Yaki means grilling, and tori means chicken.
Tori Shin’s chicken is organic and comes from the state of Pennsylvania.
Marukushi 丸串 Rounded skewer.
Kakukushi 角串 Angled skewer.
Ensekigaisen 遠赤外線 Far infrared ray (radiation) – Binchōtan releases large
quantities of infrared rays so that the chicken is cooked evenly and completely. Infrared
cooking makes meat crispy on the outside and tender and juicy inside. Uniqueness and
high quality of binchōtan are attributed to its being steamed at high temperatures.
Although it is commonly thought that binchōtan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower
temperature than ordinary charcoal, but for a longer period of time. Because it does not
release smoke or other unpleasant flavors, it is a favorite of unagi (eel) and yakitori
The temperature of binchōtan stabilizes at around 760°C, so it is not so hot but it does
release infrared rays. Because of its high density, oxygen can’t penetrate well; therefore,
binchōtan burns at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.
Shio vs. Tare 塩 vs. たれ There are so many different kinds of salt, and each yakitori
house chooses its own salt. Tare is the sauce which is generally made up of mirin, sake,
soy sauce and sugar. If tare sauce is specified, during the grilling process the skewers
are repeatedly dipped (usually twice, but occasionally three times) into a tall pot
containing the sauce. Each yakitori house has its own secret recipe for their tare, which
is usually handed down through generations. Tori Shin’s tare has been handed down
from a yakitori house Toriyoshi in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo.
Kosansho 粉山椒 Ko means powder, sanshōis a Japanese pepper.
Powdered Japanese pepper or Japanese prickly ash (Zanthoxylum piperitum).
Kuroshichimi 黒七味 Kuro means black, shichi is seven, and mi is taste. This
seasoning is produced by a long-established seasoning house (over 300 years of
business) called Hara Ryōkaku in Gion, Kyoto. This particular shichimi is made of the
following seven ingredients: cayenne pepper (hot pepper, chili pepper), Japanese
pepper, white sesame, black sesame, poppy seeds, hempseeds, and seaweed.
Kuchinaoshi 口直し
Soup Break the chicken bones and cook for 8 hours. Vegetable – head of negi, head of
daikon, daikon skin… The order in which the ingredients go first into the pot is different in
each restaurant. The soup can’t be cloudy, so a diligent chef takes good care of the soup by
skimming any scum frequently.
Bonjiri ボンジリ is the tail of the chicken. With a lot of collagen and fat, it is considered a
delicacy, and is popular with women. It is also called bon or bonbochi, sankaku (triangle),
gonbo, hip, or tēru (tail). Meat exists around the tail bone; however, there isn’t much. The
muscles around the tail are well formed because the chicken uses them frequently, so the taste is
great. With its juicy and melting texture, the chicken tail has a lot of fat, and it is a popular part
for chicken lovers.
A refreshing palate cleanser.
Furisode ふりそで The joint of the chicken wing. It’s named after flapping sleeve of the
female kimono. It is soft and juicy.
Harami ハラミ is the thin strip of meat that’s connected to the diaphragm. It has a light tatse
and few calories; this unusual part has a unique, crispy texture. It is also called engawa.
Hatsu ハツ is the heart of the chicken. Its soft, yet chewy texture is addictive. It takes three
chickens to make the skewer shown. High quality hatsu can be eaten rare. Chicken heart has
two distinctive tastes: it is both soft and crunchy. Chicken hearts contain a lot of folic acid,
which is good for anemia, and are also rich in Iron and Vitamin A. The name hatsu came from
English word, hearts.  hātsuhatsu.
Kamomatsu with sudachi 鴨松
sudachi (Japanese citrus).
Kamo (duck) Matsu (Matsutake mushroom) with
Kamonegi 鴨葱 Duck meat with scallion.
Kashiwa かしわ is the term that refers to chicken meat in general in the Kansai area, but in
the Kantō area in terms of yakitori, it refers to a skewer that consists of three chunks of thigh
meat (top) and one of the breast meat (bottom).
Kawa 皮 Skin of the thigh, breast, and neck. It’s chewy and greasy, but the fat is reduced a
bit in the pre-preparation by running the skin in hot water. Most skin served in restaurants is the
skin from the neck of a chicken.
Matsuba マツバ Clavicle, collarbone. This part is found at the base of sasami, and the name
came from its being shaped like a ‘V,’ a feature which resembles pine needles (matsuba). It has
a very plain taste.
Momo もも Thigh. It has a fair amount of fat, but this is what gives the meat its juiciness
when broiled. It has a richer flavor and a tougher texture than breast meat.
Negima ねぎま is a combination of negi (scallion) and breast meat on the skewer. You can
enjoy two different flavors and textures with the two ingredients that are usually skewed
alternately. The word ma originally came from ma of maguro (tuna) of the pot dish called negi
(scallion) ma (tuna) nabe (pot).
Michael John Simkin
Nankotsu 軟骨 Gristle, or the cartilage. It has a unique, crunchy texture you can never get
from the meatier parts of the animal. Gristle encompasses knee gristle, breast gristle, and thigh
gristle. Thigh joints can also be included as well.
