There are two other type of dishes in Japan that I really want to have a go at. They are called Kushiyaki, and Sukiyaki which I really want to taste. Let’s start off with Kushiyaki which translates to skewer grill and involves skewering meat in a bamboo barbecue stick. Despite using various meats and seafood items the most popular meat used is chicken and is called Yakitori which translates to skewered chicken. The preparation of Yakitori involves skewering up tiny pieces of the chicken on a stick. They are then grilled on top of burning charcoal with salt or a different type of sauce.
The most common parts of chicken used are toriniku (chicken meat), tsukune (chicken meatballs), tebasaki (wings), torikawa (chicken skin), momo (thigh), bonjiri (tail), nankotsu (chicken cartilage), hato (heart), shiro (small intestines), reba (liver) and sunagimo (gizzard). Yakitoris are commonly found at the streets as they are served as street food. They also do appear in restaurants in a sophisticated way. In a nutshell a Yakitori or Kushiyaki is just like a barbecue or a kebab but with some Japanese flair.
The Sukiyaki is a type of Japanese stew which serves as like a soup dish perfect for the winter months. The Sukiyaki is prepared in a Japanese Hot Pot otherwise known as a Nabemono. The ingredients are either mixed together or placed one at a time and it is then simmered for a couple of minutes. The origin of the Sukiyaki dates back during the 1600’s. There were several stories of how it came to be, like the one involving the nobleman. The nobleman seemingly caught a game and went to peasant’s house and demanded him to cook it. The peasant humbly accepts but utilized his poor utensils which simply involved suki or a spade. This sort of gave birth to Sukiyaki but to no real confirmation. When preparing Sukiyaki, there are a lot of ingredients needed.
The first ingredient needed is meat and beef is the most popular choice for Sukiyakis. The beef needs to be thinly sliced so that it doesn’t have the tendency to be raw when cooking. Tofu is another vital ingredient as it gives a distinct flavor to the dish. Then there are the greens which vary depending on your choice and there is no real prerequisite. The common thing is that these vegetables must be leafy like Chinese cabbages or endives. Mushrooms are also used and the most common is the shitake mushroom. Then other sub ingredients are added like salt, sauces and eggs. The ingredients are allowed to simmer in a broth making it a very delicious and hot meal. Sukiyakis are commonly found in restaurants now and usually 1 pot serves from 4 to 6 people. I hope that I get to try these two dishes someday in a way that I don’t need to go to Japan.