Tips to order Yakitori in Japan

Are you ready to dive into the world of Yakitori in Japan? It’s a must-try experience, but let’s be real – those menus can be tricky, often all in Japanese, leaving us scratching our heads. Don’t Worry !

We are here to give you some handy tips to navigate the yakitori scene like a pro. Whether you’re wandering the vibrant streets of Tokyo or exploring a cozy izakaya in Kyoto, we’ve got you covered. In this post, “Tips to Order Yakitori in Japan,” We’ll break down everything from cracking the code of a Japanese menu to choosing the tastiest skewers. So grab your travel notes, and let’s get you ready for a mouth-watering yakitori adventure! 🍢

Photo by Josh Wilburne on Unsplash

1. Shio or Tare (塩/たれ)

When ordering, you’ll typically be asked if you want your seasoning as ‘salt (塩/shio)’ or ‘sauce (たれ/tare).’ Salt seasoning is comparatively lighter, whereas the sauce is based on Japanese soy sauce, which is usually sweeter than Chinese soy sauce. Choose salt for the original taste of the ingredients, or try sauce for a more complex flavor.

2.Sticks Bucket

There’s usually a bucket beside the grill that looks like a chopstick holder. Please dispose of your used skewer sticks in this bucket.

3. Popular Items to order:

Local yakitori places often don’t have menus in languages other than Japanese, and sometimes translations don’t make sense. Here are some common and popular items for reference:

  • もも (momo) – Chicken thigh,Known for its juiciness and tender texture.
  • 胸 (むね/mune) – Chicken breast
  • 手羽先 (tebasaki) – Chicken wings.They are crispy on the outside and tender inside.
  • つくね (tsukune) – Chicken meatballs,often served with a sweet and savory sauce.
  • ねぎま (Negima) – Skewers of chicken and leeks/scallions. It’s a classic and very popular choice.
  • 砂肝 (Sunagimo) – Chicken gizzard. It has a unique texture, slightly chewy and full of flavor.
  • レバー (Reba) – Chicken liver. Rich and creamy, it’s a delicacy for offal lovers.
  • 皮 (Kawa) – Chicken skin. Grilled until crispy, it’s known for its delicious texture and taste.
  • 笹身(sasami)-It refers to the tender, inner fillet of the chicken breast,with lesser fat and healthier.
  • 心臓 (Shinzou) – Chicken heart. It’s firm and packed with a robust flavor.
  • 串カツ (Kushi Katsu) – Breaded and deep-fried skewers, a variety of meats and vegetables can be used.
Picture by SOL.

Each of these items offers a unique taste and texture, showcasing the diversity and richness of Yakitori cuisine. Remember, the best way to enjoy Yakitori is to experiment with different types and flavors!

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