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Ordering Tips At A Yakitori Shop 101

Yakitori is a popular food both in and outside of Japan. Grilled Chicken on skewers are just the perfect comfort food or snack epecially after a good hard day of work. Back in America there were plenty of Japanese restaurants that have “Yakitori” on the menu, and it’s a popular menu item.

Come to Japan though, you will not only find yakitori on restuarant and Izakaya menus, but you’ll find entire restaurants, even entire streets that specifically specialize in serving the best yakitori for your hungry stomach.

Sounds good right? Are you ready to walk into one of these amazing looking places and order some Yakitori? Well, if your thought process lead you to imagine yourself walking in and saying, “Excuse me, two yakitori please,” then you’ll be greeted with a confused look much like I experienced.

See, in Japan Yakitori is an entire category, with a big number of different types of yakitori. Going into a yakitori shop and asking, “Yakitori please” is much like going to a Sushi Restaurant and saying, “Sushi please,” or walking into a Subway and saying, “I’ll have a sandwich.”

Let’s go over the basics of the different types of yakitori so that you know exactly what you want and what to order.

もも – Momo
Momo is chicken thigh, a pretty standard type of yakitori. Most places serve yakitori with two seasonings you can choose between: yakitori sauce, or salt. When in doubt, order momo.

ねぎま – Negima
Negima is probably what most people associate the word “Yakitori” with, the skewer with chicken pieces with chopped pieces of Negi, or spring onion in between. The chicken is usually the same as the ones from momo yakitori.

つくね – Tsukune
Tsukune is best described as chicken meatballs on a stick. Yakitori places will use ground chicken to make these tori (chicken) tsukune, but tsukune is also a general term for meatballs, with other types being made from beef, pork, or fish.

とりかわ – Torikawa
If you like grilled chicken skin, then torikawa is a great option for you. Yakitori places grill torikawa so that they are nice and crispy.

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