Yakitori (Grilled Chicken), bite-sized ingredients put on a bamboo skewer

A bite-sized piece of chicken is stabbed on a bamboo skewer and grilled on an open fire, and is often offered at a specialty restaurant called Yakitori-ya.

You may eat or drink in the store, or you may take it home, but it is better to eat it at the restaurant because it is delicious to eat freshly baked food.

Yakitori has two types, one seasoned with “Tare” made from soy sauce, mirin and sugar, and the other seasoned with “Salt”. By the time it is served, it is already flavored and can be eaten as is.

What is Yakitori and can I eat it?

Materials of Yakitori


Gluten-free Low-gluten Wheat-free Low FODMAPs High FODMAPs
with Beef with Pork with Daily with Egg for Vegetarian
Restaurant Fast food/del> Food supermarket Convenience store Drug store

Various types of Yakitori

Yakitori is a dish of bite-sized chicken, meatballs, and vegetables skewered and grilled over an open flame. Chicken is mainly used for thigh meat, but liver, skin, and the meatballs made from minced meat are also delicious.

In addition to meat, green onions, shishito peppers, shiitake mushrooms, and king trumpet mushrooms may be skewered and grilled, but this is just a supporting role.

Since yakitori is grilled over an open flame, it requires special equipment and is offered at a specialty restaurant called “Yakitori-ya.” The Yakitori-ya emits smoke from the ventilation fan, so you can easily find it if you go nearby.

The menu of Yakitori-ya includes the following;

  • Yakitori chicken: thigh meat or breast meat of chichen.
  • Negima: thigh meat or breast meat and green onion stabbed alternately.
  • Sasami: meat with less fat near the chest of chicken.
  • Seseri: meat around the chicken neck.
  • Tsukune: minced chicken meat dumplings.
  • Reba: chicken liver.
  • Hatsu: chicken heart.
  • Sunagimo: chicken gizzard (one of the digestive organs).
  • Kawa: chicken skin.
  • Nankotsu: chicken breast or knee cartilage.

There are two types, one seasoned with “Tare” made from soy sauce, mirin and sugar, and the other seasoned with “Salt.”

There are various seasoning methods depending on the restaurants, such as seasoning before grilling, seasoning during grilling, and seasoning after grilling. When the ingredients are passed through Tare, the fat and umami of the ingredients are mixed with the Tare, and the taste of the Tare matures.

Therefore, some Tare have been used for decades while adding ingredients of Tare.

Yakitori is flavored when served, but spices may be used when eating. The spices used include Ichimi pepper, Shichimi pepper, Japanese pepper, wasabi, pepper, and yuzu pepper.

When eating yakitori, you can either remove it from the skewer and place them on a plate just before eating, or one person eats one skewer in order from the top. Yakitori skewers are made of bamboo. You can eat it with a skewer because it is often used and will not be reused.

Also, as time goes by, the meat becomes harder, so it is better to eat freshly grilled meat. However, when sharing a dish with multiple people, it is considered etiquette to remove them from the skewer and place it on a plate.

In Japan, you can often see yakitori at the delicatessen corner of food supermarkets and next to the cashiers of convenience stores. There are also canned yakitori and frozen yakitori. If you want to eat delicious yakitori, it’s best to eat freshly made yakitori at a yakitori-ya.

Try to eat Yakitori!

How much ?

$ 10~50

Where can I eat Yakitori?

Yakitori restaurant (Yakitori-ya)

Precautions when eating Yakitori

For people with dietary restrictions

There are two main types of yakitori, “Tare” and “Shio”. Soy sauce is used as a raw material for Tare sauce, but since the protein in soy sauce is decomposed, almost no gluten remains. “Shio” is genuine a gluten-free and wheat-free dish because it does not use any wheat ingredients.

For Muslims

Yakitori is almost the same as satay, so there is no problem as a dish. However, some yakitori restaurants also offer grilled pork and skewers. Pork and chicken are cooked in the same utensil, so make sure you’re not dealing with anything other than chicken before you go to the yakitori restaurants. In Hakodate, Hokkaido, a dish of pork skewered and grilled is called “Yakitori.” “Yakitori” should not be eaten in Hakodate.

Japanese writer’s comment for Yakitori

If you are going to a yakitori restaurant for the first time, I recommend the Yakitori restaurant chain where you can order by looking at the menu with photos. There are also grilled vegetables, pickles, rice, rice bowls, soups, so if you get tired of yakitori, you can eat something else. You can also check the menu on the website in advance.

  • Yakitori Daikichi: There are 640 restaurants in Japan, and you can also take out.
  • Torikizoku: There are more than 600 restaurants in Japan, mainly near railway stations.