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Yakitori being grilled
Several yakitories in food court areas
Yakitori(焼き鳥, やきとり, ヤキトリ?), grilled chicken, is commonly a Japanese type of skeweredchicken. The term "yakitori" can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki (skewer grilled), is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. Both yakitori and kushiyaki mean the same, so the terms are used interchangeably in Japanese society.
Yakitori-ya are traditionally small restaurants or stands that grill yakitori to order over charcoal, to be consumed alongside alcoholic beverages (usually beer or shochu) in the evening. These establishments are known for their informal and convivial atmospheres, and are popular gathering places particularly for young people and office workers on their way home. In some parts of Japan, large numbers of yakitori-ya can sometimes be found clustered together in one street or alley. Tokyo's Omoide-yokocho in Shinjuku is one particularly famous example.
Yakitori is made with several bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, or chicken offal, mounted on a bamboo skewer and grilled, usually over Binchōtan charcoal.
Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it cooked with salt (shio), or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat which is grilled until delicately cooked.