners. Here are a list of the more common types.
Tsukune (chicken meatball)
Nankotsu (chicken cartilage)
Reba (chicken liver)
Toriniku (white meat of chicken)
Negima (chicken and scallion)
Bonjiri (chicken tail)
Ryan’s Rant: My 2 Yen
Yakitori Chicken Skewers
One of my favorite things in the whole world is yakitori. Almost every great night I have had in Japan involves eating tons of grilled chicken bits and drinking a bunch of beer. It’s so good! Going out with coworkers can sometimes be awkward, but there is just something about the atmosphere of yakitori that makes it fun. The chicken meatballs are my favorite and also the most accessible offering. Be careful about where you go, as not every place is created equal. Although the idea of grilled meat on sticks seems easy, it is like an art.