Yakitori (焼き鳥, Grilled Bird) is a Japanese type of skewered chicken.
It is made from several bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, or chicken offal, skewered on a bamboo skewer and barbecued, usually over charcoal.
Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it served with simply salt (and sometimes lemon juice) or with tare sauce, which is basically made up of mirin, sweet sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied on the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked and is served with the tare sauce as a dip.
Yakitori is a very popular dish in Japan. Many working people grab a yakitori and a beer from yakitori stalls on the way home from work. Yakitori is also a common, cheap accompaniment to beer in izakayas.
Strictly speaking, the term "yakitori" refers to those consisting only of various chicken parts and vegetables. Similarly skewered grilled food made with other ingredients such as beef, pork, fish or seafood is usually available at yakitori establishments and are known as kushiyaki (串焼, kushiyaki?), lit. skewer grill, in Japan. However, outside of Japan, and even in some areas of Japan (in particular Kyūshū, Higashimatsuyama city and parts of Hokkaidō) these would also be referred to as yakitori.
DID YOU KNOW....?
Among Japanese aviation engineers and pilots, birds sucked into a jet engine are referred to as yakitori.
A "Yakitori" tile also features in Japanese mahjong. It is a flat tessera with a picture of a skewered sparrow on it. Each player starts the game with a Yakitori tile on the table to his right. On completing a hand the player may remove his "Yakitori" tile. Any player who fails to complete a hand and who therefore still has his "Yakitori" tile on the table at the end of the game has to pay a fine - he has been skewered like a sparrow on a grill!
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Posted by ricky liow