Knee gristle is called genkotsu (fist). There is a relatively soft part at the top end of the breast
bone, shaped like a ‘Y,’ which is breast gristle and called yagen (Y-shaped tool for grinding
medicine). Genkotsu has a tougher texture than yagen.
Reba レバー Liver. While the texture is soft, it is flavorful. High quality fresh liver can be
eaten raw. It is also called kimo, and chigimo. The organ contains retinol, which protects the
liver from active oxygen. It also has four times more vitamin A than eel, and contains vitamins
C, E, B2 and glutathione. The liver contains a lot of minerals such as iron and copper as well,
but it is low in glucose so there’s little worry about consuming too many calories.
Sasami ささみ is the tenderloin of the breast. Light, soft and less fatty, is regarded as having
the highest quality among the white meats. It sounds crazy, but this part can be eaten rare if the
quality of the chicken is good enough. Tenders are two meat strips located inside the chicken
breast alongside the breast bone. The name came from a bamboo grass (sasa) because of the
meat’s shape. The word mi means meat or flesh.
Seseri セセリ Neck. When you bite into it, it pops in your mouth. The flavor increases in
tenderness with every bite, the neck is considered a delicacy by yakitori lovers. Chicken neck is
a valued part because you can get only a little amount of neck meat per chicken. Chicken neck
has a lot of muscle in it and, because of that, the part is very tight and contains more fat. Some
people say that the neck is the finest part of the chicken, followed by thigh, breast, and tenders.
It is also called kirin (giraffe), mi, soroban (abacus) or koniku.
Shisomaki しそ巻 A combination of breast and shiso leaves. The unique aroma of the herb,
shiso, adds a kick to the plain sasami. It is often served with ume (plum) paste.
Soriresu ソリレス Comes from the French. This part is located near the thigh joint. It’s
much juicier than the thigh. It’s recommended that you eat it about a minute after it’s been
served, to avoid getting burned buy the hot, juicy gravy.
Sunagimio 砂肝 Gizzard. Suna means sand, gimo, means giblets. It’s crispy when you bite
in, and has a sandy, rough texture on the tongue. Enjoy the unique harmony of these peculiar
textures. It’s also called zuri or sunazuri. Chicken gizzard is like a strong rubber stomach
containing stone and sand. Chickens have beaks but don’t have teeth, so when they swallow
food they grind it down in their stomachs. The muscles in chickens’ stomachs are therefore well
developed. Gizzard doesn’t have much protein or fat, but contains a lot of zinc. Zinc helps out
metabolism, and sharpens our sense of taste and smell.
Teba 手羽 Chicken wing.
て ば も と
Tebamoto: 手羽元 The part closest to the breast has the least amount of skin. The
two different parts of the chicken are separated by a joint, but this can also be eaten.
This part has less fat and a tender texture.
て ば な か
Tebanaka: 手羽中 Usually this type of meat is turned inside out and rolled up, and
is called tulip because of its shape.
て ば さ き
Tebasaki: 手羽先 The ends of chicken wings have a small amount of meat with a
larger amount of skin. Chicken wings are known for their high fat and gelatin
content and have a rich taste.
Michael John Simkin
Tsukune つくね Minced meat made with the thigh, breast and other parts of the chicken,
with the addition of salt, pepper, eggs, and other ingredients. Chicken meatballs can differ in
shape, texture and cooking method, depending on which restaurant you go to. Therefore, a
restaurant is known by the taste of its tsukune. Establishments usually make their own original
sauce for it, and it is sometimes served with raw egg yolk.
Uzura うずら Quail. The meat is lean and taste plainer than chicken, but it is one of the
delicacies that yakitori fans crave.
Yasai 野菜 An assortment of vegetables on the skewer. Shishito pepper, shiitake mushrooms,
and ginnan (ginko nut) are the standard issue, but seasonal vegetables in limited supply are also
favored by yakitori lovers.
Aburatsubo (oil pot) 油 つぼ
A part of the tail where fat builds up for grooming.
Benkei 弁 慶 Shank.
Bera ベラ Duodenum.
Beta ベタ Back skin.
Gatsu ガツ Part of digestive organ.
Gingawa (Silver skin) 銀 皮 Gizzard’s thin skin.
Kinchaku (purse) きんちゃく Cock’s hormone.
Kokoronokori こころのこり Coronary arteries. Base of hearts.
Mame (beans) まめ Spleen.
Misaki みさき Cock’s tail.
Obi (kimono’s band) おび Muscle part of the thigh.
Otafuku (plain woman) おたふく Thymus gland.
Saezuri (singing, chirping, twittering) さえずり Throat organ – bronchi and esophagus.
Segimo (back giblets) 背肝 Kidney.
Tamahimo 玉ひも Visceral immature egg and fallopian tube. It is also called kinkan or chōchin (paper
Tosaka トサカ Cockscomb. It contains a lot of collagen.
Nearly all parts of the chicken can be eaten except for the lung. [Eat tori (chicken), but not dori (lung).]
We can’t eat chicken’s lung because the freshness of it declines very fast.
Michael John Simkin