YAKITORI

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Born in OKC
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2009/08/02 18:33:00 (permalink)

YAKITORI

I can GOOGLE for yakitori and get a lot of articles for the version prepared with cubes of boneless and skinless chicken.  I also see frequent mention of yakitori made from chicken skin, but few details.  I'd like to hear from someone who has had or seen the chicken skin version made in a Japanese shop and / or made it on their own. 
 
Breast, back, or thigh & leg skin? 
 
Cut into squares or do you thread strips on to the skewers?
 
Also, if chicken heart or gizzard are used, do you cut into thin slices or cook the meat in chunks?
 
Also, I take it that if you used chicken "tails" or bachelor buttons y would simply thread the entire piece onto the skewer, right?
 
Any help is appreciated.
post edited by Born in OKC - 2009/08/02 23:39:08
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    mayor al
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/02 22:24:16 (permalink)
    I enjoyed a lot of street vendor Yakitori Sticks during the Summer Months of my two years on Hokkaido a long time ago. They were always "Beef" pieces on the little wooden skewers. I have the "Beef" in quotes because all I can testify to is that they were NOT Poultry!. The going rate back in the 60's was 50 yen per stick (roughly 10 cents). five small pieces of meat spread along the wooden skewer, grilled then dipped into what we now call Teriyaki Sauce. Same for an ear of corn...grilled then dipped into the same sauce and eaten like our 'Fair Food' of today.  We had some good chow from those vendors -- no matter what the actual source of the protein!
    #2
    Born in OKC
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/02 23:37:55 (permalink)
    In part, mayour al wrote:

    Same for an ear of corn...grilled then dipped into the same sauce and eaten like our 'Fair Food' of today. 

    I am still hoping for an answer to my yakitori question but have to comment on the above.  I don't remember the name, but there is a Mexican street snack that consists of a boiled and warm ear of corn, shucked while you watch, rolled in Parkay or similar, decorated with a spiral stream of hot sauce, and finally dusted with shredded cheese.

    Absolutely great.

    Last had that in Laredo some years back when I walked across the border between buses after riding the 'dog down from San Antonio.  "for you sir, the price is one dollar," I was told as though I had received a great favor.  I'll bet a native would have paid about twenty-five centavos.  Maybe less.

    But back to yakitori!
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    WarToad
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/03 16:32:01 (permalink)
    Heya BiOKC ~

    I lived in Japan for 3 years and have literally been to dozens upon dozens upon dozens of "Yakitori-ya" shops. (serve nothing but yakitori)

    To answer your question - yes and no.  When you go to a yakitori shop in Japan, you literally have a wall board menu of different cuts to choose from in a manner you never see here in the US with a chicken.  From the common thigh, breast, to a skewer of skin roasted crunchy, back loin meat(very much akin to a prime rib cut on the chicken, but at 1/100th the size of a steer), necks, breast loin, a skewer of hearts, various organs, ground spiced chicken (tsukune), caretlige, a skewer of the "oyster" buttons, tail fat...  Like I said, they will break down the bird in a manner we rarely do and offer just a skewer of that one muscle group so you can compare flavors of the different parts of the bird.
     
    The breast loin (sasami) gets threaded on whole in one long strip. The breast itself gets cut into chunks.  Wings get threaded on as 2 joints (last joint cut off and used in stock) many muscle groups get cut into even sized pieces.  Smaller organs (heart, gizzard) are left whole, larger ones (liver) cut appropriately. But even from shop to shop this can change.

    And they're not always sauced.  You can order it "shio" (salt) style, which is very common.
    post edited by WarToad - 2009/08/03 20:44:07
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    Born in OKC
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/04 05:04:05 (permalink)
    War Toad, 
     
    Thanks for a very interesting note.  I have never visited Japan but it is easy to imagine several of the offerings you describe.  THe problem is conceiving of a supplier that can offer so many of the little nuggets of meat from the back for example.  I am still curious about the skin.  Was it cut into squares with several pieces being threaded on a skewer or into strips with one strip per skewer?  Or did that vary with skin from different parts of the bird?
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    WarToad
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/04 08:03:18 (permalink)
    The skin was usually cut into rectangular strips and threaded on, scrunched up, several strips to a skewer.  I'm pretty sure the skin was from all over, no seperating areas.
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/05 04:46:35 (permalink)
    Thank you again for the information. 

