Yakiniku (焼き肉) or Japanese grilled meat/BBQ is my favorite.
I love playing with my food. When I was a child, I often engaged myself in masak-masak (literally means cook-cook in Malay language)—a childhood cottage cooking game where I would “steal” ingredients from my mother’s kitchen and then cooked them into “food” using candles and kid’s cookware. I had the whole set up: two bricks in between a candle, a mini “wok,” and a wooden stick for stirring. I was like mad playing masak-masak, it was the best childhood game ever.
Half of the fun of yakiniku is the cooking part, where you grill little pieces of meat and vegetables over gas or electric grill, or charcoals (the traditional way). Making yakiniku at home is a lot simpler than you thought. I got myself a bottle of Japanese yakiniku no tare (Japanese BBQ dipping sauce) and a grill rack. I placed the grill rack on top of my gas stove and immediately have the perfect set up for yakiniku. (Check out the gallery above to view my set up.)
Yakiniku is mostly beef, but I had chicken drumsticks. I cut the chicken meat into tiny pieces and then marinated them with some miso paste, sake, and lots of chopped scallions (the white part). This hot-off-the-grill yakiniku was just as delightful as the ones served at my favorite restaurant Manpuku, at only a fraction of the cost. Try it yourself!
2 boneless, skinless chicken drumsticks (skin removed and cut into small pieces)
1 scallion (white part only, cut into very thin slices)
1/2 teaspoon miso paste
1 teaspoon sake
Yakiniku no tare (for dipping)
Marinate the chicken meat with sake, miso paste, and chopped scallions for 30 minutes.
Place a portable grill rack on top of the stove. Turn the heat to low and place the chicken meat on top. Make sure your grill rack has small “openings” so the meat doesn’t fall through it. Cook the meat until slightly charred and then turn over to the other side.
Transfer the cooked meat to a plate and dip with some yakiniku no tare.
You can grill kobe beef slices, beef short ribs, flank steak, seafood (shrimp, squid, scallop), mushrooms, and vegetables using the same method. They all taste great.
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