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Jun 4, 2010 07:05 AM

New Japanese Grill - Need Izakaya, Yakitori, Jamaican Jerk, Satay Ideas

I just got a new Japanese Charcoal Grill from Korin and am now looking for some fun and authentic Izakaya and yakitori recipes. These grills work with very high temperatures using Binchotan charcoal.

I want to try some typical chicken skewers like thigh & Scallion, Skin, Liver, Heart and meatballs, as well as any thing else that is typical (some beef, fish and veggies). I would also love to try some Jamaican Jerk and Thai Satay. I think marinating is the way to go with these small pieces of meat although that is less Japanese (I think).

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  1. You could always do yakiton, which is as many varied pieces of pork that you can thread onto skewers. Straight salt-grill or with a sauce for finish.

    Mark Robinson's book Izakaya is about the only one specifically covering izakayas; there's one specializing in yakitori and all things chicken.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      Basically I am looking for a lot of "Meat on a Stick" recipes.

      1. re: aw123

        I personally find that my favorite Yakitori are Shio-aji (salt-based), rather than Tare-aji (sauce-based). In terms of developing a good Tare, keep in mind that a Tare is built up sequentially over many, many cooking sessions. It is customary to take all of the Tare pots after service and roll that into the next batch of Tare. In that way the Tare builds-up depth and character and literally can be as old as the shop is old.

        BTW Yakitori particularly focuses on chicken, with beef and pork as an afterthought. (The "Tori" part of Yakitori is a reference to poultry...)

        If you're interested in Izakaya "Ippin-ryori", a particularly good and compact book of recipes is called "おうちで居酒屋" ("Ouchi de Izakaya") ("My House is an Izakaya"). Unfortunately it's in Japanese only. However most of these items would not be cooked on a grill, but will be a good match to your Yakitori items.

        Other things you might want to consider is a traditional paper fan (not the folding kind, but the fixed, somewhat rounded kind with bamboo ribs), and a bamboo blower, a simple stick of bamboo that's open on one end and has a small hole at the other. Both of these are used to direct air into your Shichirin.

        I also picked up a traditional pot used to light charcoal, basically a pot with a performated bottom. All of these I picked up at Marukai, a Japanese dry-goods store that tends to feature many traditional, and many times archaic, kitchen items.

        When I started to use a Shichirin at home, one of the things that really helped is to first invert the grill over the stove to precharge the grill. That way you're not using the expensive Binchotan to heat up the massive thermal mass of the grill, and I end up using much, much less of it. (In a commercial environment the amount of charcoal used is justified by the many covers cooked on it during the day, but in the home environment the expensive charcoal is amortized over relatively few servings...)

        BTW I've found that instead of the traditional Binchotan, the use of Oga-Bincho makes it much easier and a bit less costly. Oga-Bincho is still a very high quality product, but they are pre-formed into hollow tubes which makes it much easier to get them going. This I special-ordered through Marukai as well, after committing to purchasing an entire box...

        1. re: cgfan

          Tare at restaurants is kind of nasty. I have a lot of friends who won't go near it...

          Two options for items are making homemade tsukune and tebasaki-gyoza. Tsukune are chicken meatballs...or more like chickencycles. I'm sure there's a lot of recipes for these around.....Teba gyoza are like stuffed chicken wings. You mixed up what you would normally make for the contents of gyoza dumplings (ground pork, chives, ginger,etc.) and stuff that under the skin of wing and joint chicken wings. Then grill. One of my favorite yakitori items, but you don't see them at that many shops.

          1. re: cgfan

            Thanks for these tips. I think I have seen your Shichirin post before.

            I will have to get the fan, blower, and starting pot. Right now I have been starting my Binchotan on my gas grill by just laying the pieces on top of the ceramic tiles right by the flame. (took about 15min). Then putting the coal in the Shichirin and letting it all come to heat (about 30min). You are right, getting the heat up is tricky and takes time. I think I am going to budget at least one hour prior to grilling get the coal hot.


        even though the recipe suggests beef it tastes great on chicken thigh. SOmetimes I make extra and brush it on in the final stages of grilling.

        The jerk recipe below is great I usually add beer and some ginger. The quality of your soy is key to me. I use Eden

        1. Oh that rocks! That's my dream toy and my wife's worst nightmare. All you need now is a "hachimaki", the headbands you see guys wearing. You should also hone your pronunciation of "Irasshai!!", which you need to blurt out at the highest volume possible anytime someone comes near you.

          1. See if you can catch a rerun of the latest Bizarre Foods on Travel Channel. Andrew does a stint as grill cook at a Tokyo restaurant. The grill looked like this, except a lot longer. The charcoal starter pan even looks similar. They threaded all kinds of animal parts on skewers, even crunch esophagus.

            2 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              That is the reason I posted today. Andrew inspired me, although I am having a hard time finding Cow Utter in my local grocery store :)

              1. re: aw123

                99Ranch (California based Chinese chain) is my store for all parts of the pig - though I haven't tried things like bung or uterus. I've found more odd ball cow parts in a Mexican grocery.

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