Japanese Skewer - Meet the Yakitori


Yakitori (焼き鳥) can be literally translated as “grilled chicken”. It is a very popular food in bars, festivals and events. But the term “yakitori” can also refer to any type of skewer, not just a bird. Another way of referring to skewers in general is kushiyaki which means grilled skewers.

Who thought Japanese people don't eat barbecue, yakitori is super popular food and is found in several neighborhood establishments, especially in small stands specializing in the skewer, where young people and workers usually enjoy a skewer plus a drink before going home.

Customers generally choose the spit seasoning, the most common is salt or tare sauce, which is usually made from mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the meat on the skewer and then grilled until cooked.

The variety of skewers in Japan is very large, they usually use meats or foods that we don’t think of putting on the grill. In this article we will see several types of Yakitori in addition to the traditional chicken and meat.

Types of Yakitori

Gyutan - Bull tongue.

Shiro - Small intestine of chicken.

Reba - Chicken liver.

Piman - Green pepper stuffed with cheese, meat and other ingredients.

Ginnan - Seeds of the Ginkgo Biloba tree.

Enoki Maki - Enoki mushrooms wrapped in sliced pork.


Nankotsu - Chicken cartilage.

Sunagimo - Chicken gizzard.

Asuparabekon - Asparagus wrapped in bacon.

Tebasaki - Chicken wings.

Shiitake - Shiitake mushroom, often topped with katsuobushi (canned dried tuna meat).

Negima - Chicken and Negi. (chive type vegetable)


Mentaiko - Mentaiko are Pollock or cod roe that have a strong taste that is often described as spicy. A common cover for yakitori.

Chorizo - A type of Spanish pork sausage.

Atsuage - Fried tofu.

Bonjiri - Chicken tail.

Tsukune - Chicken meatballs made with small pieces of chicken cartilage.

Butabara - Pig's belly.


Other Yakitori: 

Torikawa - Chicken skin, grilled until crispy.

Hāto / hatsu - Chicken heart.

Ikada - leeks, with two skewers to prevent rotation.

Ninniku - Garlic.

Shishito - Japanese pepper.

Toriniku - All the white meat on the skewer.

These were some of the Japanese skewers, of course there are many others. And do you especially like some?

Source: Japantalk

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