Kushiyaki: The Japanese Grilled Skewers You Should Enjoy
If you are someone who loves Japanese food, then you might have heard of the kushiyaki. But, for you Japanese food newbies out there, kushiyaki is the Japanese equivalent of a shish kebab.
Kushiyaki is the term usually used for skewered foods. “Kushi” pertains to the bamboo skewers used to spear the ingredients. On the other hand, “yaki” means grilled or fried. And so we get deliciously skewered grilled meat and vegetables.
Eating kushiyaki actually dates back since the 17th century. During the Meiji period, after being banned for centuries, eating meat became more commonplace again. Specialty shops quickly increased in popularity due to the convenient snack size, and the comfort and satisfaction from eating freshly hot kushiyaki. Today, it remains a traditional dish being enjoyed by all.
The Different Types of Kushiyaki
A common mistake many make is associating any type of kushiyaki as yakitori. This is because it is the oldest and most common type of kushiyaki. Yakitori or grilled chicken skewers feature all parts of the chicken, from the skin, thigh, heart, liver, even cartilage.
Make sure to try these beautifully grilled delicious skewers whenever you get the chance, they are most common and most popular!
Another type would be yakiton or grilled pork skewers. This also includes any parts of the pig, and they are often cooked over a charcoal flame. Just imagine tenderly flame grilled bite sized pork pieces just melting in your mouth. Hungry anyone?
Aside from grilled skewers, the satisfying crunch and crispiness from battered and deep-fried skewers called kushiage or kushikatsu has become extremely popular. It became quite known in the period between WWI and WWII, originating in the western Kansai region. Kushiage means deep-fried skewers, while kushikatsu refers to deep-fried cutlets, which is due to the fact that it is similar to chicken katsu or tonkatsu pork cutlets. The batter and fried element add a whole other dimension and texture layer which just transforms the it entirely. Picture all your favourite meats or vegetables encased in a comforting crunchy blanket of deep fried goodness – what better way to warm up in winter?
“With such a delightful and delicious variety, kushiyaki is a must-try when dining out for Japanese cuisine. Get your taste of it at Arashi Kushiyaki Bar. We offer this delectable dish in many ways. We are also the Japanese restaurant that was the first kushiyaki bar to have opened in Wellington CBD. With our reasonable prices, you will surely get an authentic kushiyaki experience! “
Other types of kushiyaki also include asuparabekon, which is asparagus wrapped in bacon. And gyutan, which refers to beef tongue. There are so many other types of kushiyaki that you will want to try all of them – and the great thing is that you can!
What are its common ingredients?
When it comes to this Japanese dish, any food that can be skewered may be served for kushiyaki. As mentioned, yakitori is the most common type of kushiyaki. Parts of the chicken that are usually used for ingredients are sasami or chicken breast fillet and tsukune or chicken meatballs. For yakiton, it includes buta bara or pork belly and negima or pork with leek, among others. On the other hand, beef skewers usually include (gyutan) beef tongue or juicy cuts of steak or sirloin. Other types of meat also include seafood, such as prawns, salmon, and squid.