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    boyardee65
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/05 05:00:05 (permalink)
      I used to work for a company in Colorado Springs called House of Yakitori. The meats in question were usually thinly sliced beef or chicken thigh meat threaded onto a wooden skewer, cooked over an open gas flame and then dipped in "Yaki" sauce that was thicker than teriyaki and had more of a malassas flavor. Served with a panko breaded onion ring, sticky white rice and some kind of tarter sauce. I would mix the "Yaki" sauce with the tarter sauce and then mix the meat, rice, and sauce all togrther. That s*** was addictive! I was a bartender and a sushi chef there for about 2 years and I ate there every day even when I wasn't working that day.

      I never heard of cooking only the skin though. I would think that it could get quite expensive though unless you have a source for skin only. Tyson Foods maybe as they sell boneless and skinless products.

      JMHO

    David O.
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    WarToad
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/05 08:24:49 (permalink)
    Hey David,

    Yakitori as it exists in Japan in it's specalty shops and street vendors vs. yakitori as we see it here in the US... we see just a snippet of what it is  (And the sauce is different too)  What we see in the US tend to be just thigh or breast meat sometimes threaded alternating with green onion pieces, with some heavy glaze. 

    The sauce in Japan is much thinner and nuanced.  The skewer gets a dip into it before the grill, gets cooked, then often another dip into it off the grill.  It's kept at a ultra low simmer off to the side, occasionally topped up with water to avoid over concentration. There are shops that boast they haven't changed the sauce pot in years, the continued dunking of chicken keeps re-flavoring the sauce. (It's always kept at a low simmer and brought to a boil before/after hours to sterilize) And there's a sweetness to it without being overly sweet.

    I have a recipe for the sauce taken from a Japanese grilling book I have.  It's pretty different from versions you find in english on the web or in english cookbooks about Japanese food.  I'll see if I can hunt it down.
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    pimple2
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/11 22:11:55 (permalink)
    The Japanese create a TARE base, by grilling chicken wings or backs over charcoal and then simmering it in a dashi, mirin & sake stock whose proportions are very much an art form for the many types of Japanese dishes. How rich, strong, salty or sweet to make this base influences the yakitori, which is dipped repeatedly. This cools, moisturizes and flavors both the base and meat continually. Experience has to count for a lot of the excellence in any food service. So does attention to details a
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    pimple2
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/12 20:09:08 (permalink)
    Some interesting pictures of yakitori skewers and the types of meats served:

    Post #332
    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=113555&st=330&p=1563071&#entry1563071

    Post #45
    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=17899&hl=yakitori&st=30

    translates all the chicken parts used in yakitori
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    WarToad
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/13 07:56:20 (permalink)
    Nice find, and there's far more parts beyond that.
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/28 08:29:32 (permalink)
    This is to thank p2 and War Toad for their contributions and to say that I hope the information from the War Toads reference will be published here unless t is thought that the other comments, such as adding a bone to the sauce, adquately cover the subject.
     
    There is one place, a local chain, that we used to visit frequently for sushi and they also have a selection of  one dollar and $1.50 yakitori, and inexpensive tempura.  Not the best sushi in town, but always fresh beacuse of the price structure and a nice place for a quick meal.  And, I'll confess, I liked the yakitori.  Because of the comments in this thread I had started asking for lemons, etc., with the sauce on the side.
     
    But we don't go there any more.  The restaurant has a large number of sushi variations, and I am sure that some of them have pretty fantastic names compared with the traditional product.   But last time we were there my wife noticed a sushi item named the "Pearl Harbor Bomb." 
     
    I am not making that up.  "Pearl Harbor Bomb."
     
    The owner of the chain has what is to me a Japanese name.  I told the manager, a person of Japanaese heiritage, that I was highly insulted and that I would not think of trying to run a restaurant in Japan offering American food with names like Hiroshima chili or Nagasaki hot dish. 
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    WarToad
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    Re:YAKITORI 2009/08/28 10:22:32 (permalink)
    Hey - I found the Tare recipe I use.

                        Normal                    x4 amount
    Soy sauce    1/4 cup                    1 cup
    Sake            1/4 cup                    1 cup
    Mirin            2 Tbs                       1/4 cup
    Sugar            2 Tbs                      1/4 cup
    Garlic           1 clove                     2 big cloves
    red chili        1 seeded pod            4 pods
    G. onion*     2 stalks                    8 stalks
    scraps**       a few scraps            handful

    Put everything into a heavy pot and put on a very low simmer for at least 1/2 hour beforre use.  Top off with water occasionally to avoid over concentration.  We're not going to a sauce reduction here, we're melding flavors.  Strain before use, top off again with water to avoid over concentration.

    * Roast green onions on grill and give them a good charring.
    ** Chicken scraps, any bones and meat.
    #14
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