Among Japan’s culinary treasure trove, which offers something for every palate, yakitori is a popular comfort food and snack that goes great with drinking beer or sake. Literally meaning, “grilled chicken,” yakitori consists of chunks of chicken meat grilled on skewers.
During a recent two-week trip to Japan, I was fortunate to dine at Kushi Yoshi, a yakitori specialty restaurant in Tokyo. Different parts of the chicken are grilled with a special sauce. From boneless chicken breast meat to the chicken’s tail and innards, nothing is wasted.
Before you grow green with envy over this succulent meal, you can have this tasty treat right here in New York City. Yakitori restaurants abound in the city, and many izakaya have the skewers on their menus.
What are your favorite yakitori restaurants in the City?
You can also cook yakitori at home with the help of Matsuri chef Tadashi Ono and food writer Harris Salat. Their cookbook, The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables, is an easy-to-use reference to create your own skewers, made the Japanese way.
If you’re lucky, catch these two in a live demonstration. Earlier this summer, Ono and Salat discussed how to grill Japanese-style at events for the Japan Society and the Gohan Society. At both demonstrations, the cookbook-writing pair showed how easy it is to re-create classic yakitori recipes in your own home.
The Gohan Society event took place under the stars at the Cabana Bar atop the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea. Ono and Salat prepared several simple meals using Japanese ingredients and grilling techniques, starting with chicken skewers.