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Yakimono is a Japanese term referring to a range of dishes having in them meats that are either cooked by direct exposure to fire or heat, such as by grilling or broiling, or, fried in a pan

A Yakimono dish is often cooked as small pieces of meat on bamboo skewers. Yakitori is one of the most well-known Yakimono dishes in the West; it's chicken grilled on a skewer. Other Yakimono dishes will use beef, fish, nuts, mushrooms or vegetables.

Meats are often salted or marinated first.

A skewer is not always involved: a whole fish can be cooked and called a Yakimono dish.

Though grilling might be done over a fire, there won't be a smoky taste.

Yakimono dishes are served hot straight away, often as a starter or as part of the course of starter dishes.

Cooking Tips

Bamboo skewers should be soaked in water first so that they don't go up in flames and take your dinner with them.

Literature & Lore

More energetic food writers attribute the origin of Yakimono to soldiers impaling hunks of meat on their swords and sticking them into the fire. The same origin is also attributed to Sheesh Kebab, except in the instance of Sheesh Kebab the swords are said to be wielded by pony-mounted Mongols. Whether they stayed mounted on their ponies while cooking is not stated.

Language Notes

In Japanese, "yaki" means "grilled" or "fired". "Yakimono", which means "fired thing", can also be applied to pottery.

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Yakimono; Yakiniku; Yakitori


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Bon mots

"What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander, but it is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen."

-- Alice B. Toklas (American writer. 30 April 1877 – 7 March 1967)

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