Friday, October 13, 2006

What is Yaki-tori?

It's not easy being vegitarian in Japan! The price of vegitables is high, and vegetarian products are few and far between.
If you eat meat and fish however, the world is your oyster.

One of the best of the Japanese eateries is the Yaki-tori-ya (cooked-chicken-shop, or the "Every bit of a chicken on sticks, cooked on a charcoal grill" shop).

Sat at the counter just in front of the charcoal grill, a strong fan above whipping the smoke from the cooking chicken, we ordered chicken liver, heart, neckbone, cartilage, chicken chunks grilled with leek, chicken meat pattie grilled on the stick with a sauce dressing which was finally served on a plate with a freshly cracked raw egg (not without a sense of irony the Japanese), and we would have had the grilled chicken skin too but it wasn't on the menu (the asparagus wrapped in pork done on the same grill, we had that too, even though it wasn't chicken).

Like everything else that's fun, it isn't cheap, and probably not too healthy. Some places use too much salt, some don't cook the chicken properly, and some just charge way too much for the beer and sake. I was told this morning that a diet of too much Yaki-tori and beer will give you Gout!

Well I don't plan to be there every night, but the little by little, order when you want to eat style suits me very well. You can choose a minimum of one stick at a time, try a bite here and a bite there. It's never cold in a Yaki-tori-ya, and in the city there is usually one nearby. With the cold weather comes the warm sake 'atsukan', and the feeling of having done this some time before.

The majority of the Yaki-tori shops serve good chicken, well cooked, and don't overcharge on the drinks.
I tried vegetarianism once before, but fell foul to a roast duck.
Keep up the good chicken Japan.


heybaroo said...

am at work finishing up for the week chugging on a few beers when i saw the yakitori post..aaargghh!!

that would just top off the friday arvo...


nick said...

I thought that might bring back some good memories.
They had some good Nihonshu and a huge selection of shochu to go with the Sapporo draught.